Rio Ferdinand admits he has found life difficult at Queens Park Rangers in recent weeks, but insists he has no regrets about joining the club.
The former England international enjoyed a hugely successful 12-year spell in the colours of Manchester United, during which time he won six Premier League titles, two League Cups and, in 2008, the UEFA Champions League. He was not, though, offered the chance to extend his stay at Old Trafford beyond the end of last season, when his contract came to a close.
It was suggested by some that Ferdinand, who has suffered injury problems in recent seasons and turned 36-years-old last month, could hang up his boots and reflect on a career which has also seen him earn 81 caps. However, he felt he could prolong his playing days further, so he accepted an offer from Harry Redknapp, his former West Ham United manager, to join QPR.
Whereas the objective of his time in Manchester was to constantly compete for the top honours at home and abroad, he was given a completely different type of brief at a club who were making their return to the Premier League following their relegation in 2012-13. And although his time has been interrupted by injury, suspension and even omission, the defender insists he has no regrets.
“No footballer worth his salt likes sitting on the bench. So I would be lying if I said I’m perfectly OK about being left out of the Queens Park Rangers team recently,” Ferdinand told the Sun. “When you have enjoyed all the success of being at a club as big as Manchester United for more than a decade, there is no hiding the fact that my current circumstances are a bit of a comedown.
“But do not make the mistake of thinking I have any regrets about my move to Loftus Road – because I don’t. I knew what I was getting myself into and knew I’d be at a club where you would mostly spend your time looking up at teams rather than down at those below you. And I was well aware that I probably wouldn’t play every game. I’m realistic that, at the age of 36, that was never going to happen.”
Ferdinand has played in just seven of QPR’s 15 league matches to date, and has tasted victory just once when they beat Sunderland 1-0 back in August. He last played in the 2-0 defeat at West Ham in early October, but will be in contention when Redknapp’s side travel to Merseyside to face Everton on Monday night when they will look to earn the points to climb out of the bottom three.
Did Ferdinand make a big mistake when he agreed to join QPR in the summer or, on the other hand, did QPR make a mistake in taking him on?