Ronaldo can’t keep saving Solskjaer at Man Utd – Sir Alex should be concerned

Join the Secret Elves to get first access to our exclusive reviews of the must-have products this year.

As sticking plasters go, it will be one Manchester United will never want to rip off.

But the harsh truth is that even the genius of Cristiano Ronaldo is not the cure for United's long-term problems.

The Ronaldo roadshow is in full swing now and those with a ticket should feel privileged to get to see him work his magic in English football once again.

Ronaldo is still so transfixing at the ripe old age of 36. Still more than capable of changing the mood of an entire club and winning games his team has no right to.

There was a perfect example of this in midweek when Ronaldo sent a minor tremor around Manchester with a last-gasp winner to secure a precious Champions League triumph over Villarreal.

Even by United's historic standards, the scenes at the final whistle were something to behold. Delirious supporters just didn't want to go home.

That's what Ronaldo does and moments like this one are why United bosses brought him back to his spiritual home.

Sir Alex Ferguson looked on from the posh seats with a smile akin to a kid at Christmas. Having been so instrumental in brokering the deal to re-sign Ronaldo, he couldn't have been more proud.

But behind those smiles of Uncle Alex should be a huge degree of concern, because results like these are achieving nothing more tangible than glossing over the fact United are still a team treading water under the leadership of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Villarreal outplayed United for long spells and looked what United didn't – like a team well coached instead of one made up of talented individuals too reliant on their own gifts than a genuine identity and process.

Ronaldo is now transcending United. He's become the main event and has engulfed his own manager. And Fergie has played such a big role in creating this new narrative.

Fergie used to bang a constant drum by insisting no single star would ever be bigger than United and he was right, but Ronaldo bucks this trend.

Fergie was the main man for so long and that's what Solskjaer should now be, but having Ronaldo back in his team is as much a problem as it is a luxury.

The romance of this scenario is all well and good, but at some point United's powerbrokers will have to confront the fact that the club will not become the most successful one in England again while Solskjaer remains the manager.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich realised this at his own place, when it dawned on him that appointing a legend of a player as the boss guaranteed nothing.

Frank Lampard was sacked, replaced by a manager who also happens to be a great coach and the results were startling. European champions within six months.

Solskjaer is struggling to get United out of the group stages, let alone win the biggest prize of them all, feeding the narrative that his acumen at the highest and most demanding level of management is nowhere near where it has to be.

The Norwegian is likeable, affable and solid. He's also now one of the leading characters in a love story gripping a monster of a club, but one destined to end in heartbreak.

How refreshing is it to see some of European football's biggest clubs get bloodied noses?

No-one has taken a bigger blow to the face than Carlo Ancelotti following his side's astonishing Champions League defeat to Moldovan minnows Sherriff Tiraspol in the Bernabeu.

Ancelotti is the manager of Real Madrid, 13-time European champions and one of the leading protagonists in the failed European Super League project.

But he's not alone in feeling a little sore.

Those other bastions of Spanish football, Barcelona, lurch from one crisis to another after losing 3-0 to Benfica, Manchester City went down to Paris Saint Germain while Manchester United crashed to Young Boys earlier this month.

Don't miss a thing with our football updates!

Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?

Well then sign up for the brilliant Daily Star football email newsletter!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox – don't miss a thing.

How do you sign up?

It only takes a matter of seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.

And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.

You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.

Tottenham, meanwhile, who were also desperate to be part of the doomed ESL, faced Slovenian minnows NS Mura, formed nine years ago, in the European Conference League last night in front of less than 4,000 fans.

The same Spurs that reached the 2019 Champions League final. Talk about being brought down a peg or two!

It feels like the role of the underdog is just as important as ever. It's how it should be and for some of those who look down on the rest with sneering arrogance, large doses of humble pie and humility are starting to feature heavily on the menu.

  • Manchester United FC
  • Premier League
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • Champions League
  • Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Frank Lampard
  • Christmas

Source: Read Full Article