Neville fears Solskjaer in over his head, as major Ronaldo rift warning sent

Date published: Monday 4th October 2021 9:40 - Jonny Whitfield

Cristiano Ronaldo, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd v Everton, October 2021

Gary Neville has admitted that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must manage Cristiano Ronaldo following his post-match frustrations against Everton.

Ronaldo arrived back at Old Trafford with a big reputation and has duly delivered. Not only has he scored five goals in seven games, but one of them secured a crucial Champions League win over Villarreal.

Despite his status as one of the world’s greatest players, he is one of several attacking talents at United.

As such, Solskjaer opted to start him from the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Everton. Instead, he played Edinson Cavani up top, as Anthony Martial also came into the side.

Ronaldo did come on, but he could not find the winner following Andros Townsend’s equaliser. After the game, the Portugal international was visibly frustrated as he walked down the Old Trafford tunnel.

Rio Ferdinand had his say on the situation, but now Neville has offered his verdict. He insisted that the reaction falls on Solskjaer’s shoulders and that the manager is now under more pressure.

He told hisĀ Sky Sports‘ podcast: “I watched him walk off and I can’t say I like 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 walked off the pitch muttering to himself, which throws the questions up in the air – what’s he saying? Who is he annoyed with?

“It can only come back to the manager. Actions like that – and Cristiano is smart enough to know this – will bring real pressure on the manager, more pressure than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already under.”

Ronaldo had eased the pressure on Solskjaer with his last-minute Champions League winner. Indeed, that victory followed a run of three defeats in four games.

As such, Neville insisted that the Man Utd boss has to have a word with Ronaldo about his role at the club.

Solskjaer must manage Ronaldo

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) looks frustrated during the Premier League match against Everton at Old Trafford, Manchester

“I think that is something that just has to be managed in the next couple of months. Cristiano is not always going to score, he’s maybe not going to play every single game,” Neville said.

“But I think if he walks off like that, it’s going to put immense pressure on Solskjaer. There’s no doubt the talk after the game was about the manager.

“He has this collection of players but they haven’t got this style of play, they haven’t got this or that. He didn’t pick Ronaldo…”

United return from the international break to face Leicester at the King Power Stadium.


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