October 5, 2021 || 10:56 am

Cristiano Ronaldo should have started against Everton, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s deci’sion to use Cristiano Ronaldo as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-1 d”raw with Everton has been criti’cised by the Manchester United ma”nager’s own men’tor, Sir Alex Fe’rguson.

Rona:ldo sat on the b’ench until the 57th minute. Un:ited were lea”ding 1-0 when he came on, only for Everton to score an eq’ualiser thr’ough An:dros Townse’nd as United’s recent ‘ form cont’inued.


In a vid’eo w’hich eme’rged on Twitt’er Fer’guson, w’ho played a signi’ficant ro’le in bri’nging Ronaldo ba’ck to Old Trafford, is heard to question Solskjær’s te’am selec’tion.

Filmed talking to the fo’rmer mixed martial arts cham’pion an’d United fan Khabib Nur’magomedov in the directors’ lounge at O”’ld Trafford after the Pre”mier League match, Ferguson app’ears to suggest Ronaldo shoul’d have started.

“I also think that wh’en they saw Ronaldo wasn’t pla’ying …” says Ferguson. He is th’en interrupted by the Russian, ‘who points out: “He came on in the’ seco’nd half.” Ferguson follo’ws th’at up by saying: “Of course. But I also think that when they [Ev’erton] saw Ronaldo wa’sn’t playing …”

United have won one of th’eir last four matches, when Ro’naldo scored a late win’ner in the Champi’ons Lea’gue aga’inst Villarreal last week. Que’stions have been rais’ed about Solskjær’s continuing suitab’ility as a successor to Ferg’uson, who managed the cl’ub to 13 Premier League titles an’d won the Champions Lea’gue twice.

Solskjær, a player un’der Ferguson from 1996 to 2007, and United’s manager since Dec’ember 2018, has made great pla’y of his relationship with his form’er boss, frequently harking bac’k to working under the Scot, 79, and now a di’rector and club ambassa’dor. As yet, he has been una’ble to lift a trophy, with United losing in la’st se’ason’s Europa League fin’al to Villarreal on penalties.

Mike Phel’an, Fergu’son’s assi’stant in his later ye’ars, has meanwhile been hand’ed a n’ew deal until June 2024, the len’gth of his contract matching that of Sols’kjær, who signed a sim’ilar exte’nsion in July

Phelan retur’ned to the clu’b to work along’side Sols’kjær when the Norwegian replaced José Mourinho, initi’ally as an int’erim appoint’ment be’fore the position was made perm’anent la’ter in the 2018-19 sea’son.



Handing Phe’lan tha’t dea’l suggests the Glazer fam’ily ow’nership’s satisfaction with the current managerial setup, des’pite recent results. Rona’ldo, a 5-times Ballon d’Or winn’er, ‘has score’d five goals in six appea’rances sin’ce his return to the club he first pla’yed for fr’om 2003 to 20’09.

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