Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision not to start Cristiano Ronaldo in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw against Everton on Saturday has been questioned by many prominent voices
Simon Jordan has defended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the Manchester United manager was heavily criticised for not starting Cristiano Ronaldo against Everton on Saturday.
Pressure has ramped up on Solskjaer in recent days after United were left to dwell on a 1-1 draw with Everton going into the international break.
Anthony Martial opened the scoring for the hosts with a well-taken finish, but that was about as good as it got for Solskjaer’s side.
Andros Townsend raced through on the counter-attack to equalise and then rubbed salt into the wounds by performing Ronaldo’s “Siuuu” celebration in front of the home fans.
Ronaldo was introduced from the substitutes’ bench in the 57th minute to replace Edinson Cavani, but the Portuguese star couldn’t add to his five goals in his previous five games as United’s poor run stretched to two wins in the past six games.
Ronaldo drew further attention to the situation by storming off down the tunnel at the full-time whistle before Sir Alex Ferguson added his considerable weight to those unhappy with Solskjaer’s call not to start the 36-year-old.
The legendary United boss was filmed talking to UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov and was heard saying “you should always start with your best players” in reference to Ronaldo.
Solskjaer defended his decision, claiming it was the “correct” one and about “managing the players’ workload” – an assertion which former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan agrees with.
“Of course there is an argument to say you will play your best players, but then there is context and an expansion of that conversation,” he told talkSPORT .
“If you’ve got a snippet of what he said – unless you are rotating, unless the opponent is weaker than you, unless we heard the rest of that conversation we can only give it a certain amount of credence.
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“I don’t argue with the principle of always playing your best players, but the argument cannot be that unless Cristiano Ronaldo plays every second of every minute of every single game, United will turn to the situation and say ‘should have played Ronaldo’.
“He didn’t play every minute for Juventus last year. He cannot play 60 games, most players can’t.”
Jordan added: “They had enough on that pitch to win that game and it shouldn’t all be about Ronaldo.
“The game itself was there to be won and there was enough talent on the pitch to be able to win that game.
“Irrespective of whether it is Ronaldo or not, he is 36 years of age. Whilst he can play at a certain level and score a lot of goals, there are times when he will need to be rotated and need to be rested.
“It is almost unarguable that Ronaldo has to play every single minute of every single game.”