Chelsea Still Struggling For Goals Despite Potter’s Bright Start

Chelsea’s English head coach Graham Potter reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between England’s Chelsea and Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge in London on September 14, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

Chelsea are yet to lose in eight games under Graham Potter, but the Blues are still suffering from the lack of firepower that led to Thomas Tuchel’s demise at Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho’s penalty in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Saturday is the only goal Chelsea have managed in their last two games.

Even at the height of Tuchel’s time at Chelsea when they won the Champions League in 2021, goals were at a premium, with their success built on a solid defensive foundation.

The German was sacked seven games into this season, just days after the end of a transfer window where he had a major influence on Chelsea’s recruitment.

Tuchel pushed to be reunited with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after their time together at Borussia Dortmund and also championed the signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

But neither have fired consistently for Potter.

Sterling is still Chelsea’s top scorer this season with four goals despite his last coming in Potter’s first game in charge against Salzburg.

Aubameyang has shown flashes of his predatory best, including in the high point of Potter’s reign so far in consecutive wins over AC Milan to put Chelsea back on track in the Champions League.

But the former Arsenal captain has just three goals in nine appearances overall.

“We were sort of nearly there but lacked the last bit,” said Potter after the draw with United left Chelsea seven points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

“That is an area as a team where we can do better, in terms of our attacking play. It’s something we can improve,” Potter said.

READ ALSOSouthampton End Arsenal’s Eight-Game Winning Run

Ronaldo rumours return 

In this file photo taken on April 28, 2022, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo applauds supporters after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea in Manchester, England.

 

Chelsea’s maximum return from two games against Milan has at least put them in a much better position to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Victory in Salzburg on Tuesday will secure qualification and most likely guarantee top spot in the group.

Potter had never even attended a Champions League game before his bow in the competition last month.

But he has quickly answered questions over his readiness for one of the top jobs in club football after an unusual coaching career path that began in the Swedish lower leagues with Ostersunds.

With United having the better of the opening half-hour on Saturday, Potter responded with a substitution after just 36 minutes with Mateo Kovacic replacing Marc Cucurella to even up the numbers in midfield.

Chelsea were much improved after the change, but without the killer touch that has led to renewed rumours about a move for the man who was not at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at United has been plunged into further doubt by his refusal to come on as a substitute during a 2-0 win over Tottenham last week.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was subsequently left out of the squad against Chelsea by Erik ten Hag.

A potential summer bid for Ronaldo was reportedly a source of tension between Chelsea’s new chairman and co-owner Todd Boehly and Tuchel.

The American is known to be keen to exploit the commercial opportunities that the Portuguese star would bring and Chelsea are one of the few clubs that could match his wage demands.

But Tuchel’s resistence to the idea that the 37-year-old still has the dynamism to lead the line for a major club has been backed up by Ten Hag’s decision to leave him sidelined for most of the season.

In their search for goals, Chelsea can ill afford Boehly to be blinded by what Ronaldo was rather than the player he is now.

AFP

Ten Hag Explains Why He Axed Ronaldo For Chelsea Game

File combo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik ten Hag

 

Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag, has given his reasons for leaving Cristiano Ronaldo out of the team travelling to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Saturday afternoon. 

Ronaldo had refused to come on as a late sub in the match against Conte’s Tottenham on Wednesday night leaving ten Hag to state that his focus was on the tie against Chelsea and he  “will deal with that tomorrow.”

Speaking during a media briefing that was dominated by questions on  Ronaldo’s display, the Dutchman said he was responsible for the culture and had to set standards and values and control them.

“I said it was not acceptable, but he was not the only one. That was for everyone. So when it’s the second time, that will have consequences, and that is what we did,” the United boss said.

“So we miss him tomorrow and that is a miss for us and the squad. It’s a miss, but I think it’s important for the attitude for the mentality of the group, and now we have to focus on Chelsea and that is the most important [thing].”

Asked what he hoped dropping the Portuguese from the team will achieve, he responded “I think it will have a reflection, for him, but also for everyone else. I set a warning at the start of the season, and the next time it has to be the consequence.”

Speaking on the effects the punishment will have on the team insisted that such an occurrence was part of the sport and rumours shouldn’t deflect the team from Saturday’s crunch tie for the fourth spot on the Premier League table.

Ten Hag also said he was relishing the big wins at Old Trafford against the top sides in the league.

“It’s fabulous to play on Old Trafford, with our fans in our back. So, a great experience, every time again. And I think opponents don’t like to play at Old Trafford. But at the same time,” he said.

