Newcastle welcome Stoke City to St James' Park today having made a good start to the season, collecting seven points from their opening five games.
Ferdinand said: "I worked with Chris at Tottenham and I have always had a lot of respect for him.
"That respect only increased when I saw the way he conducted himself when all hell was breaking loose at Newcastle.
"He was shoved into the background again when Alan Shearer came in. He had been a No.2 for a long time and people say No.2's always fail. Well, Chris has broken the mould.
"Chris is cool and calm. He understands football very well. He knows how to treat players.
"His man-management skills are second to none. He has worked with some very good managers over the years.
"I think he was an unsung hero for a long time but now people are beginning to recognise how good he is as a No.1."