It certainly looks like Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood hate each other, doesn’t it? And Ralf Rangnick has chosen sides.
Paul Scholes scores goals
Paul Scholes dominates the back page of The Sun, who lap up his excellent quotes that the club is in a “poisonous mess”, but the line taken on the website is extraordinary considering what he actually said.
‘Man Utd a ‘poisonous mess’ and Antonio Conte – NOT Mauricio Pochettino – is the man to fix it, says Paul Scholes’
The man literally said this: “Pochettino is a brilliant manager. I like what he did at Southampton and Tottenham. This season he has to prove he’s an elite manager. He still has something to prove for me but is more than capable of doing it.”
He handed you the headline by saying ‘poisonous’ and ‘mess’; there’s literally NO (capitals are the only language they understand) need to pretend he said anything else inflammatory.
Do Ron, Ron, Ron
Elsewhere on The Sun website:
‘Cristiano Ronaldo told he is NOT problem at Man Utd who have no fear factor or identity under Ralf Rangnick’
NOT this again. He is ‘told’ by Charlie Austin (who bizarrely used the medium of TalkSPORT to get in touch), who never actually mentions Ralf Rangnick. It’s all so sodding dispiriting.
The Sun website are amateurs in comparison to their counterparts over at the Mirror, mind you. Check out this click-tastic headline:
‘Ralf Rangnick’s captaincy order as Man Utd leadership group emerges after split’
What follows is a list of who Rangnick has made captain. Literally. Which leads to this conclusion:
‘That would indicate that Rangnick’s order of captain’s when Maguire is ruled out is to first turn to Ronaldo followed by Fernandes and De Gea.’
Even if we ignore the errant apostrophe, that’s a curious conclusion to make when Ronaldo has not captained any Rangnick game started by Fernandes and vice versa. And anyway, it literally means nothing in the forced context of the ‘split’.
But what’s better than a ‘split’? Why, a ‘feud’, of course.
‘Ralf Rangnick picks a side in Man Utd feud between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood’
This is f***ing mental. The dictionary definition of a ‘feud’ is ‘a prolonged and bitter quarrel or dispute’, and there is literally no evidence of that between Greenwood and Ronaldo, who have not even known each other for a ‘prolonged’ period of time.
We are told that ‘the pair have not been able to develop an understanding together on the pitch with a clear lack of synergy’ and then we are treated to some quotes from Ronaldo – “I don’t mean only in football, this new generation since probably 1995 they are thinking different” – which, if aimed at Greenwood, are really sodding subtle.
Oh and ‘Greenwood has since dropped down the pecking order and that’s continued following Ralf Rangnick‘s arrival after Solskjaer was sacked’. Because Ronaldo has played a full 33 minutes more than Greenwood and that is truly damning. If Greenwood is irked, he might spare a thought for the 21 other members of Manchester United’s first-team squad who have played even less under the German. Indeed, only David De Gea, Scott McTominay and Ronaldo have played more than Greenwood. FEUD.
‘Rangnick has appeared to side with Ronaldo too as The Guardian claimed this week that the interim boss sees Greenwood as ‘expendable’.’
The Guardian – or rather, Jamie Jackson – merely wrote that ‘Ronaldo’s ageing legs suggest he might be a fall guy in the efforts to make United an energised, harrying side, but Mason Greenwood, whose five goals make him United’s joint-second highest scorer with Bruno Fernandes, is among those now considered expendable instead’ because he was taken off against Wolves. Nine days ago. And we have already dealt with the Jackson bias.
‘Expendable’? He has literally played more than pretty much every other member of the Manchester United squad. He is no more ‘expendable’ than having a ‘feud’ with Ronaldo. But still, click, clickety, click.
A sorry tail
As much as we enjoyed laughing at the ludicrous notion that Manchester United were in their worst state since 1990 – as put forward by The Sun’s Neil Custis – we have to applaud him for his considered and balanced piece on Marcus Rashford, in which he dismisses the idea that his anti-poverty campaigning is the issue and indeed suggests that the many managerial changes and tactical re-thinks at United, coupled with his injury and that Euro 2020 penalty miss, might be the bigger problems leading to his current form. Nice one, Neil.
But whoever decided to illustrate his piece with a table showing ‘how he has tailed off at Man Utd’ has done him up like a kipper. Because the stats prove nothing of the sort; they merely show that he he peaked goals-wise in 2019/20, peaked assists-wise in 2020/21 and is now having a pretty poor season. That’s not a ‘tailing off’; that’s one shit season. Probably for the reasons Custis outlined.
On the back page of The Sun, they write that ‘MO SALAH suggested he is ready to walk alone from Anfield unless his contract demands are met’.
Well, yes. That’s how contracts work. Thanks. For. That.
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