Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previews Everton clash
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Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo could face the embarrassment of doing box-to-box running this afternoon after being dropped for his side’s clash with Everton. The Portugal international was sensationally omitted from the starting line-up by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite scoring five goals in five games since his return to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo signed up for a second spell at Man Utd amid rapturous fanfare in August after becoming one of the greatest players in football history.
The 36-year-old starred during a nine-year stint with Real Madrid, where he won four Ballon d’Ors and four Champions League trophies.
He moved to Juventus in 2018 and won two Serie A titles, before finishing top scorer in the Italian top-flight last season.
Ronaldo fired Man Utd to victory against Newcastle United on his second debut for the club last month with a brace, and has found the back of the net in all but one game since his return to Old Trafford.
But, despite his impressive form this season, Ronaldo was deemed surplus to requirements as United prepared to face Rafa Benitez’s side.
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And Solskjaer’s decision to snub Ronaldo has been slammed by former England midfielder Paul Merson.
“It shocks me,” admitted Merson. “With an international break coming up – two weeks without a game – you’d think he was picking a team for the players he didn’t trust in the European competition.
“I just can’t believe what I’m seeing.
“The ones who don’t play will be doing box to boxes after the game – they’ll be running. So for me play your best team.
“They’ve been poor – they had a bad result against Villa. They should have got slaughtered by Villarreal – they got away with it, really got out of jail.
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“If they go and get beat today, you’re putting added pressure on yourself for no reason – play your best team.
“It’s a two-week break and it seems to me that Solskjaer is looking after the international players when he should be looking after his club.”
United will be under pressure to return to winning ways against Everton after suffering a shock defeat at home to Aston Villa last weekend.
Man Utd were also dumped out of the Carabao Cup by West Ham last month and pressure is starting to mount on Solskjaer.
The United boss made a string of changes for Saturday’s clash and also dropped Jadon Sancho from his starting team.
“I thought Sancho would play today,” added Merson. “Keep on playing the kid – he needs to get confidence.
“I feel for him today. Give him a run in the team – he looks low.
“Sooner or later I’ve just got a feeling that Manchester United are going to click. I don’t see it clicking today.”
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