‘Is he even on the pitch?’ – Rio Ferdinand forgot Man Utd star was playing v Palace | Football

Mason Mount was largely anonymous in Manchester United’s defeat at Crystal Palace (Picture: Reuters)

Rio Ferdinand’s podcast co-host Stephen Howson claims the Manchester United legend texted him questioning whether Mason Mount was ‘even on the pitch’ during the side’s 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.

Palace sealed their first Premier League double over the Red Devils in stunning fashion to pile yet more misery on a crestfallen Erik ten Hag, who endured one of the darkest days of his tenure at Selhurst Park.

A brace from Michael Olise and goals either side of the half-time break from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Tyrick Mitchell secured an emphatic victory for Oliver Glasner’s side, a result which leaves Monday’s visitors stranded down in eighth – 13 points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Calls for Ten Hag to be dismissed have, inevitably, grown louder in the wake of United’s humbling in south London and the team must somehow find a way to pick themselves up off the floor ahead of their clash with Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

Mount returned to Ten Hag’s starting XI – after making a late substitute appearance in the side’s previous draw with Burnley – and the midfielder, who has been ravaged by injury since his move from Chelsea, started the match promisingly.

But as Palace and January arrival Adam Wharton took control of the game, Mount became increasingly anonymous before being replaced with ten minutes remaining.

Shortly after the final whistle, Mount was criticised for his reaction to the loss by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher and former United defender Ferdinand was another spectator left unimpressed by the England international – according to his VIBE with FIVE co-host Howson.

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand was less than impressed with Mount’s performance at Selhurst Park (Picture: Getty)

Asked for his thoughts on Mount’s performance, Howson – speaking on his own YouTube channel – replied: ‘I was texting with Rio through the game actually and Rio was like, “Is he even on the pitch?”.

‘I actually thought, for the first ten minutes, I’m sitting there going, “Mount’s having a good game”, and then after that first ten minutes I don’t remember seeing him.’

Howson added: ‘Outside of that first ten minutes he was just invisible to me.’

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag is adamant he remains the right man for the job at United (Picture: Getty)

Speaking after United’s capitulation, Ten Hag insisted he was still the right manager to lead the club.

Asked whether he felt he was still the right man for the job, the Dutchman replied: ‘Absolutely.

‘If the right players are there, so available, then we have a good squad.

‘But we miss almost the full back line, then we have problems.’

United were put to the sword by Palace (Picture: Getty)

Ten Hag vowed to ‘keep fighting’ before thanking United’s away support for continuing to back the side through their struggles.

‘I will keep fighting. I prepared the team in the best way I could do,’ he added.

‘It was not good enough, I have to take responsibility for that but I will find energy and prepare them for Sunday’s game.

‘It’s clear, it’s obvious, this is underperforming. We didn’t act how we wanted to and it’s not good enough. We are very disappointed.

‘Our fans were behind us and we should have kept fighting like the fans did.

‘There are always reasons, everyone sees our backline, we have huge problems. At the end of the day, we have to deal with it and we should have done better.’

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