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January 14, 2024

Manchester United continue to struggle for goals in Ronaldo's absence

Cristiano Ronaldo regretting his decision of returning to Man United

We all knew this was a strong possibility and roughly a year after Ronaldo left Man United, the club is still struggling to find identity. Ronaldo, on the other hand, is firing in all cylinders in Saudi Arabia...

It still seems almost laughable that Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag thought getting rid of Cristiano Ronaldo was a good idea. Instead of excelling in his absence, the club has gone backwards, and the decline at the club is only getting worse in the 2023/24 season. So far this season, Ten Hag's Manchester United have been bombed out of the UEFA Champions League and the Carabao Cup. Any chance of winning the Premier League title has gone, and it looks like it's going to be a struggle to even finish in the top four...

Cristiano Ronaldo - Legendary moments at Man United:

The bookmakers don't give United much chance of success this season

So, what do the bookmakers' think? Well, it’s embarrassing for the Red Devils. To win the Premier League, United are at a price of 250/1, while in the latest Paddy Power football odds for a top-four finish, United are 13/1. That makes them seventh in the betting, just one point better than Brighton, who are 14/1. The only saving grace is that United aren't currently listed in the latest Premier League relegation odds.

However, if they keep performing as they are, it won't be long before they do find themselves involved in that betting market.

Lack of goals

So where has it all gone wrong for Manchester United in the 2023/24 season? Quite simply, in front of goal. In their opening 20 matches of the current season, United scored just 22 goals. That’s less than everybody except Crystal Palace, Burnley and Sheffield United at the 20-game point.

The talk at the time of Ronaldo's departure was that he wasn't doing a shift for the team. Merely scoring goals alone wasn’t enough. But this season, Erik ten Hag has found himself in the position of having players not doing a job for the team, and also not scoring goals. Assuming he was correct about Ronaldo, which not everybody would agree with, at least the record-breaking Portuguese striker was scoring goals.

When Ronaldo left Manchester United in November 2022, the striker had scored 19 goals in 40 matches for United. Not great by his exceptional standards, but where might United be now if they had kept him? Assuming he had scored eight to ten this season, they could be in contention for the top four, as opposed to their current position.

Cristiano Ronaldo trying to find peace of spirit at Manchester United

Poor decision-making at Manchester United runs deep

What's happened since Ronaldo left Manchester United has only proven that the player wasn't the problem. Is it the manager? Or is it something else? The answer to that is probably a bit of both.

Erik ten Hag has been backed in the transfer market, of that there can be no doubt. So the buck now has to stop with him. But no one can say he has delivered.

The problem was Erik ten Hag couldn'’t handle Ronaldo, and the club backed the manager and let the player go. Strong management was required, and strong management was lacking. Both at the board level and on the field.

Who decided to back Erik ten Hag? The man who couldn't handle Cristiano. United fans must now be questioning the decisions made throughout the whole club structure when it came to deciding Ronaldo's fete.

Ronaldo's legacy is already secured

Ronaldo's record speaks for itself. He's done an exceptional job everywhere he's been, except for his second stint at Old Trafford. The statistics speak for themselves.

And when the Ten Hag era is over at Old Trafford, it will be obvious which of the Dutchman and Ronaldo left the club with their legacy intact.

Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Al Nassr is on February 12 for the AFC Asian Champions League, against Al Feiha. You can watch Al Feiha vs Al Nassr, Everton vs Aston Villa, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Manchester United vs Tottenham, Everton vs Crystal Palace and AC Milan vs AS Roma, all matches provided from our live football game pages.

Al Nassr next game:
Al Feiha vs Al Nassr
kick-off time (12-02-2023):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+7: 01:00
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+4.30: 22:30
Saudi Arabia
(Riyadh) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:00
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 18:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 14:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 11:00

Sources: / /

Cristiano Ronaldo waving goodbye to his family Man United




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