Cristiano Ronaldo has come up big for Manchester United on couple of occasions this season both in Premier League and the Champions League. But the 36 year-old was as poor as his teammates in a 1-0 loss against Wolves at Old Trafford on Monday night. Moreover Manchester United had only two shots on target and that pretty much sums up the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo and other forwards in front of goal.
With Harry Maguire out due to an injury, Ralf Rangnick handed the captain’s armband to Cristiano Ronaldo in a bid that the Portuguese will lead from the front, but it turned out that he was holding the team back during attacking play. The lack of pressing in Ronaldo’s game has changed significantly after the arrival of Ralf Rangnick, as it is a main trait of the playing style of the German manager.
Ronaldo was seen dropping deep to receive the ball many times against Wolves and slowing down the pace of the Manchester United attack and also leaving the team with no target man upfront to pick out from crosses and defence splitting passes. The forward seem to be uncomfortable on the ball and gave away possession many times playing a way wood pass in a bid to find a teammate. United’s best attacking output was Luke Shaw on the left and Mason Greenwood on the right. Bruno Fernandes who started from the bench looked fresh and lively after coming on and was the only player coming close to score as he saw his shot bounce off the crossbar.
Is it time for Ralf Rangnick to make a bold move and bench Cristiano Ronaldo ?
World class players like Cristiano Ronaldo need to be on the pitch till the very end as they can change the game in a blink of an eye. But is it still worth it given that the player is affecting the team’s overall performance and hindering the transitional play ?
Some of the Manchester United fans were confused when Rangnick subbed off Mason Greenwood who was the only attacker looking likely to score a goal if Manchester United were to get one. Should Ralf Rangnick give the same treatment to Cristiano, he gave to Bruno Fernandes against Wolves starting him from the bench given the lack of movement in front of goal and scoring goals for which Ronaldo is known for.