Woody better than Rio?

Last updated : 06 January 2004 By FootyMad

The centre-back produced a composed display on his return from injury at Southampton on Saturday (although he was only marking Kevin Phillips) and Sir Bobby believes that it was evidence that he should be an England regular.

Asked to compare the two players, Sir Bobby replied: "He is just as good a player as Rio Ferdinand. Manchester United paid £30million for Rio, we paid £9million for Woody.

“The only difference is we bought at the right time when the market was depressed, but we have a player who is just as good.

"Jonathan's a top England player and as good as anything in Europe.

"It's just his stature and presence. He's a class player, and you can see that. He's got everything.

"He's good upstairs, is brilliant on the deck and has great anticipation. As well as that, he reads the game well, distributes well and is massive in the air."

The only thing to disagree with the manager on is that he merely claims that Woody is equal to Mr Forgetful, surely he is a far better defender if only he could stay fit for a decent spell.

Ferdinand seems to be living on the reputation established by a couple of decent performances at the World Cup and has completely failed to reproduce that form and justify his price tag since moving to Old Trafford. If Sir Alex Ferguson was big enough to concede that he made a mistake when splashing out so much cash on him Ferdinand may not even get into the Red Devils first team when everyone is fit.