The Daily Mail says Ferdinand has long had to live with accusations of sloppiness and casualness. Some of it has been warranted, especially in his early years, and much of it has not.
It is understood, however, that Ferguson feels Ferdinand has begun to believe his own favourable publicity again in recent months and that this has contributed to the problems that have recently blighted his season.
Given that Ferdinand had only arrived back from a Champions League victory in CSKA Moscow at about 3.30am following a four-hour flight, his decision to attend a celebrity event in London that night was a peculiar one.
With United not due at Anfield until Sunday lunchtime, Ferdinand did not break any club rules in attending the event. Nor is there any suggestion that he did not have his manager’s permission.
Nevertheless, United trained in Manchester on Friday lunchtime. Would Ferdinand’s trip to London, coming on the back of a tough game in Moscow, have affected him that day? Would it have spilled over to Sunday?