Manchester United’s use of Cristiano Ronaldo borders on ‘abuse’, according to Michael Owen.
The 36-year-old was left on the bench for United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and he stormed down the tunnel without visiting the away end after the full-time whistle.
Ronaldo was given less than half an hour against the Blues and he cut a lonely figure when he did come on, with Michael Carrick selecting three defensive midfielders against Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The former Real Madrid man has bagged ten goals in 15 appearances for the Red Devils since returning to Old Trafford and he’s saved the side on a number of occasions, most notably with goals against Villarreal and Atalanta.
But Owen believes that Ronaldo is often left to run the side’s attack and says the lack of support he gets is ‘abusive’.
Asked whether he’d like to play in United’s team, Owen told Premier League Productions: ‘No you can’t! We were at Old Trafford for the City game the other day and all of a sudden it’s just exactly the same they leave Cristiano Ronaldo up front on his own. That’s almost abuse!
‘Having someone that good in your team and then playing everyone defensively and saying ‘That’s alright we’ll just hope he nicks a goal’ he’ll end up being average.
‘If you leave him and all these good players or just two of them playing and everyone else defending they’ll start putting in bad performances because they’ve got nobody to pass to, they’ve got no options, they’re chipping the ball form 50 yards away. They need other players to come up and help them.
‘It’s almost abusing the good players they’ve got and that’s the last thing you’ve got to do. If anything, expose the rubbish! Find ways of getting world class players in your team, get Pogba, get Fernandes, get Ronaldo, get them as best as you can.
‘If you let a few goals in because Bailly’s not great or Wan-Bissaka or whoever it may be then fine you can replace them but at the minute because they’re nervous and scared they just bulk up with sitting midfielders and more defenders and abuse the great players up front leaving half of them on the bench and one or two to play, they’ve got no chance!
Ralf Rangnick is expected to be named interim manager this week, although Michael Carrick could remain in charge for Thursday’s clash against Arsenal.
The German has agreed to take charge for the remainder of the season before taking on a consultancy role for a further two years. United’s squad have been informed that Rangnick will be taking interim charge.