Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo once again found the back of the net to help Manchester United secure a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. But according to Paul Merson, the forward is the principal reason why Solskjaer was shown the door.

This was United’s first game after Ole’s sacking and the pundit believes that the Norwegian’s plans went out of the window as soon as Ronaldo arrived at the club.

Merson wrote for Sky Sports: “I feel sorry for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He had a plan at the start of the season, having finished second last season. He’s chased Jadon Sancho for a long time, got him in, and he’s given Edinson Cavani another year.

“You could see his plan: you play Cavani every other game, you have Sancho on one side, Marcus Rashford on the other, you have Mason Greenwood coming in and swapping around, you have pace, power, energy, youth, skill, the lot.

“Then, just before the season starts, he gets given Ronaldo. I think he’s thrown it all out of the window. From day one, they’re not a better team with Ronaldo in it.

“You don’t go 29 games unbeaten away without playing a certain way, and bringing Sancho in gave them another weapon to play that way. With Ronaldo up there, you don’t have that weapon to play on the counter-attack any more.

“It’s all snowballed for Solskjaer. He had a plan, and the Ronaldo situation threw it all out of the window, just before the season started.”

Is Cristiano Ronaldo the real reason why Man United are playing so poorly?

This season Man United look completely disjointed and out of ideas and after the Watford loss, David De Gea also admitted that the players do not know what to do with the ball.

And this is in complete contrast to last season when they knew exactly what they were doing. Last year, United looked perfectly in sync and they were setting up to be the perfect counter-attacking side.

The manager had brought in some sensible signings during the summer and all in all, there were a lot of people who thought that Manchester United might finally have what it takes to match eye to eye with the likes of Liverpool and Man City

But after the sudden and much-hyped arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, they neither have the pace on the counter nor can they try a high press.

At the age of 36, Ronaldo does not have the legs to help out on counter-attacks and to make matters worse, he just does not want to press meaning Man United can never stop a team playing out from the back. And the fact that they do not have a world-class defensive midfielder just makes the scenario worse.

Yes, CR7 has scored some really important goals and has literally carried the club into the knockout stages of the UCL. But that doesn’t conceal the fact that he is the main reason for United’s woes this season.

Ideally, it should have been a combination of Cavani and Greenwood who should have been playing up front this time around but a manager like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would never have the guts to keep Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench.

We personally do not think any manager right now will be able to look CR7 in the eyes and tell him that he is the problem so the next best thing to do is to keep him in at the club(and use him tactfully) till the end of the season and then politely tell him to leave during the summer.

And during that period if he can help Man United reach the quarter or semi-finals of the Champions League then he would have contributed much more than his worth.

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