“I like to play away games because the stadiums in the Premier League are fantastic. So I am really looking forward to Stamford Bridge. Already I have that experience to play there, so I know how the atmosphere is there, so it’s fantastic.”

Ronaldo Casts Shadow Over Man Utd, Nunez Lifts Liverpool

In this file photo, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 7, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest show of petulance has cast a shadow over Manchester United ahead of their crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea.

Tottenham have yet to prove they truly belong among the league’s elite, while Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez is repaying Jurgen Klopp’s faith.

AFP Sport looks at three key talking points in this weekend’s action:

Ten Hag lays down law to Ronaldo

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the warm up prior to the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 19, 2022. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the warm up prior to the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 19, 2022. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

No matter what Erik ten Hag does to lift Manchester United towards respectability in his first season, the Dutchman is yet to escape the long shadow cast by Ronaldo.

Ronaldo’s latest show of disdain for Ten Hag’s authority came in the final minutes of Wednesday’s 2-0 win against Tottenham when he walked down the Old Trafford tunnel while the match was still in progress.

The 37-year-old’s refusal to wait for the final whistle reportedly came after he told Ten Hag he did not want to come on as a late substitute.

Ronaldo’s temper tantrum was not his first this term and, after his failed attempt to engineer a transfer in the close-season, the Portugal striker is clearly frustrated at finding himself in limbo.

In response to Ronaldo’s antics, Ten Hag has finally laid down the law and the star, who has scored just twice in 12 appearances this season, has been dropped from the squad that will travel to Chelsea on Saturday.

United will surely look to end Ronaldo’s turbulent second spell at the club by selling him in the January transfer window, but until then Ten Hag has to deal with the malcontent’s presence in the background.

READ ALSO: Ronaldo Axed From Man Utd Squad To Face Chelsea After Spurs Tantrum

Nunez revival lifts Liverpool

Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez (L) celebrates with Liverpool’s Greek defender Kostas Tsimikas (R) after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on October 19, 2022. (Photo by Nigel Roddis / AFP)

 

Nunez is rounding into form at just the right time for Liverpool as the Uruguay forward rewards Klopp for his patience.

Nunez was sent off in his first Premier League game at Anfield against Crystal Palace in August and then went five games without a goal, fuelling unflattering comparisons with Manchester City’s prolific striker Erling Haaland.

But, with Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz sidelined by injuries, Liverpool boss Klopp needed Nunez to start showing why he paid £64 million to sign him from Benfica in the close-season.

And the 23-year-old has risen to the challenge, with his winner in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over West Ham taking him to five goals for the Reds, including three in his last four games.

“It is important. He has scored now a couple of times in the last few games. He arrived 100 percent, now even with numbers, which is fine,” Klopp said.

Liverpool have recorded consecutive league victories for only the second time this season and head to struggling Nottingham Forest on Saturday aiming to close the gap on the top four.

Spurs keep faith over top-four woes

In this file photo, Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on May 15, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Outclassed by Manchester United in a 2-0 defeat that could have been far heavier, Tottenham have yet to silence the critics who question their poor record against the other contenders for a top-four place.

Antonio Conte’s side were well below their best at Old Trafford in a limp display reminiscent of their recent 3-1 loss in the north London derby at Arsenal.

Tottenham also needed a controversial stoppage-time equaliser from Harry Kane to rescue a 2-2 draw at Chelsea in August.

That series of underwhelming performances when the stakes were highest has led some to doubt Tottenham’s right to be ranked as title contenders, despite their current lofty third-place position.

However, Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris insists it is too early to panic.

“It’s not everything dark and everything bright, it was in between,” Lloris said prior to Sunday’s meeting with Newcastle.

“It’s too early to analyse because, I know you’re going to say Chelsea, Arsenal and now Manchester United, we have to see also when they come to our stadium how it will be. But yes it’s frustrating to lose a tough game.”

EPL Weekend Fixtures

Saturday (1400 GMT unless stated)

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool (1130), Everton v Crystal Palace, Manchester City v Brighton, Chelsea v Manchester United (1630)

Sunday

Aston Villa v Brentford, Leeds v Fulham, Southampton v Arsenal, Wolves v Leicester, Tottenham v Newcastle (1530)

Monday

West Ham v Bournemouth (1900)

AFP

Ronaldo Handed Man United Start After 700th Club Goal

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo (C) reacts during the warm up prior to the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on October 16, 2022. (Photo by Ian Hodgson / AFP)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the Manchester United team for the clash against Newcastle at Old Trafford on Sunday — just his second start of the Premier League season.

