Cristiano Ronaldo storming out of Old Trafford ‘takes a flamethrower to the dressing room’, says Alan Shearer as he slams his ‘selfish and petulant’ conduct… but insists the Man United outcast must feel ‘strange’ to be left out by Erik ten Hag
- Cristiano Ronaldo is under fire after refusing to come on against Tottenham
- He then stormed down the tunnel before Man United had sealed a 2-0 win
- Alan Shearer called his conduct ‘really poor’ and said it affects his team-mates
- But he said the player must be feeling ‘strange’ to see his influence decline
Alan Shearer says Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘selfish’ behaviour to storm out of Old Trafford before Man United had beaten Tottenham 2-0 on Wednesday night was like ‘a flamethrower to the dressing room’ as the fallout around his actions continues.
Ronaldo is under fire yet again in his turbulent spell back at United after he refused to come on against Spurs and then left the stadium – overshadowing an impressive victory over Antonio Conte’s men.
His actions have seen him slammed by a host of top pundits while manager Erik ten Hag has revealed he will be dropped for their next game at Chelsea, and Shearer – who was on commentary duty when the incident happened – joined the chorus of disapproval.
Alan Shearer has has hit out Cristiano Ronaldo for his ‘selfish’ behaviour to storm out of Old Trafford on Wednesday night
Ronaldo has come under fire from pundits after his refusal to play against Tottenham
‘From the outset, I should say that Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent behaviour is totally unacceptable,’ he said in his column with The Athletic.
‘Showing respect to your team-mates, your manager and your club’s supporters are amongst the fundamentals in football and to refuse to come on as a substitute, as Erik ten Hag has confirmed, and retreat to the dressing-room with a game still in progress takes a flamethrower to one of the primary dressing-room codes.
‘In a team game, where the basic principle is that you’re all in it together win or lose, such a display of selfishness and petulance is desperately unprofessional and it’s right that Ronaldo should be disciplined by Manchester United because of it.
‘His was a terrible example to set and it’s a shame that instead of reflecting on their best performance of the season against Tottenham Hotspur, Ten Hag has been forced to talk about someone who only figured on the periphery.’
Shearer conceded it must be ‘strange’ for a superstar like Ronaldo to be kept on the sidelines
Shearer did have some sympathy for the player, however, conceding that Ronaldo must be feeling ‘strange’ to be kept on the sidelines at present.
‘I get that his conduct looks bad – and it is bad – but the context in Ronaldo’s case is how unprecedented it must feel to be normal,’ he added. ‘How strange it must seem to be on the same planet as everybody else, when you hold yourself to the highest standards of performance. When you’re a force of nature and your force is blocked.
‘It must be difficult to have that on the horizon while knowing to the core of your being that in different circumstances you would still be banging in goals. I don’t condone the way he’s acted, but I do think there’s some mitigation.
There’s a disconnect between knowing you can’t quite do everything you used to, that you might have lost half a yard of pace, and actually accepting it, because you still have the same hunger and attitude and mentality. It must be harder when you’re a phenomenon like Ronaldo.
Shearer claimed Bruno Fernandes ‘looks happier’ with Cristiano Ronaldo benched
Nobody wants to see him behave like that, stropping down the touchline, and that’s where we have to flip this back to the start. His reaction was really poor and not for the first time. He should be bigger than that.’
While Shearer was on commentary duties – and before Ronaldo’s episode gripped football – he waded into the debate around his negative influence on the team by suggesting his team-mate and compatriot Bruno Fernandes plays better when the forward is not in the team.
Fernandes capped off a superb display against Tottenham by wrapping up the win with a brilliant curled finish.
‘Would I be stirring if I said Bruno looks happier in this team without Ronaldo?’, Shearer said.
‘I just look at his performance tonight and his energy and look at his leadership and the qualities he has offered both defensively and offensively and he has done so much for them in this performance tonight. He deserved that goal.’