Manchester United’s decision to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer is being heavily scrutinised amid the Red Devils’ run of poor form.
The Portuguese forward has been a hit in front of goal, scoring six times in eight appearances, including crucial winners against Villarreal and Atalanta in the Champions League.
However, that is pretty much all that Ronaldo is offering Ole Gunnar Solskjaer right now.
The 36-year-old’s lack of pressing appears to be presenting problems, allowing opponents to bring the ball out of defence without any hassle.
Are Ronaldo’s goals really worth it?
Ronaldo will probably score at least 20 goals this season. But if his work off the ball hinders Solskjaer’s tactics, then is it worth it?
Former United defender Gary Neville recently spoke about these issues on Sky Bet’s The Overlap Fan Debate.
“There are big decisions that Ole has to make in the next few weeks to compensate for Ronaldo coming,” Neville said.
“What they have to find now is a way of playing with Ronaldo in there.”
How did Ferguson deal with Ronaldo?
One man with experience in getting the best out of Ronaldo AND getting him to play as part of a finely-tuned team is Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Portuguese forward won his first Ballon d’Or under Ferguson and the Scot very often took a ruthless approach when dealing with his star man.
Take, for instance, the time in April 2009, when Fergie publicly criticised Ronaldo and even benched him for a game after the attacker made costly errors against Aston Villa and Porto.
Fergie benched Ronaldo after costly errors
Ronaldo had reached world-class status by this point, but his manager wasn’t afraid to call him out and leave him out of the starting line-up for a game against Sunderland.
“I don’t accept that he will give goals away because of the player he is,” Ferguson said.
“I speak to him about it. I don’t accept that from anyone. In European football, if you give the ball away it takes a long time to get it back.”
Fergie wasn’t afraid to upset Ronaldo in order to benefit the team. Perhaps it’s time Solskjaer did the same.
Why has Jadon Sancho been written off? (2 min watch)