The main topic surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo right now is the whole high-pressing thing, which has managed to quickly become the most boring debate of the year.
A brilliant stat from last night’s 3-2 win over Arsenal debunks the claim that Ronaldo won’t buy into Ralf Rangnick’s philosophy of high-pressing football.
With credit to Opta, we now know Ronaldo made 27 pressures against the Gunners, his most in any league game this season. A large amount of those pressures (16) came in the attacking third, which will be music to Rangnick’s ears.
27 – Cristiano Ronaldo made 27 pressures last night against Arsenal, his most in any league game this season, previously averaging 14.4 per 90. He made 16 pressures in the attacking third, more than five times as many as in his previous league start against Watford (3). Ralf. pic.twitter.com/9MLn1c3v5f
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 3, 2021
There are reporters from all of the mainstream outlets suggesting that Ronaldo, United’s top scorer this season who has scored 801 goals throughout his career, might not fit into the high-pressing ethos of the new interim manager.
Michael Carrick did a wonderful job as caretaker manager before announcing his departure from the club — winning two games and drawing one. He also said it is a “myth” that Ronaldo is unable to press, stating that the 36-year-old will be able to adapt to the methods of their new boss.
“Maybe it is a myth – maybe that’s how it is,” Carrick said last week, as quoted by The Guardian. “He’s played in enough teams over the years and been successful. He’s been able to play a variety of ways and kept scoring goals for every team he’s played for, and he’ll continue to score goals – no doubt about it.”
Moreover, Rangnick told reporters this morning that he has never seen a player at 36 as physically fit as Ronaldo following his brace against Arsenal on Thursday night. He was impressed by Ronaldo’s performance and noted it will be his responsibility to get the best out of his player.
“You always have to adapt your style or your idea of football to the players you have available, not vice versa,” Rangnick said, as per ESPN.
“Having seen Cristiano yesterday in the second half at the age of 36, an amazing top professional. At his age, I’ve never seen a player who is still that physically fit. He’s still a player who can easily make the difference. So yes, it’s about how we can develop the whole team, not only Cristiano.
“We play in the most competitive league in the world, so we need all the players on board. What I saw from Cristiano yesterday, he is more than willing to do that, to put his input into the team. His teammates will have to do the same.”
You can tell by this nobody (worth their salt) is really worried about Ronaldo being the so-called problem. That is a narrative made in the media, which completely ignores the fact he has 10 goals in 15 appearances since returning to the club.