WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

GRAEME SOUNESS: Manchester United would be CRAZY to ditch Cristiano Ronaldo

My view of Paul Pogba at Manchester United – that he was a flop, with an attitude that was indefensible – has been quite robust over the past few seasons.

All of the club’s direct rivals will be sad to see him leave, as he was a one-man wreck in the dressing room. A virus, as José Mourinho once called it.

Now United are starting a new season with another player who would rather be elsewhere, but I will say without the slightest hesitation that they have to go to great lengths to keep Cristiano Ronaldo.

61115595 0 image a 40 1659730286232

Cristiano Ronaldo could be a huge advantage for Manchester United’s dressing room this season

Erik ten Hag must sit down with Ronaldo and get him aside for the season opener

Erik ten Hag must sit down with Ronaldo and get him aside for the season opener

Until he arrived last season, who was in that Manchester United dressing room for the kids to look at and say, ‘That’s how I want my career to be. I want to play like him and live like him’? No one. And who is there now? No one.

Ronaldo could sit in a room with all the greats in history – Di Stefano, Pele, Messi, anyone you want to name – and say, ‘I’ve been better than all of you.’ He would also have a very strong argument. He’s not my personal choice, but he can say that because of his longevity. Its consistency. His extraordinary goals.

Erik ten Hag would not have been happy to leave Old Trafford before the end of United’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano last weekend. But you’re dealing with someone whose ego would choke a horse — and rightly so, given what he’s brought to football.

He wanted to spend more than the first half on the pitch, but with the attitude this man has, he needs to be protected from himself at this stage of preparation.

At the age of 37 he starts to have muscle injuries. What an attitude. You are talking about the ultimate pro. Everyone in that dressing room, young and old, can watch him and learn something.

Knowing only the standards Sir Alex Ferguson had set, Ronaldo was stunned by the attitude of coddled younger players, the lack of respect for him and the poor decision-making that led United to decide it was a good idea to hire an interim manager. to employ. last November. An interim manager who tried to sell him in January.

Unsurprisingly, his agent Jorge Mendes kicked off the summer with a tour of potential buyers.

I don’t believe there is the slightest chance that Ronaldo and Mendes went on the run and let it be known that he wanted to leave without believing they had anything on the agenda. They would have done their homework first. But it didn’t happen.

Ronaldo is an all-time great and United would be foolish to let him leave this summer

Ronaldo is an all-time great and United would be foolish to let him leave this summer

Thomas Tuchel felt it wouldn’t fit his dynamic team and Chelsea’s long-term game plan. Bayern feel the same, but given that Robert Lewandowski has gone to Barcelona, ​​leaving Sadio Mane as their main target threat, they are a club clamoring for Ronaldo’s goals. More fooling them and Chelsea for not taking the opportunity, I say. But United can shape this to their advantage.

All the sounds we’ve heard from Ten Hag – encouraging sounds – were about instilling discipline and values, but he needs to be aware of the power of the modern player. It’s never been this big and that’s why managing it has never been so difficult.

If I were Ten Hag, I would want to sit in the room with Ronaldo, look him in the eye and say: ‘It’s different here. A different type of player is coming in now.’

United have shipped a load of the deadwood – players simply collect salary every month and contribute in no way to the cause.

I also don’t think Harry Maguire has been as bad as so-called experts would have you believe.

He lacked a strong partner. Raphael Varane came over from Real Madrid. There is usually a good reason why that club is willing to sell you one of their players. Just ask Arsenal fans about Mesut Ozil.

Ten Hag is attracting players he has worked with or knows before, such as Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, with possibly Antony and Frenkie de Jong to follow. Can all these players handle that pressure and expectation? Do they dare to take control? Does Ten Hag assess the leap in quality a bit?

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea missed a trick by not going and catching Ronaldo

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea missed a trick by not going and catching Ronaldo

Well, he buys what he knows – and he knows their characters. We’ll have to wait. But I do like what I hear. United have a better group of players than their sixth place last year showed. I see them finishing third or fourth. That would be progress.

When United gain momentum, they stop for a while. When things didn’t go well, the audience was fantastic.

You’re lucky to play at United because of the way the crowd is. We never had an easy game against them at Liverpool. They had warriors – from Bryan Robson to Martin Buchan, Norman Whiteside, Gordon McQueen and Joe Jordan. They didn’t roll over for anyone.

This is the perspective Ronaldo can build into the current generation – simply being one of the first players in Carrington every morning and the last one off the training ground after a session.

I’m sure he doesn’t enjoy the idea of ​​a Europa League season when the Champions League has always been his podium, but there would be wonderful circularity if he could restore the success where he once had such a big share from wax from.

“The football genius who returned to drag one of the world’s greatest clubs out of the wilderness.” That’s an epitaph.

Sparky is right. I was wrong to train with!

It’s good to see Mark Hughes back in the game as Bradford City manager.

For me, Mark will always be the player who helped my Blackburn Rovers team win the 2002 League Cup final against the Spurs.

I grimaced when he described in an interview in this sports column last week how it irritated him when I joined training at Blackburn as a manager. I think Mark was right in feeling that way. It was a bit selfish of me and it backfired at times.

I had a confrontation with Dwight Yorke after I put him on his ass during a workout one day in Blackburn. I was so determined not to let Dwight lower his standards after he left Manchester United for us.

Mark won’t train, but I just loved football too much. If I could, I’d still be playing today.

Mark Hughes was right when he called on managers to get involved in training sessions

Mark Hughes was right when he called on managers to get involved in training sessions

Klopp had a harder time than Pep…

Jurgen Klopp v Pep Guardiola will be the subject of much discussion here in the coming weeks. This season tests their verdict on forwards: Erling Haaland v Darwin Nunez.

What I would say going into the season is that Jurgen has had the tougher legacy and tougher task of the two.

He had to come in, make big decisions and earn his stripes.

Pep and his staff have had an incredible run with their recruiting. But Pep joined a club that had won the title twice in five years, under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini. Jurgen joined someone who hadn’t won the title in 25 years. Pep’s net expenses are £530 million. Jurgen’s is £260 million.

Pep could afford to leave his new England international Kalvin Phillips on the bench in the Community Shield last Sunday. But Jurgen’s relatively modest summer signing – with Nunez, Calvin Ramsay as right-back and Fulham’s Fabio Carvalho – looks like a return to Bob Paisley who modified 14-man squads during my time at Anfield.

With Paisley, it was evolution, not revolution, and it made us series winners of the title.

Jürgen Klopp (right) job at Liverpool was tougher than Pep Guardiola (left) job at Man City

Jürgen Klopp (right) job at Liverpool was tougher than Pep Guardiola (left) job at Man City

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More