The Effect Of Cristiano Ronaldo Incident On Manchester United Dressing Room – Alan Shearer
Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer said Cristiano Ronaldo’s’selfish’ decision to walk down the tunnel before the end of the midweek match against Tottenham was like a ‘flamethrower to the dressing room.’
Ronaldo refused to play against Tottenham on Wednesday night and trudged down the Old Trafford tunnel before the final whistle. As a result, United manager Erik ten Hag has left the 37-year-old out of the Reds’ squad to face Chelsea on Saturday evening, with the Portuguese star also training alone at Carrington.
His behavior during the win over Antonio Conte’s men drew intense criticism from former players and pundits, and Shearer, who was on commentary duty at the time, has bashed the forward’s actions once more.
“I should say right away that Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent behavior is completely unacceptable,” he wrote in his column for The Athletic.
“Showing respect to your teammates, manager, and supporters is one of the fundamentals of football, and refusing to come on as a substitute and retreating to the dressing room with a game still in progress, as Erik ten Hag has confirmed, is a flamethrower to one of the primary dressing-room codes.”
Such selfishness and egotism in a team game, where the core principle is that you’re all in it together win or lose, is deeply unclassy, and Ronaldo should be reprimanded by Manchester United as a result.
“His was an absolutely awful example to set, and it’s a shame that instead of focusing on their best performance of the season against Tottenham Hotspur, Ten Hag has been forced to speak about someone who only played on the outskirts.”
However, the footballer-turned-pundit did show some sympathy for Ronaldo, admitting that the United star must be feeling’strange’ to be one of Ten Hag’s substitutes.
“I get that his behavior appears bad – and it is bad,” Shearer continued, “but the context in Ronaldo’s case is how unimaginable it must feel to be normal.”
“How strange it must appear to be on the same planet as everyone else when you hold yourself to the best performing standards.” If you’re a natural force, and your force is blocked.”
” It must be challenging to have that on the horizon while knowing in your bones that you would still be banging in goals in different circumstances.
“I don’t condone his behavior, but I believe there is some mitigation.”
” There’s a gap between realizing you can’t do everything you used to, that you may have lost half a yard of speed, and actually having to accept it because you still have the same hunger, attitude, and mentality. It must be more difficult when you are a sensation like Ronaldo.
“Nobody desires to see him stropping down the touchline, and for that reason we have to go back to the beginning. His reaction was extremely negative, and it was not the first time. He ought to be bigger than that.”