Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hails ‘best in the world’ David De Gea after Villarreal win
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have a word with Cristiano Ronaldo following his strop against Everton on Saturday, Gary Neville believes. The former Juventus star was left on the bench for the Premier League showdown. And, after the final whistle, he couldn’t hide his anger.
Manchester United decided to give Ronaldo a rest on Saturday, picking Edinson Cavani in the No 9 role instead.
But that gamble backfired, with the Red Devils slumping to a disappointing 1-1 draw after strikes from Anthony Martial and Andros Townsend.
United did bring Ronaldo into the fray in the second half but the 36-year-old was unable to add to his tally of five goals so far.
After the match, the Portugal forward was visibly furious – walking straight down the tunnel and failing to acknowledge Townsend.
And United level Neville, speaking to Sky Sports, believes Solskjaer will ‘have a word’ with the forward over the incident.
He said: “I think he’ll have a word with Cristiano and say ‘look, come on.’
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“‘If we’re going to do that let’s do that on the training ground because ultimately you doing that on the pitch does bring that extra pressure’.
“He does have a massive reputation, I don’t think it will have helped Ole in that situation.”
Ronaldo was once subbed off against Manchester City by Sir Alex Ferguson, with that match taking place in 2009.
And he was angry that day, too.
But things are different now. Solskjaer, unlike Ferguson, doesn’t have plenty of trophies in the bank to back him up.
And whether the United boss is able to lift his dejected talisman from here, especially after a fourth failure to win from six matches, remains to be seen.
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At the moment, the Red Devils have no plans to sack Solskjaer.
But talkSPORT pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor, who previously played in the Premier League with Aston Villa, feels Solskjaer benching the 36-year-old was a ‘sackable offence’.
“It was a sackable offence not to start Ronaldo from Solskjaer,” he said.
“You look at Manchester United, you are playing Everton.
“Everton have been in good form this season. You need your strongest team to go out there and beat Everton.
“You’ve got the international break now. It’s not as if they’ve got a game on Wednesday and Saturday, they’ve got the international break.
“Pogba should have started, Ronaldo should have started, Jesse Lingard should have even started.
“Send Ronaldo to Portugal shattered, that’s not your problem. Play your best team against teams like Everton.
“Ole got it totally wrong. Even the last 30 seconds of the game, he’s laughing and joking on the touchline when Benitez is so on it, talking to his players.
“It just shows he was happy with a draw. Manchester United shouldn’t be happy with a draw against Everton at home.”
Agbonlahor also feels United won’t win the league while Solskjaer is in charge, believing he’s not up to the task.
“What does he cover in games? Do you see him sprinting after defenders, chasing people down? Against Villarreal he didn’t,” he continued, talking about Ronaldo.
“He’s waiting around, linking up play, getting into the box and he’s not sprinting around like a centre midfielder would.
“Pogba not playing then maybe fair enough, but Ronaldo you have to play him. Play him for 60 minutes and if you are winning the game then take him off.
“You just put yourself under pressure by not starting him. He has to start. He has probably been brought in on £700,000-a-week to try and win the league for Man United.
“Was that reaction from Ronaldo walking off the pitch after the game, not shaking anyone’s hand, not even acknowledging Townsend when he walked off, that was someone who was annoyed he wasn’t started.
“He’s in that squad to win the league for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not going to win the league.”
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