NEWCASTLE, UK – Former Manchester United defender and television pundit Gary Neville has laid into Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes for their body language during and after Manchester United’s scrappy 1-1 draw at Newcastle.
According to the British online news Daily Mail, after another dismal display from the 20-times English champions, Neville took issue with his former team-mate Ronaldo for storming off the pitch without joining the rest of his side in thanking the supporters who had made the journey to Newcastle.
‘You’ve got to be there when your team-mates need you in those moments,’ Neville, who won three Premier League titles alongside Ronaldo at United, said on Monday Night Football.
Gary Neville hit out at Cristiano Ronaldo for running off the pitch after the draw at Newcastle
‘At the end of the day, I love that lad [Ronaldo], he’s the best I’ve ever seen in my life at times, but don’t run off like that. I’m not having that.
It is not the first time the Portuguese has opted to run straight down the tunnel after a disappointing result, doing the same after the 1-1 draw at home to Everton, in which he started on the bench, and in the 4-1 defeat to Watford, the game which saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked as coach.
‘We talk about body language. We talked about it earlier in the season when Ronaldo ran off at the end of the Everton game. He’s run off again tonight,’ Neville added.
‘He ran off at Watford, when everyone knew the manager was going to get the sack. And at Norwich.’
Neville also hit out at Fernandes for moaning during the game and failing to lead by example, contrasting the Portuguese pair’s body language with that of Edinson Cavani, who grabbed United’s equaliser in what was a fortunate draw for the visitors.
Neville revealed his anger with United’s two Portuguese stars has been brewing for some time
‘He’s the best I’ve ever seen in my life, but don’t run off like that,’ Neville said of Ronaldo
‘And there’s Fernandes’ whinging too. They’re the two senior players. It’s devastating for younger players when the two best players are looking at every other player like they’re not good enough,’ Neville added.
‘Cavani takes that away. I don’t think Cavani wilts in the presence of Ronaldo or Fernandes, I think he stands up to them and helps other young players on the pitch. He needs to be on the pitch.’
Neville revealed his anger with United’s two Portuguese stars has been brewing for some time this season, which the team began with so much hope after they pulled Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and also signed a world class defender in Raphael Varane.
Neville also criticised Varane, who gave the ball away in the build up to Allan Saint-Maximin’s opening goal in the seventh minute, and hit out at captain Harry Maguire.
‘It’s annoyed me for about two months. The best players in your team, it’s devastating when they’re showing that look and body language to the younger ones. They have to help them,’ he said, pointing the finger at Ronaldo and Fernandes.
‘They have to be the father, the grandparent in the team. I made massive mistakes at Man Utd but I had great senior players who would have a go at me but also put their arm around me I think there’s something wrong.
‘You can’t run off at the end of a game. Bruno is whinging all the time; he’s been sensational for Man United.’
On the two defenders, Neville added: ‘The two centre-backs were poor at the back, Maguire is having a nightmare season.’