Is Zidane the only manager left for Ronaldo’s Manchester United?

Cristiano Ronaldo is causing problems at Manchester United again. The pool of potential new leaders gets smaller for each exhibit of his ego.

United were 1-0 ahead of Young Boys, and Ronaldo, after scoring, was seen standing next to Ole Gunnar Solskjær on the sideline, waving his arms and shouting at players and officials. It was the first case of many subsequent demonstrations of what some dismiss as passion and a desperation to win, and others see as a complete lack of self-awareness and overbearing egomania.

Buzzing on the bench, storming off down the tunnel, sheep angry at teammates for not passing him on, and encourages his teammates to ‘support Solskjær regardless of his tactics’. All these moments paint a picture of a narcissistic prima donna with whom we do not want to share a cup of coffee, let alone a training ground.

Whether these stories are true does not matter. From the outside, Ronaldo has made United a less comfortable place to work, and when it comes to potential managers to replace Solskjær, his mere presence has thinned out the herd.

That’s a little weird. He is one of the greatest football players the world has ever seen, almost certainly the greatest professional. Any leader ought to jump at the opportunity to work with such a. But it just seems like he would be incredibly draining to work with.

The fact that Ronaldo is even included in the list of odds to replace Solskjær, gives a fairly clear indication of the bookmakers’ thoughts – and thus the wider public – about who has the power in United. The fact that he is the sixth favorite on 25/1 with two of the bigger bookmakers, strengthens this perception and illustrates how few options are considered viable for United. Only Brendan Rodgers, Zinedine Zidane, Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick are thought to be more likely than Ronaldo to become the next United boss. In the absence of leaders who are able to handle, or are willing to put up with, Ronaldo, just let Ronaldo do it himself.

Gone are the days when leaders were omnipotent – stamped their authority and refused to bow. There is now room for more than one voice in the locker room, and not invoking Ronaldo’s experience would be a big waste. But the manager needs their voice to resonate, to be heard above all others to avoid a situation where Ronaldo’s teammates blindly follow him in battle with little more than a few buzzwords from a great footballer, rather than with strategy and method from a great tactician shrinks in the corner.

We are not talking about Solskjær, of course, but whether Graham Potter, Erik ten Hag or any other manager with a tactical nose, but a perceived lack of impact, whether due to an understandard player career, to manage in a league considered unworthy, or any other weakness that would allow the media to pull in a thread of disrespect.

Imagine that Potter, a man only ten years older than Ronaldo, who has managed Ostersund, Swansea and Brighton, shows up at United’s training ground and tells the five-time Champions League winner that if he wants to be on his team, have to hit the ball. It will not happen; it can not happen. And that’s a shame.

We are not saying that Potter or any other candidate that Ronaldo has rendered useless would be the answer to United’s problems, but they could have been, and now they can not get that opportunity without a promise to bow to Ronaldo’s every wish. . In the absence of respect, the pandery would be the only resort. Yes, Mr Ronaldo. Of course, Mr Ronaldo.

But it’s not just one of Potter’s relative inexperience had to prove himself to Ronaldo. Rodgers, Ten Hag, Rangnick, even Pochettino, first had to face the Ronaldo challenge directly before they could figure out how to win football matches. With Antonio ‘no sh * t taking’ Conte on his way to Spurs, it’s not quite Zidane or anyone, but it’s not far off.

Some will say that if a manager does not have the means to manage Ronaldo effectively, then that manager is not the right one for Manchester United. It will probably be the same people who reject Ronaldo’s lack of pressure and refuse to accept that one man to good at scoring goals can be flawed in any way.

Jamie Carragher predicted that Ronaldo would “create more problems than he solves” at United. It is more a matter of debate on the field, where goal scoring can remedy all possible ills. Off the field is another matter. Unless United can persuade Zidane, Solskjær could just as well continue to rule, as almost everyone else would be the ‘manager’ of Ronaldo’s Manchester United.


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