The former Red Devils defender was disappointed, but not all that surprised to see a Portuguese forward react angrily to a 1-1 draw at home to Everton
Cristiano Ronaldo moody response to Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton, in which he was introduced as a second-half substitute, has piled pressure on Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, says Gary Neville.
A Portuguese superstar started the post-match assessment early on Saturday as he could be seen muttering to himself as he made a hasty retreat down the tunnel on the back of more dropped points at Old Trafford.
Having only seen 33 minutes of game time, and drawn a personal blank, Neville can understand why the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was frustrated, but a former team-mate of the 36-year-old forward was disappointed to see Ronaldo generating unnecessary debate at a testing time for his manager.
What has been said?
Ex-United defender Neville has told Sky Sports of Ronaldo’s reaction to the stalemate with Rafa Benitez’s Toffees: “I watched the game and I watched him walk off. I can’t say I liked it.
“Is Cristiano upset when he doesn’t play? Yes. Is Cristiano upset when he doesn’t score? Yes. Is Cristiano annoyed as hell when the team don’t win? Of course. We know those things. He doesn’t have to prove that.
“He walks off the pitch, muttering to himself, which throws questions up in the air. What is he saying? Who is he annoyed with? It can only come back to the manager.
“Cristiano is smart enough to know actions like that will bring real pressure on the manager – more than he is already under.
“It is what it is, but I think that is something that has to be managed in the next couple of months.
“Cristiano is not always going to score and he maybe can’t play every game. But if he’s going to walk off like that, it’s going to put immense pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.”
Can Solskjaer pass Man Utd tests?
Solskjaer has seen questions asked of his ability to deliver in the most demanding of coaching posts from the moment that he succeeded Jose Mourinho on an initial interim basis back in December 2018.
The Norwegian has been handed two three-year contracts since then, but he has also been backed in the transfer market and failed to deliver major silverware as a trophyless run for United stretches towards the five-year mark.
Neville added on the challenges facing another of his former colleagues: “The worst that could happen for me with Ole is that he’s been an incredible bridge, from a period where the club lost its identity and it lost its way.
“There is no doubt the club lost its way in reaction to Sir Alex Ferguson’s leaving the club. Ole has returned some of the values to the club.
“There’s a group of players who I think do want to play for the club. The signings have been a lot more Manchester United-like.
“But I do now think with the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, recognised world-class talents, comes a pressure to deliver.
“Ole knows that. He said it in his press conference. He does have to win. You have to win a trophy when you’re three or four years in and you’ve got players like that.
“He has to look after himself, Ole, he has to be selfish, he’s got to make sure that he manages Cristiano in the right way.
“I think he’ll have a word with him and say, ‘Look, if we’re going to do that, let’s do it in the changing room’.
“But Cristiano is not a sheep either. He’s not just going to follow and say, ‘I’m not going to say anything’. He will demonstrate his dislikes and his lack of happiness with situations.”
United, who sit fourth in the Premier League table with 14 points from seven games, will return to action after the latest international break with a trip to Leicester on October 16.