Man United in 2021: Ronaldo's return, Ole out and Rangnick revolution
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised by Gabriel Agbonlahor in the wake of Manchester United’s draw with Newcastle on Monday night. The Red Devils went into the game hoping to build on recent victories over Norwich City and Crystal Palace. However, they instead dropped points amid their pursuit of Champions League football for next season.
It was another chastening night for United, who were inferior to Newcastle throughout the showdown at St James’ Park.
Allan Saint-Maximin put the Toon ahead, causing the Red Devils all sorts of problems down the right flank.
Yet United were able to leave with a point through Edinson Cavani, who found the net for just the second time this season.
Throughout the contest on Tyneside, Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure.
The Portugal international, on multiple occasions, threw his arms into the air and vented at his team-mates – with Marcus Rashford among those on the receiving end of his criticism.
And talkSPORT’s Gabriel Agbonlahor has now taken aim at the 36-year-old, insisting he’s having a negative impact on the likes of Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood.
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“If you’re Greenwood, Rashford or Sancho and you make a bad pass or a bad cross, you’re looking at Ronaldo and he’s throwing his arms up!
“Why can’t he be like ‘oh unlucky, next time’ like Cavani when he came on?
“Rashford messed up his kick and Cavani was clapping him, saying ‘next time’.
“I understand he’s one of the best but the younger players coming through need the senior players to give them a hand when they’re not playing well.
“Confidence is low. It’s all about Ronaldo, running off the pitch after the game because he hasn’t got his goal.
“I feel he needs to do more to be a team player.”
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Agbonlahor isn’t the only person to have an issue with Ronaldo following the game against Newcastle.
Gary Neville also vented his fury at the Portugal forward, insisting he’s been unhappy with his body language for two months.
“It’s annoyed me for about two months,” the former United captain fumed on Sky Sports.
“The best players in your team, it’s devastating when they’re showing that look and body language to the younger ones. They have to help them.
“They have to be the father, the grandparent in the team.
“I made massive mistakes at Man Utd but I had great senior players who would have a go at me but also put their arm around me I think there’s something wrong.
“You can’t run off at the end of a game. Bruno is whinging all the time; he’s been sensational for Man Utd. The two centre-backs were poor at the back, Maguire is having a nightmare season.
“You’ve got to be there when your team-mates need you in those moments.
“At the end of the day, I love that lad [Ronaldo], he’s the best I’ve ever seen in my life at times, but don’t run off like that. I’m not having that.”
Rangnick didn’t address Ronaldo’s rage after the match.
Yet he did take aim at his side for their poor performance, insisting he ‘didn’t like it’.
“I didn’t like it [the performance] at all. We’ve been trying to get better at controlling games – today, we didn’t control the game apart from a few moments,” he said.
“It’s all about energy, physicality and who wins the second balls and the transitional moments and, in all those areas, we were not at our best.
“In the end, we got a point but the performance overall needs to get better.
“Against Palace, we were better, that was a different game and we played at home.
“We then had two away games at Norwich and here at Newcastle and, as I said, it’s about physicality, it’s about energy… you have to be ready and able to win those direct duels and this was not that often the case.
“Even when we were in possession of the ball, we had too many giveaways, including the goal that we conceded and, if after seven minutes you are one-goal down at St James’ Park, then it doesn’t make things easier.”
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