Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has defended Cristiano Ronaldo after he appeared to storm off the pitch at the end of the Everton game on Saturday.
The Red Devils were not anything like their best against the Toffees, and ended up drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford, with Ronaldo only introduced as a second half substitute.
Some pundits were not too impressed with Ronaldo’s behaviour at the end of the game, with the Portugal international quite visibly having a bit of a tantrum as he left the pitch shaking his head and muttering to himself.
Chadwick, however, felt it was unfair to criticise Ronaldo’s attitude, insisting that the 36-year-old has always shown his winning mentality, and that venting frustration like this sometimes is just human nature.
“I think it’s hard to hide emotions, hard to trap emotions. I don’t think any of us know what the frustration was really about, it might’ve been at himself, or at the team, or the manager, no one really knows,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“He is the most famous footballer on the planet, so there’s always attention on him, but I think it’s just human nature. Sometimes it just comes out automatically. It’s hard to mask that. He’s such a winner, so it’s hard for him to hide that.
“Obviously the spotlight is on him but you can understand his frustration, it was a poor result and they nearly lost the game too, and he also probably didn’t have the impact he’d have wanted when he came on.”
Chadwick also suggested it wasn’t the best call to bench both Ronaldo and Paul Pogba at the same time, whilst bemoaning United’s ongoing problems with consistency, particularly in home games.
“I’m not 100% sure why he missed the Everton game, with the international break coming up,” he said. “Obviously we’re not privy to what goes on behind closed doors, maybe he had a bit of a knock in the previous game and they didn’t want to risk him.
“Still you’d think without Ronaldo that you’d keep Pogba in the starting XI, but with the two of them missing … I can’t imagine he’ll be resting them both in a league game again. There was a lot of buzz when Ronaldo first joined, but since then it’s been a bit inconsistent with some really good performances and results but some really indifferent ones.”
He added: “Some of the big hitters got a rest, Martial came in and got the goal but again we just couldn’t get the three points at Old Trafford. It does seem to be the story to a certain extent, the home form has been a big issue for the last couple of seasons. The away form has been incredible at times, but it’s just about getting things right at home. I
“had hoped that with the fans getting back in, the atmosphere it would create would help the players, but the pattern is continuing and it’s a real issue when you want to be at the top of the table come the end of the season.
“I think the way the team’s set up, particularly at the start of Ole’s tenure, is to be a counter-attacking team, which obviously sets the team up better in away games where the other team pushes forward more to appease their own crowd.
“At Old Trafford it’s not as comfortable for them trying to break down opposition with a low block. Over time it’s improved, the likes of Bruno Fernandes have come in. And of course the atmosphere was as good as it’s ever been on Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut against Newcastle.
“Hopefully long-term he’ll be the man who can score goals when it is a bit flat and not the free-flowing football we’d love to see.”