IF YOU WANT TO WIN MATCHES, DROP RONALDO TO BENCH – BARNES TO MAN U
Former Liverpool midfielder, John Barnes has urged Manchester United to drop Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench in an effort to concede fewer goals.
The 58-year-old football pundit believes that United should prioritize the needs of the team over the achievements of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, and that Ronaldo needs to help the team in the defensive phase when they lose the ball.
John Barnes believes Manchester United concede more goals because of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Manchester United need to prioritize the team, not the individual. If Ronaldo is scoring goals, but the team are losing – he’s part of that. You need players to run around when they’re not scoring,” Barnes told Bonus Code Bets.
The ex-England international extended his criticism to other members of the United attack, citing that it is not sustainable for the Old Trafford side to play with a forward line consisting of Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, and Marcus Rashford.
He reiterated that the team needs balance as playing these forwards at the same time would result in conceding more goals than they would score.
The ex-Liverpool player said: “Manchester United can’t afford to have Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, and Marcus Rashford on the pitch at the same time as they aren’t going to work defensively. They might score two goals, but concede more. The balance of the team is the most important thing.”
Barnes continued with his criticism of Ronaldo, saying that the 36-year-old is part of the problem at United.
“There’s no point scoring one and conceding two. That’s why the balance of the team should be important. The way Ronaldo is playing in terms of his goal scoring is fantastic, but when they don’t have the ball, he’s part of a front four who don’t work defensively,” he explained.
“There’s no point in saying that just because he’s scoring goals, we’re happy with him. If you’re losing games, the person who’s scoring a lot of goals is part of the reason why you’re not defending well.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is Manchester United’s highest goal scorer this season, netting 10 goals so far this season. However, United have underwhelmed, particularly in the Premier League where they sit eighth on the log.