Cristiano Ronaldo – despite himself turning in anything from lackluster to lukewarm performances at best lately – has gone huffing and puffing, pompously declaring that he won’t ‘accept’ Man Utd finishing below third place in the Premier League this season.
Although having had the distinction of having won three Premier League titles in six seasons during his first tenure at Old Trafford and never experienced a finish lower than third, the Portuguese ace seems not to be cognizant of the fact that ‘tis not the season of yesteryears anymore with United at its heyday since Fergie ruled the roost with an iron hand.
This time around, however, things have been clearly on a downfall spiral and the previously spritely striker himself is now reduced to the role of a poacher lurking in waiting, waiting for his chance to pounce on his unsuspecting prey.
However, credit must still be given for his ability to still turn in some excellent clutch performances with the now infrequent flashes of brilliance, albeit not with consistency as hoped by those still rooting passionately for him, adamantly refusing to accept that the great CR7’s quicksilver lightning days of mesmerizing all and sundry on the pitch with amazing regularity are now to be found more in replays in reels recalling his glorious past. Unfortunately, United have to date this season largely struggled to perform despite former gaffer and club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having been shown the exit in November. The shambolic defeat to Wolves the last time out left them in seventh position and the going most certainly won’t get any easier against Aston Villa on Saturday either.
Ronaldo was said to have been surprised by the drop in standards at United upon his return in November, compared to the club he previously played for between 2003 and 2009. Now, seemingly appalled at the current quandary the club is caught in, he somehow has the apparent gall to insist that he WON’T stand for it but is adamant that changes can be made, even if it means ‘destroying’ a few things in the process. Which of course is an allusion to what or who need to destroyed in his self-esteemed playbook.
“In my heart, I don’t accept that our mentality be less than being in the top three [Premier League clubs],” Ronaldo told Sky Sports.
“I think to build up good things, sometimes you have to destroy a few things. So why not – new year, new life and I hope that Manchester [United] can be the level that the fans want. They deserve that.
“We are capable of changing things now. I know the way but I’m not going to mention it here because I don’t think it’s ethical on my part to say that. What I can say is we can do better – all of us. Manchester [United] belongs to important things, so we have to change that.
“I don’t want to be here to be in sixth place, or seventh place, or fifth place. I’m here to try to win, to compete. I think we compete but we are not yet in our best level. But we have a long way to improve and I believe if we change our mind, we can achieve big things.”
Big, bold words that are already beginning to ring hollow and not in the least convincing anymore from someone who can barely muster up a consistently stable performance of late for himself. One can’t help but wonder what his former Juventus team-mates are thinking now hearing him audaciously trumpet these words as if he were not at all jointly accountable in any way for the current debacle the Red Devils are now in.