Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismisses Ferdinand’s claim over Ronaldo ‘trying to do the manager’s job’


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hits back at Rio Ferdinand’s claim that Cristiano Ronaldo was trying to do his job against Young Boys as Manchester United boss insists superstar has fitted in brilliantly at Old Trafford

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at a suggestion made by Rio Ferdinand
  • Ferdinand indicated Cristiano Ronaldo was giving instructions to the team 
  • Solskjaer says Ronaldo was reacting to a refereeing decision versus Young Boys 
  • The United boss added that Ronaldo has settled back into life at the club well


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit out at former team-mate Rio Ferdinand for suggesting Cristiano Ronaldo was trying to do the manager’s job during their Champions League defeat by Young Boys on Tuesday.

Ferdinand said he would have ordered Ronaldo to sit down after claiming the 36-year-old superstar had hollered “instructions” from the technical area after being substituted in the 2-1 loss.

But Solskjaer has fired back by saying Ferdinand got his facts wrong and is adamant Ronaldo has not expected any special treatment since his return to Old Trafford. Ronaldo has scored three goals in the two games played so far and faces West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday.

 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissed Rio Ferdinand’s claims regarding Cristiano Ronaldo

Ferdinand suggested that Ronaldo was trying to do the manager's job against Young Boys

Ferdinand suggested that Ronaldo was trying to do the manager’s job against Young Boys

‘Rio, again, sometimes he comments on things he doesn’t really know,’ said Solskjaer about the TV pundit. ‘It should have been a yellow card for Martins Pereira when he brought down Nemanja Matic. Both Bruno [Fernandes] and Cristiano, as competitive as they are, suddenly I had them on my shoulder.

‘They were there for a brief spell and shouted to the referee. That was the aggravation of getting a few bad decisions against us. But then Cristiano sat down, Bruno sat down. We know only one man is allowed in that technical area and that’s either me or Carras [Michael Carrick], Mick [Phelan] or Kieran [McKenna].

‘It was just spur of the moment, he should have been sent off, so I don’t have any problem with them showing some passion and then going back down. It’s not like he [Ronaldo] was coaching the players, no.’

Ronaldo mania has broken out at United, though there have also been concerns his presence will restrict the likes of Mason Greenwood and impact on their style. But Solskjaer says he has not had to change things to accommodate one of football’s biggest legends and that Ronaldo has been a team player.

Solskjaer feels working with Ronaldo will benefit Mason Greenwood rather than restricting him

Solskjaer feels working with Ronaldo will benefit Mason Greenwood rather than restricting him

‘All new players, you manage the training sessions because they have to get used to the way we do things. But Cristiano has been here before, he knows how we do things and we have not really had to adapt any training at all,’ said the United boss.

‘Tactically, he gets what we want from him. It is about getting the best out of the team, not one player. You can say you want the best out of Bruno, you want the best out of Mason, you want the best out of Jadon [Sancho] or Anthony [Martial].

‘We have so many players, the whole point is we work together as a team. The stronger the collective, the more chance for an individual to get goals or assists, then we celebrate together.

‘Cristiano has come exactly as we hoped. He knows Man United, he’s been here before, the same with Tom Heaton who has also come back.

‘The two of them know the culture, they know what we do, they’ve learnt it here. They’ve given these young boys at the club glimpses of what you can have in your career.

‘They talk to them about their own previous experiences. How we do things here is within the walls and you have to experience it to be able to pass it on. Anthony Elanga, Mason, Marcus [Rashford] for that matter, Anthony Martial as well. They are still young players and can learn off the best.

‘They know the expectations and the circus and everything that happened before the Newcastle game, Cristiano handled it well and the other players handled it well. It’s what we do. Good players come in and you learn from them but you still want to take their place.’

Solskjaer doesn't mind fans dreaming of the title as long as he and the players are focused

Solskjaer doesn’t mind fans dreaming of the title as long as he and the players are focused

United also signed Sancho and World Cup winner Raphael Varane in the summer to raise expectations and Solskjaer does not mind fans dreaming of a first Premier League title win since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, as long as he and the players keep their eye on the ball.

‘That’s why you’re here, at the biggest club in the world,’ said Solskjaer. ‘It is called the Theatre of Dreams for a reason because, if you [the fans] don’t dream high, what are you there to support your team for? That’s for the supporters.

‘I’m grounded, the coaches are grounded. We know our expectations. We know we have good players. But we also know we’re in a competitive situation where every single game and every single training session counts and we can’t take our eye off the ball and dream.’

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