Harry Maguire is the Man United skipper but many felt Cristiano Ronaldo, with the countless trophies to his name and his years of experience, would be a better fit
Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-awaited Manchester United return has been far from the fairytale it was cracked up to be.
While the Portugal international has been in the goals this campaign, netting eight in the Premier League alone, he’s largely been unable to positively drive results.
The Red Devils are currently fifth in the table, only a point behind West Ham in fourth, but a staggering 21 behind leaders Manchester City.
At the start of the season, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge and Ronaldo had only been back for two minutes, there was talk over who should captain United.
Harry Maguire is the Red Devils skipper but many felt Ronaldo, with the countless trophies to his name and his years of experience, would be a better fit.
According to The Sun at the time, the Man United squad was keen for the forward to take a ‘bigger and more regular role’ in the dressing room.
It was hoped that Ronaldo would bridge the gap between staff and players and help influence a new age for the Red Devils.
But Ronaldo snubbed the request on the basis he didn’t want to tread on Maguire’s toes.
Ronaldo was aware that Maguire wears the armband for Man United and he didn’t want to be seen to be standing in his spotlight.
As the season got underway, Solskjaer struggled for results and was eventually sacked, with Ralf Rangnick replacing him until the end of the season.
Maguire, too, started the season poorly, but there was hope that things would improve following Rangnick’s takeover at Old Trafford.
So far, though, Maguire has flattered to deceive.
The England international was recently criticised by both Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand and was blamed for United conceding against Burnley, which cost them two points.
A few weeks before this latest disappointing result for United, Ronaldo spoke to Sky Sports, where he touched upon a number of issues at Old Trafford.
In an explosive interview, he discussed the younger players and claimed they were unable to take criticism.
He also called for unity in the ranks.
“We have to be together. We are in the same boat and we knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t be easy. New year we have to believe it is possible, but we have a lot to change, but I believe we will have a good season,” said Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s fairytale return to Man United is not what it was cracked up to be
“It’s difficult to be honest when you change too much, it’s always tough but I still believe that we are capable of having a good season.
“We have to be professional, we have to work hard, we have to work together as players to change the page. We know we are not in the best moment, but I believe that if we work hard we can achieve important things this year.”
Ronaldo’s comments suggested he was about to U-turn on his earlier decision to snub being a ‘bigger and more regular role’ in the dressing room.
This would no doubt help both Rangnick and Maguire; the latter clearly struggling to shoulder the weight of expectation on his shoulders at current.
But Ronaldo’s reaction to the 1-1 draw with Burnley, where he stormed off down the tunnel and failed to clap the travelling fans – a decision that was slammed – suggests he will not be going back on his word and Maguire is alone in leading the dressing room.