The Portuguese superstar, who scored his first league goal of the season in last week’s 2-1 win against Everton, has largely been limited to a substitute role in the English top flight under new manager Erik ten Hag.

The goal at Goodison Park was the 700th club goal of his career.

Ten Hag made four changes to the United line-up from the side he fielded at Everton, bringing in Ronaldo, Fred, Raphael Varane, and Jadon Sancho.

Victor Lindelof, Christian Eriksen, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial dropped out.

United are fifth in the Premier League table, one point ahead of Newcastle.

AFP

Ronaldo Happy At Man Utd Despite Frustrations, Says Ten Hag

In this file photo taken on April 28, 2022, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo applauds supporters after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea in Manchester, England.

 

Erik ten Hag admitted Wednesday that Cristiano Ronaldo is frustrated when he is not playing for Manchester United but insisted he is happy at Old Trafford.

The summer transfer window was dominated by speculation over the 37-year-old’s future after the club’s disappointing campaign in 2021/22.

Ronaldo reportedly received an eye-watering offer from Saudi Arabia, but no Champions League giants made their move for the Portugal attacker, who missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue.

The forward could start just his fourth match in all competitions when United take on Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday.

Ronaldo was left on the bench for Sunday’s 6-3 derby hammering at Manchester City, leading to renewed questions about his future before the trip to Cyprus.

“I never talk about my conversations with the players,” United manager Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference.

“They are between us. That’s quite clear.

“But when I tell you all the players, when you’re here and you’re happy, or satisfied, when you’re on the bench, this is not a club where you have to be, and especially Cristiano.

“He’s really competitive, as we all know. He’s not happy of course when he’s not playing.

“But I already said and, I have to repeat, he’s training well, he has a good mood, he’s motivated and he gives his best. That is what we expect.”

READ ALSO: As He Plots Liverpool Revival, Klopp Says Even Ronaldo Has Confidence Dips

Ten Hag thanked City manager Pep Guardiola and his team for the reality check dished out at the Etihad.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks in a match that showed the chasm between Ten Hag’s side and back-to-back Premier League champions City.

“Obviously it was a difficult day,” said the Dutch boss.

“As always we analyse and we do that tough, the reality. It was a reality check, so we have to learn from it and carry on.

“You always take respect of the opponent but we will still stick to our philosophy, our rules, our principles.”

He added: “So thank you for the lesson, from Pep and City. We will take that and we have to understand we have to do things much better.”

Bruno Fernandes said United’s players had held a meeting after the defeat to go through “the tough things, the mistakes that we did”.

“Obviously we know the game we played was not good enough for our standards, for what we have set for ourselves, for what we want to achieve this season,” said the attacking midfielder.

“We have let down the club altogether, not just one or two players. Altogether we didn’t do enough to win the game, to get points from that game.”

Defenders Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane are among the absentees for United’s trip to Cyprus.

The club are second in Group E after defeat against Real Sociedad and a win against Sheriff Tiraspol.

AFP

As He Plots Liverpool Revival, Klopp Says Even Ronaldo Has Confidence Dips

In this file photo, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 7, 2022. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) 

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says even Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are not immune from confidence issues as he seeks to find a solution to his side’s frustrating inconsistency.

Saturday’s 3-3 draw at home to Brighton, after recovering from 2-0 down to lead 3-2, was an example of the wider malaise affecting the team.

Liverpool are ninth in the Premier League after just two wins from seven matches and are already 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.

Klopp is staying patient but knows Tuesday’s Champions League tie at home to Rangers has become a key game, with Liverpool having already lost once in Group A.

“People can ask how could it happen that these players are not full of confidence,” said the German. “Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo (reduced to a substitute role at Manchester United) at this moment is top of his confidence levels?

“He was for ages the best player in the world and now it is not going his way and it is not exactly the same. That happens to all of us.

“Lionel Messi played last season (his first at Paris Saint-Germain) where it was not exactly the same because these kind of things are really important to all of us and you have to work for it.

“You have to take the little things to take a step in the right direction and be really ready for the moment when it is back and that is what we are doing.”

Klopp has pointed out that it has been difficult to establish momentum due to interruptions in Liverpool’s schedule — two of the club’s matches were postponed after Queen Elizabeth II’s death last month.

