Man Utd’s Cristiano Ronaldo tactic backfires despite Gary Neville predicting downfall

Despite resigning Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, Manchester United have endured a difficult season and their downfall is one predicted by Gary Neville back in August

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Rangnick explains Ronaldo absence for Man Utd in derby defeat

Manchester United ‘s alleged ploy of signing Cristiano Ronaldo to appease the club’s fanbase, according to Gary Neville, hasn’t paid off.

The Portuguese superstar made a sensational Old Trafford return on deadline day of last summer, rejoining from Juventus, 12 years after he departed for Real Madrid.

United reportedly swooped in to pinch the five-time Ballon d’Or winner from under the noses of fierce rivals Manchester City, much to the jubilation of the club’s fanbase.

However, the pre-season expectation from United’s faithful has since been replaced with ongoing frustration following the club’s recent struggles, and this weekend’s defeat has only compounded matters.

Despite resigning Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United have struggled to compete in the Premier League this season

United were humiliated 4-1 by neighbours City at the Etihad on Sunday, leading to widespread condemnation from pundits and fans alike.

The Red Devils’ latest setback, coupled with Arsenal’s win over Watford, means the Ralf Rangnick ‘s side have fallen to fifth in the Premier League standings, a point adrift of the Gunners having played three games more.

The resigning of Ronaldo was seen as a significant move by United in order to bridge the gap to the likes of City, Liverpool and Chelsea at the league’s summit, however, Neville saw it differently.

The ex-United right-back claimed the purchase of Ronaldo – alongside Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho – was an attempt by the club’s owners, the Glazer family, to silence United’s fanbase, but suggested it merely “papered over the cracks”.

“The Glazers have done what they normally do when they get put under pressure,” Neville told Sky Sports back in August. “They make two or three signings and basically, it shuts people up.

“I think there are deep-rooted issues at United.

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Gary Neville questioned the motives behind Ronaldo’s signing and predicted United’s downfall at the start of the season


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“They couldn’t let Ronaldo go to Manchester City. They’ve had it in the past with the likes of [Alexis] Sanchez when he was going to Man City and they stepped in.

“They had to step in at this point, whether they wanted to or not is another matter. No Man United fan can complain with the three players they’ve got this summer.”

The apparent ploy to appease the club’s fanbase is a tactic that has clearly backfired, with United languishing down in fifth in the Premier League table, a whopping 22 points behind league leaders City.

While United’s downfall has come as a surprise to some, it was one Neville predicted back at the start of the season.

United are in real danger of missing out on Champions League football next season


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Back then, Neville prophesied that his former side would flatter to deceive this campaign, with the arrival of Ronaldo doing little to boost their chances of competing for the Premier League crown.

“I made the prediction on Monday Night Football that it would finish Man City, Chelsea and Man United I’m not going to change that.

“I don’t think the Ronaldo signing makes them a better team than Chelsea, who won the Champions League last season, and Man City, who were 20 points clear.”

United’s supporters remain frustrated as the club’s crisis continues.

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