Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United has failed on almost every level


Not that United’s various leaders endured any lasting benefit from Ronaldo’s comeback either. If Ed Woodward and the Glazers hoped it would restore their popularity after signing up for the Super League – or a host of other things – any uplift proved temporary. Woodward is gone; protests calling for the Glazers to do likewise have become common.

Nor did United’s figurehead on the pitch fare much better. Harry Maguire endured the most traumatic campaign of his career, losing form and authority, seemingly undermined by the Ronaldo faction. Ten Hag confirmed the centre-back as captain again, which could set the tone for another divided dressing room if a man with designs on the armband stays.

United suffered their worst Premier League finish last season

Meanwhile, whereas Ronaldo had one manager for his first six seasons at Old Trafford, now he is on his third of his second coming. Rewind a year and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign could be deemed a qualified success: he was not a world-class manager but he had lifted them to second, counter-attacking tactics had produced a series of wins against the elite and he had rebooted United, focusing on youth, improving a number of players and apparently producing a happier dressing room after Jose Mourinho’s fractious tenure. Instead, Solskjaer’s final 10 weeks were so hideously bad that all notions of progress seemed destroyed. The foundations he felt he was laying seemed built on sand. And if, again, that was not all Ronaldo’s fault, he altered the dynamic.

Then Ralf Rangnick’s interim spell in charge was doomed from the start. The combination of the godfather of gegenpressing and the most static of strikers was a predictable mismatch. Rangnick could neither play with Ronaldo nor without him. His team were incoherent and ineffective. Ronaldo scored as many league goals for Rangnick as Fernandes, Rashford, Sancho, Pogba, Cavani, Greenwood and Martial mustered between them. The German still concluded United needed a younger striker. He presented his recommendations for how the squad should be reshaped to the board. The chances are they included suggested parting with Ronaldo.

https://crossfitsugarland.com/soccer/rashford-says-man-united-a-lot-fitter-under-ten-hag/

And yet, when the forward reached the same conclusions for very different reasons, United appear intent on keeping him. Perhaps the sense of rejection would be too great for them to accept it. Yet if a year together worked for anyone, it may have been United’s commercial and social media teams. In other respects, everyone has felt a loser from the serial winner’s return.

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

{{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

{{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Source: Read Full Article