The Red Devils have certainly seen better days. They’re currently seventh in the Premier League table – six points behind West Ham, who hold the fourth spot.
It’s not only their table position that worries fans. Their players simply directionless on the pitch, United are a team with no identity whatsoever.
One month after his appointment, Ralf Rangnick hasn’t managed to implement his philosophy yet.
It’s certainly not a question of talent. United have one of the best squads in Europe, particularly up front. While it is true that they’re thin in quality midfielders, their attacking prowess alone should be enough to overcome that.
Cristiano Ronaldo seems to agree. In an interview with Sky Sports, the Portuguese superstar has demanded better from his club.
Cristiano Ronaldo urges his teammates to do better in Sky interview
Most United fans would concede that a top-four finish this season would be a success after their initial struggles. However, Ronaldo doesn’t see things that way. Anything short of a top-three finish would be a massive failure for the Portuguese:
“Manchester United should win the league or be second or third. I don’t see other positions for Manchester United, to be honest. I don’t see. In my eyes, I don’t accept that our mentality be less than to be in the top three in the Premier League.”
“I don’t want to be here in a club to fight to be in sixth or seventh or fifth place, I’m here to try to win, to compete. I think we compete but we are not yet at our best level. Long way to improve and I believe if we change our mind, we can achieve big things.”
The interview then took a bizarre turn, with Ronaldo claiming that he knew the way for United to improve – but that he would not say it out loud:
“We are capable to change things now. I don’t know the specific way, I’m a player, not the coach, the president, I know the way but I’m not going to mention it here because I think it’s not ethic[al] [sic] from my part to say that.”
Ronaldo’s disconcerting message has left fans wondering whether he actually meant what he said. His statement could be read as a pointed message to his teammates and manager, implying that he knows better than them.
However, Ronaldo later clarified that he believes in Rangnick. United’s number seven has issued a plea for patience, reassuring fans that the German has already changed things at United.
“Since he arrived… he changed many things. But he needs time to put his ideas across to the players. I believe he’s going to do a good job. We know we aren’t playing the best but we have many games to improve.”
Should Ronaldo be captain? United fans are divided
Cristiano Ronaldo has brought about a mixed reaction with his interview. Some United fans, admiring his winning mentality, are campaigning for Ronaldo to be club captain:
“Cristiano Ronaldo should be the captain of Manchester United. Standards trickle down from the captain, and his mentality needs to be instilled into these players,” a fan said on Twitter, rapidly going viral.
Others were far more vehement in their opinions. “Makes me sick that Maguire is our captain when we have Ronaldo back at United”, an enraged United fan fumed after the interview came out.
The Red Devils’ armband has been a thorny issue all season long, with fans and pundits alike claiming that Harry Maguire is not fit for purpose.
However, not everyone agrees that Ronaldo should be United’s new captain. A few fans have slammed Ronaldo for his negative body language, urging him to lead by example with his performance on the pitch and not his words.
“Actions speak louder than words. Some running, positive body language and a stop to petulant behaviour when you lose will go a lot further than some empty soundbite,” a fan argued on Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Getty