Manchester United have brought back serial winner Cristiano Ronaldo to reinforce their hopes of challenging for Premier League and European glory. After the decline of the club in recent years and fans getting irritated by the lack of ambition and most importantly silverware at the club, are Manchester United now in a position to put that all behind them?
Ronaldo’s impact is already apparent
The Transfer window always promises excitement, confusion and most of all promise, however no-one could have expected a summer window like 2021. Most notably, the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford.
After a strong start to their Premier League campaign with wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds and a heavily contested draw away at Southampton, the stage was set for an enthralling fixture against Newcastle at Old Trafford.
Saturday 11th September was the day football fans all over the world were anticipating, the question on the lips of everyone was, will Ronaldo play a part? In true Ronaldo style he played a pivotal role in a thrashing of lacklustre Newcastle United.
Ronaldo started the game brimming with confidence. As a tame first half was ending, Cristiano pounced onto a lose ball and fired home minutes before the referee blew his whistle on the first half. All eyes were on Ronaldo as the second half got underway. However, shortly after the break Javier Manquillo slotted the ball past a helpless De Gea to level for Newcastle who were looking to crash the return of Manchester United’s prodigal son.
The score line only remained level for 6 minutes after the ball was fired home by, yes you guessed it, Cristiano Ronaldo. Old Trafford erupted as the Portuguese phenomenon wheeled away in celebration with his Manchester United teammates. The pattern continued throughout the 90 minutes with Ronaldo’s Portuguese compatriot Bruno Fernandes scoring a wonderful goal with Jesse Lingard sealing a 4-1 win with a tidy finish.
With the addition of Ronaldo, the question now being asked is can Manchester United win the Premier league? Many believe already that this is a big possibility. In my opinion they are more than capable with this side. If Ronaldo can stay consistent this season, stay fit and provide Manchester United with goals, assists and his winning mentality they surely will be in the running to lift the Premier League trophy come May. Cristiano’s affiliation with the club has never really died after his departure to Real Madrid. Recently speaking, he stated that the United fans saw him grow up from 18 years old and what a journey he has been on since then.
Can Solskjaer have the Ferguson effect?
Throughout his career, Cristiano has had many influences and world class managers, however none quite like Manchester United great, Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex was a big factor in bringing Ronaldo back to M16. Times have changed since then and the man in charge is ex Manchester United forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, nicknamed the baby-faced assassin for his youthful face and his killer instinct in front of goal. With Ole stepping in as manager at United many were sceptical, rightly so after Ferguson’s departure and a string of unsuccessful managers the boots to fill were big. After his first couple of seasons, many Manchester United supporters were unimpressed and after last year’s Europa League final defeat to Villareal the pressure on Solskjaer has mounted.
With the addition of Ronaldo expectations have risen, only adding more pressure on the manager to stock the trophy cabinet which has been lacking in recent years. As a football manager you are solely defined on results, you can have the best team in the world and the greatest players, if you’re not winning football matches or in United’s case winning trophies your time as manager will be short lived. It is vital that Ole and Manchester United succeed this season or it could well be his last.
What can United achieve with Ronaldo this season?
My opinion on the signing of Ronaldo is firstly, what a bargain. For one of the worlds greatest footballers to be sold so cheap, even at his age is intriguing. His ability is undisputed, and I really feel like he has the capability to push United to the next level and get them back on the pedestal where they rightly belong and have been in previous years. I think the Premier League will be tightly contested this season with either Manchester United or Chelsea taking the top spot.
In terms of Champions League success, I believe Manchester United will progress to the later rounds but I don’t feel they have the recent experience of going the distance. After a turbulent start to their Champions League campaign and with a disappointing loss to Young Boys, Manchester United will look to rectify that against the team that beat them in the Europa League final, Villareal.
Watch Manchester United at Old Trafford this season
Availability for hospitality this season is extremely difficult to find, but please enquire below for the possibility of attending a match at Old Trafford.
2021/22 Premier League Season:
- Aston Villa – 25th September
- Everton – 2nd October
- Liverpool – 23 October
- Manchester City – 6th November
- Arsenal – 30th November
- Crystal Palace – 4th December
- Brighton – 18th December
- Burnley – 28th December
- Wolves – 1st January
- West Ham – 22nd January
- Southampton – 12th February
- Watford – 26th February
- Tottenham – 12th March
- Leicester City – 2nd April
- Norwich – 16th April
- Brentford – 30th April
- Chelsea – 15th May