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Alex Ferguson would have taken Cristiano Ronaldo off earlier | John Giles

Former Republic of Ireland player John Giles joined Off The Ball's Nathan Murphy to discuss Manc...

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

18:44 16 Sep 2021



Soccer

Alex Ferguson would have taken Cristiano Ronaldo off earlier | John Giles

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

18:44 16 Sep 2021

Former Republic of Ireland player John Giles joined Off The Ball's Nathan Murphy to discuss Manchester United's Champions League performance.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjear is facing scrutiny from different directions after another loss in Europe. John Giles believes the Norweigan got too many things wrong on Tuesday night.

“I thought Solskjaer made a bit of a mess of it at times. When Wan-Bissaka got the red card I think Ronaldo should have gone off with him," he said.

"They're down to 10 men and you need everybody running around as much as you can...he scores great goals in important matches but he doesn't run around a lot. So I think it was a bad move by the manager at that particular time.

"It's just the circumstances. If there were no score after 30 minutes and he wasn't playing very well, you wouldn't take him off because he's always going to score goals.

"But he's never going to work hard... he's not going to work hard for you when he doesn't have the ball. He's going to score the goals at the vital times as you know, but this is when you're down to 10 men.

"I think that was a bad move, not to take him off."

Giles felt Solskjaer's other substitutions and tactical decisions warranted criticism too. But the big question mark is how he's handling the gravity of dealing with Ronaldo.

“Once you sign Ronaldo to the team, the manager always has to be in charge," he stated. "You can't run a team by saying if I take him off he's not going to be happy. Your manager is the manager, he's the boss.

"He made some silly remarks afterwards, Solskjaer. He said he took Fernandes off at the same time as Ronaldo because the two of them were running around a lot. It's one thing Ronaldo doesn't do is run around a lot.

"When you're the manager you can't say he's not going to be too happy when I take him off. That's tough...If Ferguson was still the manager, he'd have no problem doing that, neither would Klopp.”

Having been asked if he thought Solskjaer would have taken off Edinson Cavani in the same situation, Giles suggested he wouldn't (and shouldn't) because Cavani is a hard worker.

"I think we've spoken about Solskjaer before," Giles stated. "He's a good lad. I don't see him getting better with what he did the other night.

"There was a good few mistakes he made the other night in the whole match... they were all over the place."

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Alex Ferguson Champions League Cristiano Ronaldo John Giles Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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