Manchester United Discontent: Following in Cristiano Ronaldo's Footsteps? - NEWS

Manchester United Discontent: Following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s Footsteps?

Back in summer 2022, Manchester United were hoping for a fresh start under manager Erik ten Hag.

But as the window progressed, similarities began to arise with 2013, David Moyes‘ first summer in charge at the club.

Working under a rookie chief executive, Ed Woodward, United failed to land any of Moyes’ top targets and settled for an over-priced Marouane Fellaini.

Woodward later made up for this by chasing big names in subsequent transfer windows, with a move for Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria one expensive and high profile failure.

2022 saw Ten Hag working under new chief executive Richard Arnold. The transfer window was shaping up just like in 2013, striking out, before United sped up the process and paid £60 million to sign Casemiro.

After a very successful first season in which Casemiro looked like one of the best defensive midfielders in the world for large stretches, 2023/24 has been a bit disastrous.

Casemiro has been overworked tactically, suffered injuries, and has also looked off the pace, with supporters concerned over his performances.

The move for the Real Madrid superstar might have worked in the short-term, but long-term, it’s not panning out, with Manchester United ranked sixth in the Premier League, 11 points off a Champions League qualification place at present.

Casemiro, a five-times winner of the competition, is not pleased with United’s situation.

Speaking after the draw with Liverpool, via ESPN Brazil, Casemiro said: “It’s difficult. This is the point that bothers me most about not fighting for titles.

“Being 20 points behind first place. Sometimes, I can’t even sleep to try to think about doing something different. It’s reality. There’s no point in thinking about title or Champions League places, we need to think about today’s games.”

“We need to think about the day to day, we had the opportunity to score nine points in the last few games and we scored two. We were upset. We have to think game by game and focus on the next match, against Bournemouth.”

Casemiro is used to winning and he will be be alarmed at Manchester United’s position. The team are actually 22 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Casemiro’s comments come across a little like Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Real Madrid forward arrived back at Manchester United in 2021 from a culture of winning regularly, having done so at Juventus too after leaving the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo could not wrap his head around Manchester United’s failure to compete. And it seems Casemiro is finding it similarly difficult to accept the situation.

But he should not be surprised, because he knew exactly what he signed up for.

When United struck the deal for Casemiro, the team had just lost the opening two games of the 2022/23 season by a combined score of 6-1.

Casemiro also knew full well that his former Real teammate Cristiano Ronaldo was looking to leave the club, in large part due to the club being so far away from competing for league titles.

The Brazilian has done his best, and the team’s failings are not on him. But he doesn’t look to be the solution either.

United’s decision to sign a big money star from Real Madrid did not work with Di Maria in 2014, and it seems nor with Casemiro in 2022.

This is a new era with Ineos in charge of football operations, and the prospects of launching another raid of Real Madrid for an established star looks very unlikely.

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