Roy Keane led a star-studded side against minnows Millwall in the 2004 FA Cup Final. It included the likes of Paul Scholes, Ruud Van-Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, and Darren Fletcher.
An 18-year old Cristiano Ronaldo was also amongst the starters and opened the scoring in the 44th minute. Nistelrooy followed it up with a second-half brace to complete the 3-0 victory.
Recently, while discussing the match with former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, Keane joked that Ronaldo was not pressing during the FA Cup final either. Ian Wright, meanwhile, claimed that Ronaldo did not look like he would become one of football’s all-time greats when he initially broke through at Manchester United. In response, Keane said the following:
“Strangely enough, that day, he didn't do too much pressing!”
Manchester United's problems run deeper than just Ronaldo's apparent lack of pressing
Since making his move to Manchester United last summer, some of Ronaldo's former Juventus teammates have claimed Ronaldo's lack of pressing led to increased pressure on the rest of the players. The same criticism has been made at Manchester United as well.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo has been scoring for fun and Ralf Rangnick himself praised the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner’s work-rate recently. Ronaldo has started each of Manchester United’s last 3 PL games but has been left frustrated by the lack of service up-top.
Manchester United have failed to press as a team and have various defensive issues to solve as well. Their best midfield combination is currently unknown, with Rangnick choosing to start Bruno Fernandes on the bench against Wolves while Paul Pogba is still some weeks away from a potential return.
While Roy Keane was obviously joking about Cristiano Ronaldo’s lack of pressing, Manchester United's problems are far more complicated than just Ronaldo's apparent unwillingness to press.