CRISTIANO RONALDO committed the act of hypocrisy that surely guaranteed he will be leaving Manchester United this summer.
That is if the Old Trafford hierarchy accept that Ralf Rangnick is not the man to take the club forward in the long term.
And on the current evidence he is not.
No manager worth his salt would accept the super-strop from the superstar after he was replaced at Brentford.
And surely no manager with any sense of command or even pride would also desert his touchline position to explain why he had hooked him.
Shouting matches between managers and player happen all the time in the privacy of the dressing room.
But whispered assurances in broad floodlight with the world zooming in while a game is still going on?
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Rangnick’s actions were a sign of weakness.
Ronaldo’s contemptuous march past him, followed by the top throwing, the chuntering, the “why me’s?” should have been ignored.
That’s what Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte would have done – and almost every other top boss.
Deal with it later. Concentrate on the players still out there. Get the job done.
Instead the German pandered to someone who by his petulant and disrespectful exit from the pitch showed that he sees himself above and apart from his team mates
Last week he complained that the young ones within the squad were not following his guidance and advice.
Some guidance, some advice from someone who demands to be looked up to but looks down on his team mates and sets the worst of examples.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
It wasn’t the first time either.
He snubbed the fans and left those team mates to get on with it by walking straight down the tunnel after last month’s scrappy 1-1 draw at Newcastle.
His histrionic reactions to a wrongly weighted pass or because one is not made to him at all hardly look like he is that interested in team spirit.
More and more he only looks like he’s interested only in himself.
He proved that, too, when he hinted that he will be out of there come summer because he is not seeing enough ambition.
CR7 declared: “I do not want to be sixth, seventh, or even fifth.
“I’m here to win and compete.
“I cannot accept that our attitude is going down to the top three in the Premier League.”
Get real, Cristiano.
Fourth, at best, is all you were really only going to get and maybe not even that this season.
Unless, of course, you didn’t see the big picture and believed that, single–handed, you were going to somehow transform a team and a club that has effectively been treading water for a decade.
CAN GO ONE OF TWO WAYS
We can assume one of two things will happen once the season ends.
That by Ronaldo’s very own definition he will take his bat and ball home if things don’t get better, and will seek to go.
Or that whoever becomes the new manager, will make it clear from the very start that there can only be one singer, one song within the Theatre of Dreams.
That Ronaldo has to keep his trap shut, his thoughts to himself and play his part.
But that if f he doesn’t agree to such terms then he will be out of there.
Do we really see him agreeing to such conditions? Not in Ronaldo’s lifetime.
Even at the age of 37 – his birthday is on February 5 – he still has much to offer and he has 14 goals this season to prove it.
But only now as an impact player, as a flat track bully, as a way to help see off the lesser lights of the Premier League.
And even then…
He barely got a kick in the first half at the Brentford Community Stadium against a fine but naïve side just promoted from the Championship while mayhem reigned behind him.
His chest-pass for Bruno Fernandes to lay on United’s second for Mason Greenwood was sublime yet it came when Frank’s men left things wide open at the back as they searched for an equaliser.
He could influence nothing in the 5-0 loss to Liverpool soon followed by the equally dispiriting 2 -0 defeat by Manchester City.
Within a better co-ordinated side, one with a proper defence and a midfield not reliant on Scott McTominay doing almost all the donkey work Ronaldo can still age gracefully.
Acting disgracefully, however, is not something that could or should be accepted by any manager – interim or new.
And the new one, for sure, will not.
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