Manchester United are in freefall and their 2-0 defeat to rivals Manchester City has put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job in jeopardy again, but a former Premier League boss thinks he’s found the problem
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been warned that he is currently facing the same issue that Sir Alex Ferguson did when he had Roy Keane in the dressing room.
The Red Devils boss is treading on thin ice at Old Trafford currently and every fixture feels like it could be the Norwegian’s last.
Many had high hopes for United this season after signing Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo in a bid to strengthen the squad.
However, although a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, many feel that the latter could be doing more harm than good now back at his former club.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has struggled to get the best out of his squad so far this season ( Image:
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) Speaking on the McClaren Performance podcast, former England manager Steve McClaren has compared Ronaldo’s role in the dressing room to that of Keane several years ago.
“He [ Solskjaer ]’s brought Ronaldo and Varane – Ronaldo especially – he knows how to win. He’s having, from what I hear, such an influence in that dressing room, he’s number one and they’re looking at him,” he said.
“If he doesn’t have a dessert for dinner, the rest of the players don’t have a dessert for dinner so he’s got the followers. You see from his body language, you saw it from the game against Atalanta, he’s driving the team on, it’s reminding me a little bit like Roy Keane.
“He was more vocal, direct, honest but I see that body language that I need more from these players, we’ve got to do more. Bringing in a person into the dressing room like that can make or break you. He can do the job, he can do it.”
Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 12 appearances since his homecoming, but some of his expressions and body language suggests that he isn’t overly happy to be back at the Theatre of Dreams due to his team’s performances.
Of course, a player of the no.7’s ability cannot be ignored and it is somewhat ridiculous to suggest he should be dropped for an extensive period of time, especially whilst Solskjaer is in need of a hero.
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Ronaldo is unhappy with United’s recent performances ( Image:
AFP via Getty Images) However, United’s performances as a team appear to have worsened since Ronaldo has led the line.
“What you have to do is use him, he’s the solution but he’s also the problem,” continued McClaren. “If you don’t handle him right then that can be a problem for the manager.
“There’s various ways to do it, integrate Ronaldo into the team so that they play as a team in the present moment they’re not playing as a team.
Roy Keane and Solskjaer used to play together at United ( Image:
Daily Mirror) “When you look at Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City you can see a team, an identity in the way they’re playing, Ole bringing Ronaldo in as the number nine is searching for that formula.
“Sometimes it happens straight away, sometimes as a manager, you’re searching for that manager.”
United have struggled so much in recent months that it has been suggested that there is a chance that Ronaldo could force a move out of Old Trafford if the poor form continues.
The Portugal captain has never played Europa League football, which United look on course for, in his career and has his sights set on winning the Champions League again instead, so if Solskjaer’s side doesn’t improve then a departure is not off the cards.
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