Jamie Carragher claimed Cristiano Ronaldo’s return had highlighted an existing problem at Manchester United rather than solving it.
The pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mounts with each passing game where Manchester United have been underwhelming, like against Everton. Part of the reason is the presence of big signings made during the summer, especially Cristiano Ronaldo, who was benched for the match.
The Portuguese coming off the bench failed to turn Manchester United’s fortunes around in the game, but Ronaldo caught the eye after throwing tantrums at the end of the match. Such behaviour put immense pressure on Solskjaer as the media focused on the Norwegian’s decision to bench the formidable superstar.
Even Sir Alex Ferguson commented in a viral video alongside MMA star Khabib Nurmagomedov, where he said, “you should always start with your best players.” The media interpreted it as a direct question towards Solskjaer’s decision to bench Ronaldo, which may not be good for the manager.
Gary Neville was also on point to comment on Ronaldo’s behaviour and felt it was not justified for Solskjaer to soak in all the pressure. Many pundits, including Gabriel Agbonlahor, criticised Solskjaer’s decision to bench the Portuguese. Jamie Carragher, however, has a different view of things, one that might make a little sense.
The former Liverpool defender and current Sky Sports pundit told the Telegraph how Ronaldo’s arrival has added to Manchester United’s existing problems of having too many individual players.
Carragher said, “They remain a team of individuals rather than a team. Cristiano Ronaldo has added to that rather than fixed it. That’s why, despite a brilliant squad, they are not yet at the level of the other three. Dropping five points in their last two home games highlighted lingering inconsistency.”
The arrival of Ronaldo has certainly brought optimism of success back to Old Trafford. Still, as Carragher seems to suggest, his individual style of play could become problematic for Solskjaer and the team he has managed to build over the years as manager.
A verdict will be out in the next few games over Ronaldo and Solskjaer as Manchester United face some big tests in the Premier League. These next six or seven games will determine where the club stands among the other big sides on all fronts, especially after splashing big money in the summer transfer window.