Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel feels Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammates are to blame for his poor form over the past few months.
His form has even led to some questioning his place in the side. The 37-year-old’s critics argue that he doesn’t fit into the modern system Ralf Rangnick is looking to play at Old Trafford.
The United interim boss is understood to be losing patience with Ronaldo amid doubts over his place in the starting XI. Rangnick could well face a big decision over the five-time Ballon d’Or winner this weekend as United head to the Etihad Stadium for the Manchester derby.
Despite a worrying start to the year, Ronaldo remains United’s top scorer this season with 15 goals in all competitions. Bruno Fernandes is second in the goalscoring chart with just nine strikes to his name.
And former United goalkeeper Schmeichel insists the blame for United’s struggles this season shouldn’t be laid at Ronaldo’s door. The Dane believes Ronaldo’s teammates aren’t doing enough to get their talisman involved.
“We’re kind of seeing at the moment that Cristiano is a human being,” Schmeichel told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I really find it difficult to put any blame on his shoulders. He is trying and trying, and he’s trying to build up the other players.
“When you’re at the games, you can see how much he’s trying to help everyone. But he’s a striker, and a striker needs to be in the striker’s position.
“If you create a chance and it’s a great cross in, or it’s an opportunity to put a pass in, and the striker’s not there, you will not get the chance. It’s very, very simple.
“Therefore, he needs to be disciplined and stay up there. That can at times look like Cristiano’s not in the game, and it’s not down to him. It’s the team that needs to bring the play up to him.”