Former Manchester United star Gary Neville believes that the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo has created a problem that Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must solve.
Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford on summer transfer deadline day in a £20million move from Serie A giants Juventus.
It has been a happy return for Ronaldo in an individual sense, with the 36-year-old having scored five goals in six games for United since he signed again.
But in a wider sense, the transfer is yet to fully click, with Solskjaer’s men having won just twice in their last seven matches in all competitions.
And Neville believes that the cause of those problems is Ronaldo’s lack of work-rate when defending.
“With it [the transfer] comes big positives, but with it also comes problems. Ronaldo had to be managed shall we say,” he told The Overlap Fan Debate 2.0.
“In the 2008 Barcelona semi-final away from home, Cristiano Ronaldo was shoved up front on his own, and Rooney and Ji-Sung Park were shoved wide, and Tevez was brought back to [mark] Busquets.
“You couldn't carry him in the big games because he generally doesn't work hard enough. So he's playing up front now – you're never going to press from the front.
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“So the idea that Manchester United can become a pressing team with Cristiano up front is never going to happen. He wasn't pressing 10-15 years ago.”
Neville has now told Solskjaer that he must find a solution to that problem, if United are to challenge for major honours with Ronaldo in the team.
“So, what you say then is, 'what's the style of Manchester United?', well they're a counter-attack team,” he added.
“That becomes difficult when you're playing against teams that are inferior to you most of the time. So, what you get is teams like Aston Villa and Everton counter-attacking.
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“A half-decent team against Manchester United will cut through them. That's a problem, they've got to stop that.
“There is big decisions that Ole is going to have to make in the next few weeks to compensate for Ronaldo coming.
“What they have to find now is a way of playing with Ronaldo in there. I support the signing, I love him to bits, but United have to find a way playing to compensate for him.”
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