Ferdinand slams Sven as he tells why their first conversation left him ‘gutted’

Rio Ferdinand has told how he was left "gutted" by his first conversation with Sven Goran Eriksson as the then-England manager made a negative change to the Three Lions’ style of play.

The Manchester United legend played for England under Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Keegan, before Eriksson took over in 2001.

Under Hoddle, he said centre backs were actively encouraged to play out from the back and carry the ball forward into the midfield area.

However, speaking during the BBC’s coverage England’s World Cup Group G match against Panama, he appeared to hit out at Eriksson, telling how the Swede banned defenders from bringing the ball out.

Discussing the current England team’s fluid and attacking style under Gareth Southgate, Ferdinand praised the players’ composure, saying: "We’d have just lumped it up to Crouchy (Peter Crouch)."

Asked by anchor Gary Lineker whether he had been definitively told not to bring the ball out, he elaborated, explaining the negative changes implemented by Eriksson.

Recalling their first conversation, Ferdinand said: "Sven told me, my centre-backs don’t run with the ball.

"I want to play for England, I was devastated, gutted, it took away a lot of my performance in an England shirt."

Eriksson had been criticised in some quarters for not achieving more with England’s so-called Golden Generation, including the likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Stevn Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

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