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Highlights on Off The Ball


"It's going to take years" - David Meyler on Manchester United's rebuild

Will Cristiano Ronaldo leave? Who else will follow him? It's going to take a while for Erik ten Hag to have a real impact.

David Meyler joined The Football Kick Off to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United and Erik ten Hag.

Cristiano Ronaldo is scoring 0.67 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season.

Diogo Jota is also scoring 0.67. Sadio Mane is at 0.51. Harry Kane 0.39. If you told Manchester United fans that number in September, they'd expect to be competing for the Premier League title. Instead, they're not even going to make fourth place for the Champions League.

Ronaldo's return to Manchester United will go down as one of the most bizarre in football history. He's shining statistically. But he's clearly not contributing enough in open play. Meanwhile, his arrival coincided with every other Manchester United attacker worsening.

Manchester United's squad of youthful, energetic players are the mirror to Ronaldo's Dorian Gray.

On a macro level, Ronaldo's return also coincided with Manchester United finally bottoming out. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's departure didn't fix anything. It actually just revealed how bad things had gotten at the club. David Meyler thinks it's going to take a long time to address all the issues. Erik ten Hag will need patience.

"It's going to take years," Meyler said.

"You do kind of feel sorry for whoever was coming in. So we know now it's ten Hag, he's done great work at Ajax. But Manchester United is a different animal. He's got all sorts of problems to sort out. Players leaving. Contracts expiring. Obviously other players don't want to be there.

"The big question is what's he going to do with Ronaldo?"

One would assume that Ronaldo must leave. Manchester United aren't winning anything next season. So he won't want to stay. And ten Hag must imprint his identity on the team, something that is close to impossible with a figure such as Ronaldo in the starting lineup.

Ronaldo is a problem below him. While the ambiguity of Ralf Rangnick's role is a problem above him.

Rangnick will be the manager of Austria after this season. His advisory or consultancy role is expected to continue with Manchester United. It's unclear how much input or power he will actually hold. And to top it all off, all ten Hag has to do is compete with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

"Then this whole thing with Rangnick. Does he go upstairs, is he going to take over Austria, how does his appointment work? All this is such a big thing...then you've got Liverpool and City going to toe-to-toe in the Champions League. There's that great buzz and excitement with your Manchester rivals and obviously your biggest rivals in Liverpool.

"They'll come good again but it's just a matter of how long will it take."

Ralf Rangnick appointed as Austria manager


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Cristiano Ronaldo David Meyler Erik Ten Hag Manchester United Paul Pogba Ralf Rangnick