Right now don’t you almost wish to go back to the euphoric moment Cristiano Ronaldo joined the club and the exciting few days which followed, along with his two goal debut?
The optimism, emotion, and excitement was off the scale, with real hope United were on the verge of something special.
While going back to re-experience the excitement would provide a feeling of happiness Manchester United fans crave right now, we wonder if given the chance, Cristiano Ronaldo would choose to come back at all?
Perhaps that’s an extreme choice for him to make. Ronaldo should not regret the brief happiness he has provided, nor any one of his nine goals so far.
But United’s terrible form over the last two months has seen the team fall apart on the pitch. Ronaldo has done his best to hold it together. United look disjointed, disorganised, and clueless.
Battle for the top four?
Ronaldo rejoined in part because he hoped to be signing up for a Premier League title battle.
One of the reasons he left Juventus was due to the way they scraped a four place last season. They were trending in the wrong direction, and Ronaldo is a winner.
Now he knew it would not be easy at United. But Ronaldo surely would not have thought it would be this hard.
The team are nine points off the top of the league already, sitting in sixth place, behind an Arsenal side which did not have a single point after three games when Ronaldo’s signing was announced.
Ronaldo did not want to be fighting for the top four again. Right now with one win from the last six games, United seem fortunate to even be in contention. At present the team are five points back from the Champions League places.
Ronaldo will have one eye on 2022/23
Amid concern about how this season is going, Ronaldo will be worried about what lies ahead in 2022/23.
A player regarded as the world’s best by many, a perennial contender for every year’s Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo will not want to be playing Europa League football.
Worse still, the trajectory United are on, he could end up in the European Conference League, or not in Europe at all.
What then for Ronaldo? United’s saving grace might be the 2022 World Cup, which he will be focused on, and a lack of European football might streamline his attention for what could be his last crack at the international tournament missing from his collection.
He certainly won’t want Europa League football as a distraction heading into the tournament.
So this places utmost importance on United ensuring at minimum, the team qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Fail to do so, and it is not impossible Ronaldo seeks to move on after just one year, with the club unable to match his ambition.
Ronaldo is on a two year contract which could be extended for a third, but he would not cost a high fee for a club who wanted to sign him.
The prospect of losing Ronaldo should not even be being discussed right now, but that’s how low United have sunk over the last two months.
It also makes it even more bizarre the Glazers are sticking by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who looks like a lame duck at this point.
Surely the prospects of the Ronaldo merchandise drying up next year and a lack of Champions League football would be alarming to the club?
United’s board don’t appear to recognise what a dire situation the club’s form threatens to put us in. Something needs to change quickly, and if it is not the results, then it must be the manager.
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