Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher have criticised Cristiano Ronaldo for his lack of defensive contribution and feel he is a ‘massive problem’ for the next Manchester United coach.
The Portuguese forward netted in his team’s 2-0 win over Villarreal, taking his tally in the Champions League this season to six, while he has also bagged four goals and two assists in the Premier League.
But, both Carragher and Henry feel his individual stats are obscuring his detrimental impact on the team as a whole and the Red devils need more work rate and pressing from him.
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‘How can a club the size of Manchester United still rely on a guy who’s [nearly] 37? He was unbelievable, his goal record is unbelievable, but if he doesn’t score he is a passenger in the game,’ Carragher told CBS Sports.
‘You have to accept that, that’s a fact. But he scores nearly every game so at the moment you can accept it. ‘If Cristiano Ronaldo went four or five games without scoring, that’s a massive problem for Manchester United.’
Chiming in, Henry added: ‘I totally agree, but the problem is when your poison is your medicine you will struggle.
‘You watch the game [against Villarreal], at the end Ronaldo saves them, but when they play they are exposed sometimes because they don’t defend as a unit. And we all know if you don’t do that you cannot win games.
‘And, by the way, we’re talking about winning the Champions League and winning the title in England, not finishing second, third, fourth and going to the quarter-finals and semi-finals. We’re talking about winning, and if you want to win you’ve all got to run.’
Carragher continued: ‘We’ve watched Paris Saint-Germain twice against Man City, a team at their level, and they battered them for two games because they’re not getting help defensively.
‘Look at Manchester United’s defensive record this season. I’m not just saying that’s down to Ronaldo, that’s the whole team, their organisation is all over the place.
‘But if you haven’t got 11 men fighting for each other, intense, working like we see the other top teams do, you’ve got a massive [problem] and it’s a knock-on effect right through the team.’