Manchester United

Gary Neville believes Man Utd can never become 'a pressing team with Cristiano Ronaldo up front'

Ali Shibil Roshan
Gary Neville says Ronaldo's arrival brings 'problems' alongside 'big positives' to Man Utd
Gary Neville says Ronaldo's arrival brings 'problems' alongside 'big positives' to Man Utd / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Gary Neville believes Manchester United can never become a pressing team with Cristiano Ronaldo playing up front.

Ronaldo has been impressive for Man Utd since re-joining the Red Devils in the summer transfer window, but while he delivers on the attacking front, his defensive contributions are, obviously and understandably, not of the highest standards.

Neville believes Ronaldo's arrival has also brought 'problems' alongside the 'big positives' to Man Utd, and he insists the Old Trafford-outfit can never become a pressing team with the 36-year-old, who 'wasn't pressing 10-15 years ago', on the pitch.

"With it comes big positives, but with it also comes problems. Ronaldo had to be managed shall we say..." Neville said on the latest edition of Sky’s The Overlap series [via SPORTbible].

“In the 2008 Barcelona semi-final away from home, Cristiano Ronaldo was shoved up front on his own, and [Wayne] Rooney and Ji-sung Park were shoved wide, and [Carlos] Tevez was brought back to [mark] [Sergio] 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. 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.

“So what you say then is, 'What's the style of Manchester United?' Well, they're a counter-attack team.

"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.

"A half-decent team against Manchester United will cut through them. That's a problem, they've got to stop that."


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