Former Manchester United first team coach Mike Phelan has accused Manchester United players of not meeting the ‘massively high standards’ that Cristiano Ronaldo set at Old Trafford.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the former coach, who had two spells at United, said:
"“The second time round, he (Cristiano Ronaldo) came in a lot older and a lot more opinionated, strong-willed. He still had massively high standards and was terrific to work with. But I’d probably say a tougher mindset. He had been at Man Utd, he had been Portugal’s ever-present, he had been at Madrid.I liked it because he didn’t want his standards to drop, he wanted other people’s standards to come up. And sometimes you lose a few people along the way when that happens. I remember certain times when he pushed and pushed hard, and he didn’t get much reaction or much response. And there was frustration."
Ronaldo fell out with manager Erik Ten Hag after publicising an interview with Piers Morgan, heavily slated everything to do with his experience at Manchester United in his second spell.
"When you deal with top, top people, it’s about them and where they can finish and where they can get to. They want to look back and go ‘wow, that was successful’. And he probably realised, and I don’t know as I never had that conversation with him, that he couldn’t do it at Manchester United. So his challenges were elsewhere.”"
Phelan, who worked under Sir Alex Ferguson in the glory years, would have a fantastic insight into how different things were with Ronaldo the first time around, how it was without Ronaldo, and how it was with him in his comeback. Therefore, it is a big deal to see Phelan be so blunt about how the current Manchester United players were not able to meet these standards that a player has decorated as Ronaldo had set in his recent stint in Manchester.