Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United does not work with either side


When Cristiano Ronaldo did his job return to me Manchester United In 2021, expectations from both parties were high.

Here came the Prodigal Son, as he made a dramatic return to Old Trafford in order to turn the fortunes of a club struggling to compete at the highest level.

And while he showed his flashes Scoring prowess In his first comeback season, his eventual comeback was a happy cheat and now the relationship between Ronaldo and Manchester United appears to have soured.

The star had tried to leave United before the season started and the relationship reached a new low during United’s difficult 0-0 draw against Newcastle on Sunday, with Ronaldo being replaced by Marcus Rashford after 72 minutes.

The Portuguese striker looked far from happy after being stopped by coach Erik ten Hag but his performance was as frustrating as it was lackluster.

That has been his form with United lately, with Ronaldo scoring just one league goal in a season in which he has been largely limited to appearing as a substitute.

“We have to cover four matches in 10 days, and especially for the strikers, I want to keep them fresh,” Ten Hag told reporters when asked about his decision to sack Ronaldo.

“I want to keep them all fresh, so we have to take turns there.”

In fact, Ronaldo’s expectations may have been unfair.

He is undoubtedly a fading force and no club should pin all their hopes on a 37-year-old – no matter how fit he maintains.

Where he once bullied defenders and finished nearly every half chance that came his way, Ronaldo frequently falls offside and appears to be trying hard to find his once-up talent.

It was summed up in a desperate attempt against Newcastle, where Ronaldo shot the ball off goalkeeper Nick Pope and rolled it into an empty net before the goalkeeper took a free kick. He then received a yellow card for protesting against the referee.

Ronaldo’s form is now a problem for the Hague ten. The Dutchman was tasked with creating a new era at Old Trafford and set out to implement a new style of play.

Although he has had to adapt his philosophy due to the players at his disposal, it’s not hard to see that Ronaldo is no longer an outcast and that Anthony Martial and Rashford are the two options he favors hitting when they fit in.

Ronaldo was replaced by Marcus Rashford during the Premier League match against Newcastle.

Ronaldo, who missed the pre-season when he tried to capitalize on a move away from the club, can no longer pressure the opponent the way others can, which is a pivotal part of the way United try to play. There is also an issue with his age, and the fact that the club cannot rebuild around a 37-year-old target man.

“I want to support him as well as possible. We have certain demands from the players, which we expect in certain positions,” the Dutch coach told reporters last week when asked about Ronaldo.

“I want to get the best of him, he’s in better shape now and I’m happy with that. In the beginning, that was the case (lack of fitness), and it’s proven again, no one can miss pre-season.”

Ronaldo’s fall in fitness was revealed before Sunday’s game when he took home an award for scoring 700 career goals.

Once a force to be reckoned with, he must now get used to his new role in a team that seems to have outlasted the need for a club legend.

That’s no feat for a five-time Balon d’Or winner, and unfortunately for United, no dressing room can function properly when their star is unhappy.

But the lure of Ronaldo’s goal-scoring ability has yet to be completely extinguished.

Had he still been on the field in place of Rashford against Newcastle, he would have likely buried a last-minute header that the Englishman can only steer away.

That is why, despite all the problems it presents, Manchester United still cannot give up the greatest goalscorer in the history of the game.

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