Ferdinand: "There's only one big team in Manchester"
Published 22:22 07/09/09 By By David McDonnell
Rio Ferdinand has cut mega-rich Manchester City down to size by claiming there is only room for one big team in the city.
Although City have spent close to £250million in a bid to become a major Premier League and European force, Manchester United defender Ferdinand says they are wasting their time.
And United and England defender Ferdinand warned City's ambitious billionaire Arab owners and boss Mark Hughes that spending vast sums on players does not guarantee success.
"This city isn't big enough for two big teams," said Ferdinand. "City have very loyal supporters that have been crying out for success over the years.
"They haven't had it, but maybe now they think that their time has come with all the money that's been invested.
"But money doesn't buy success sometimes. It can do, as you've seen at Chelsea, but they were starting from finishing in fourth, fifth and third in the league.
"City are starting from a different position, so time will tell how successful they will be.
"If they win something this season, then good luck to them, but hopefully we'll be the ones winning the big trophies."
Although he has not played this season after tearing a thigh muscle on the eve of United's opening game, Ferdinand hopes to be back in time for Saturday's trip to Tottenham.
United then travel to Turkey to play Besiktas in their opening Champions League game, before the eagerly-awaited Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford on September 20.
And Ferdinand admitted there was even more expectation on United this season having won three successive titles and reached the last two European Cup finals.
"Over the last three seasons we've performed really well," he said. "We won the league three times and reached two Champions League finals, so people expect a lot of us.
"But if you sometimes don't deliver the big one, then you get a bit of flak and you have to deal with that."
Ferdinand also claimed he was not worried at United's failure to land a big name signing this summer to replace Cristiano Ronaldo following his £80m move to Real Madrid.
Although United only brought in Antonio Valencia from Wigan for £17m, Michael Owen for free and young winger Gabriel Obertan for £3m, Ferdinand is positive about the impact they can make.
"We've come off the pitch against Wigan the last couple of seasons talking about how good a player Valencia is," he added.
"He's quick, strong and direct, so he will suit how we play. Hopefully he can produce what he did for Wigan with us.
"I saw Obertan play for France Under-21s against England a while ago and he looked really, really good. I don’t know what the manager's idea is, but he's got real potential.
"With Michael Owen, a lot of United fans were thinking of all the injuries he's had. There are people who think about him playing for Liverpool, but you have to look at the bigger picture.
"If you win trophies, you can’t say that that is doesn’t count because you've got an ex-Liverpool player in your team.
"I'm sure he'll score goals. If you look at his strike-rate, it's one of the best in the Premier League. We're getting somebody who will score goals and that's what we need."