Manchester United great Gary Neville has weighed in on the ongoing debate surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The legendary Norwegian brought in the world-class Portuguese during the past summer, much to the delight of excited fans.
United largely had a successful transfer window, bringing in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, and Tom Heaton alongside the aforementioned Ronaldo.
However, supporters felt there was a missed chance to address a key weakness in midfield, with some going as far as to claim that failure will result in Solskjaer’s downfall.
Nonetheless, there is recognition with the signings made, particularly Ronaldo, that the pressure is on the former Molde man to deliver.
Neville’s analysis can be seen in the video below or you can read the quotes after the video, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Gary Neville says Cristiano Ronaldo's reaction at the end of the draw against Everton put extra pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 👇 pic.twitter.com/tXkJXRBgs3
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2021
Neville said: “I watched him [Ronaldo] walk off and I can’t say I like it.
“Is Cristiano upset when he doesn’t play? Yes. Is Cristiano upset when he doesn’t score? Yes. Is Cristiano annoyed as hell when the team don’t win? Of course.
“We know those things. He doesn’t have to prove that.
“He walked off the pitch muttering to himself, which throws the questions up in the air – what’s he saying? Who is he annoyed with?
“It can only come back to the manager. Actions like that – and Cristiano is smart enough to know this – will bring real pressure on the manager, more pressure than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already under.
‘I think that is something that just has to be managed in the next couple of months. Cristiano is not always going to score, he’s maybe not going to play every single game.
“But I think if he walks off like that, it’s going to put immense pressure on Solskjaer. There’s no doubt the talk after the game was about the manager.
“He has this collection of players but they haven’t got this style of play, they haven’t got this or that. He didn’t pick Ronaldo…
‘I think he has to look after himself, Ole, be selfish and make sure he manages Cristiano is such a way – and he will do, he’s managed Paul Pogba for the last couple of years pretty well.
“I think he will have a word with Cristiano and say, ‘look, come on, if you’re going to do that, let’s do in in the changing room’.
“Ultimately, you doing that on the pitch brings extra pressure, he does have that reputation and I don’t think it would have helped Ole in that situation.
“But on the other hand, Cristiano is not a sheep either, he’s not just going to follow and not show anything, he will demonstrate his dislike and lack of happiness with that situation.
“I do think with those players signed, recognised world-class talents, there does come a pressure to deliver.
“When I said last week it was make or break for Ole, he knows that, he said that in his press conference. I think he recognises you have to win a trophy when you’re three or four years in and have players like that.”
Too much shouldn’t be read into Ronaldo’s body language or whenever he demonstrates his unhappiness as that could have everything to do with the situation and nothing to do with feelings towards Solskjaer himself.
The former Real Madrid man will naturally be watched by all the cameras of the world, particularly when Manchester United get negative results, but it doesn’t have to mean more than what it did.
Any of the players would have been unhappy with conceding the way they did and drawing to Everton but their reactions perhaps would have been missed, despite their obvious love for Solskjaer.