Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been tipped to be pro-active and make a quick alteration at Man Utd that directly involves Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes
After a blistering start to the season, Man Utd have been brought back down to earth in recent weeks. Three defeats have been suffered in their last four matches. Their sole victory in that run – a 2-1 win over West Ham – owed everything to a last-minute David de Gea penalty save.
Their fortunes reversed in dramatic fashion in their most recent encounter.
After vehement protestation about his side’s inability to win penalties thanks in his mind to Jurgen Klopp, Solskjaer finally saw his side awarded their first spot-kick of the season versus Aston Villa on Saturday.
However, with a match-saving opportunity at hand, Fernandes uncharacteristically blazed his effort over the crossbar.
The playmaker has been a reliable source of goals from the spot. Though that did not stop calls for Ronaldo to assume the penalty-taking duties upon his return to Old Trafford.
And speaking to Caught Offside, former Man Utd midfielder Luke Chadwick reckons Solskjaer will be pro-active and install Ronaldo as the No. 1 penalty taker.
“I think now Ronaldo will be first choice on penalties,” said Chadwick.
“I wasn’t hugely surprised to see Fernandes taking it, he’s got a fantastic record. They’re both big characters, no one kicked up a fuss, it was probably a decision made beforehand.
“What surprised me was how poor the penalty was – someone with his technical ability shouldn’t be smashing it over the bar.
“I think now if Ronaldo is on the pitch he’ll take the penalties. It might be bit harsh on Fernandes, but Ronaldo was born to score goals. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’ll be the main penalty taker now.”
Meanwhile, Gary Neville claims Man Utd can forget any hopes of winning the Premier League title this season after citing a harsh reason why they fall short compared to Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City.
“I said it even when they were winning, even when [Cristiano] Ronaldo scored, they don’t play well enough as a team to win this league in my view. They don’t play well enough as a team,” Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.
“I think you have to be a unit in and out of possession. When you only deliver in moments, those moments won’t go for you in certain games.
‘You need patterns of play, you need a way of playing. At this moment in time I still see a group of individuals playing in moments.
“There are some patterns and combinations at times, but still a team where some are pretty new together. Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho – they’ve got to come together as a team and define a style of play. Then you start to get results when you don’t play well.”