The return of Ronaldo to Man Utd increases scrutiny on Ole Solskjaer


Cristiano Ronaldo’s Return to the Manchester United has increased scrutiny on Ole Gunner Solskjaer.

This is because, the Champions League defeat to Swiss champions Young Boys has already ratcheted up the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite an impressive start to the Premier League season.

A star-studded side including Cristiano Ronaldo plus £100 million-worth ($138 million) of new signings in Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho slipped to an embarrassing 2-1 loss in Bern.

The Red Devils took the lead in Tuesday’s opening Group F encounter in Switzerland but plans went awry after the dismissal of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with Jesse Lingard’s errant back-pass gifting the hosts a winner in time added on.

Despite individual errors from his men it was Solskjaer left in the firing line, with his in-game management once more coming under the microscope.

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Ronaldo has hit the ground running since his return to the club from Juventus, scoring three goals in two games.

But the fanfare surrounding the five-time Ballon d’Or winner also brings greater scrutiny on Solskjaer in what was always likely to be a defining season for the Norwegian.

The 48-year-old manager was handed a new three-year contract in July, reward for the progress United have made in the three years since he replaced Jose Mourinho.

United finished second in the Premier League last season and qualified for the Champions League for a second consecutive season for just the second time since Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013.

But Solskjaer — who won multiple trophies during his time as a player at Old Trafford — is yet to win silverware as United manager despite several near-misses.

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Given the talent now at his disposal even a League Cup or FA Cup win might not be enough to save his job if United do not mount a serious challenge for the Premier League or Champions League.

Former United striker Louis Saha said the club could “afford” the defeat in Switzerland because they have a chance to recover but he believes Solskjaer will have less room for manoeuvre this season because of the strength of his squad.

“I do think that he will be questioned faster because the team doesn’t have any weaknesses,” he said. “For me, it is a very strong side.”

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