Michael Owen criticises Man United for Ronaldo 'abuse' after Chelsea benching 5 months ago

Michael Owen criticises Man United for Ronaldo 'abuse' after Chelsea benching

'That’s almost abuse!'

Michael Owen believes that Manchester United's decision to play Cristiano Ronaldo as a single striker is bordering on "abuse".

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The Portuguese captain was dropped to the bench by caretaker manager Michael Carrick for United's 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday November 28.

While the Portugal captain has been criticised on occasions this season for his defensive efforts, he has still registered 10 goals and two assists in 15 appearances for United since his return to Old Trafford in the summer.

Considering this, many people questioned Carrick's decision to drop the 36-year-old for the Red Devils' visit to Stamford Bridge.

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Owen - who played with Carrick for three years at United between 2009 and 2012 - claimed that the club's use of Ronaldo and his "more talented team-mates" gives them "no chance."

"We were at Old Trafford for the City game the other day and all of a sudden it’s just exactly the same: they leave Cristiano Ronaldo up front on his own," the former Liverpool striker told Premier League Productions.

"That’s almost abuse!

"Having someone that good in your team and then playing everyone defensively and saying: 'That’s alright, we’ll just hope he nicks a goal,' he’ll end up being average.

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"If you leave him and all these good players or just two of them playing and everyone else defending, they’ll start putting in bad performances because they’ve got nobody to pass to, they’ve got no options, they’re chipping the ball from 50 yards away."

The 41-year-old went on to add that the Red Devils need "other players" to help the forwards, emphasising the importance of getting United's "world class" players into the team.

He added: "They need other players to come up and help them.

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"It’s almost abusing the good players they’ve got and that’s the last thing you’ve got to do. If anything, expose the rubbish!

"Find ways of getting world class players in your team, get [Paul] Pogba, get [Bruno] Fernandes, get Ronaldo, get them as best as you can."

Owen also suggested that adopting an attacking approach would help United to replace the "not great" players.

"If you let a few goals in because [Eric] Bailly’s not great or [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka or whoever it may be then fine, you can replace them," he said.

"But at the minute, because they’re nervous and scared they just bulk up with sitting midfielders and more defenders, they abuse the great players up front, leaving half of them on the bench and playing one or two.

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"They’ve got no chance!"

It is expected that the stalemate at the Bridge will be Carrick's last game in charge as interim boss at United, with the arrival of former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick confirmed on Monday November 29.

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