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02nd Dec 2021

Michael Carrick defends Cristiano Ronaldo against pressing “myth”

Simon Lloyd

Carrick insists Ronaldo will still be able to fit into Ralf Rangnick’s system

Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick has said it is a “myth” that Cristiano Ronaldo is unable to play in a pressing team.

Ronaldo has drawn criticism for a lack of effort in closing opponents down in recent weeks, with statistics in October showing he made fewer pressures than any other Premier League forward.

Some have questioned if Ronaldo, now 36, will be up to the demands of incoming interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who is famous for his intense pressing style.


Asked whether it was a myth that the Portugal captain could fit into such a system, Carrick said: “You just said it is a myth. Maybe it is a myth.

“Maybe that is how it is, he’s played in enough teams over the years being successful to play in a variety of ways and kept scoring goals for every team.

“I’m sure he will continue to score goals, there is no doubt about that.”

Following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal as United manager last month, Carrick started Ronaldo in the crucial Champions League group game with Villarreal, in which he opened the scoring. Against Chelsea at the weekend, Ronaldo was named as a substitute, coming on for Jadon Sancho in the second half.

Rangnick is yet to officially take charge of United as he awaits work permit clearance. Carrick, therefore, will again be responsible for picking the team as United welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Thursday evening.

United currently sit tenth in the Premier League, but a win would take them to within two points of Mikel Arteta’s side.

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