The team bounced back from a humiliating 4-1 defeat in Napoli in their Champions League opener to beat Ajax with a last-gasp winner but then went nearly three weeks without a game.

READ ALSO: Holders Lyon Face Arsenal In Tough Women’s Champions League Draw

Fixture headache

The compact schedule this season, made tighter by the looming World Cup in Qatar, adds an extra headache.

“Patience is not 100 percent the right word but we have to be patient to do the right thing again, and again and again until it works out again and then we will be fine,” said Klopp.

“We cannot always start something completely new but if we can help the boys with a way to defend differently we will do that.

“It is the same job I had in the time when you win 10 or 12 games in a row — you have to stay on top of it and work on the details. That is what we do now, just with a different confidence level.”

Klopp said he had sought to reassure recent arrival Darwin Nunez that there were no worries about his contribution or form.

Liverpool signed the Uruguayan forward from Benfica in June for a fee that could rise to 100 million euros ($98 million) but the goals have dried up after he scored two in his first two appearances.

Nunez’s form is in stark contrast with that of Erling Haaland, who has made an incredible impact at Manchester City since arriving in the summer transfer window.

Klopp said Liverpool’s coaching staff had held talks with 23-year-old Nunez.

“We just told him we are really calm,” said Klopp. “It’s really important in our situation that he isn’t looking like he is worrying or whatever.

“The team is not flying, and that makes it not easier for a striker, especially not for a finisher.”

AFP

FA Charges Ronaldo For Smashing Everton Fan’s Phone

In this file photo, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 7, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo was charged with “improper and/or violent” conduct by the English Football Association on Friday for an incident dating back five months.

Footage showed Ronaldo appearing to knock a fan’s mobile phone to the ground after United’s 1-0 defeat at Everton on April 9, for which the Portuguese was cautioned by Merseyside Police.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 for an incident that took place after Manchester United FC’s Premier League match against Everton on Saturday 9 April 2022,” said a FA spokesperson.

“It is alleged that the forward’s conduct after the final whistle was improper and/or violent.”

READ ALSOSuper Eagles’ Goal Is To Win Next AFCON, Says Peseiro

After the incident, which occurred when Ronaldo was making his way towards the tunnel, the 37-year-old issued a social-media apology for his “outburst” and invited the supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford “as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship”.

If found guilty of the charge, Ronaldo could face a ban from upcoming Premier League matches.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has only started in the league once this season under Erik ten Hag after failing to force a move away from Old Trafford during the transfer window.

In a statement, United said: “We note the FA announcement in relation to Cristiano Ronaldo.

“We will be supporting the player in response to the charge.”

AFP

Drop Ronaldo And Rashford For Liverpool Tie, Rooney Tells Ten Hag

A file photo combination of Rashford and Ronaldo.

 

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag can boost his hopes of securing his first Premier League point against Liverpool on Monday if he dropped Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford Red Devils legend Wayne Rooney writes in the Sunday Times.

United have opened their campaign with embarrassing defeats, Brighton recording their first ever win at Old Trafford followed by a 4-0 whipping by Brentford last weekend.

It leaves them rooted at the bottom of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.

United host a Liverpool outfit who are also seeking their first win of the campaign following two draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace.

United and England record goalscorer Rooney says his former side requires players who run their hearts out on the pitch and neither Ronaldo nor Rashford provide that.

Ronaldo in his second spell at United has been rumoured to be seeking a move away from the club as he wants to play Champions League football.

READ ALSO: Mendy Howler Sends Chelsea Crashing To Leeds Defeat

Rashford’s loss of form since playing in the Euro 2020 final last year has seen him lose his place in the England squad and there have been reports of him being linked with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

“I wouldn’t play Cristiano Ronaldo, and I wouldn’t play Marcus Rashford,” said Rooney.

“If I was in Ten Hag’s position my main concern would be getting energy on the pitch, and United’s failure to recruit a No 9 means they relied on Ronaldo against Brentford, even though he hadn’t trained a lot with the team.

“He looked like he needs time to get match fit.”

‘Night And Day’

Rooney — who is now coaching another of his former clubs DC United in the MLS — said United should let Ronaldo leave, as at 37 he is not a player to build a potential title-winning team around.

“He has also let it be known that he wants to leave the club,” said Rooney.

“I don’t know his reasons but, as I wrote in my last column, I’d let him — he’s a great player and will always score goals but the task for Ten Hag is to produce a team that can compete for the title in three or four years’ time.

“That means rebuilding with younger players.”

Rooney says watching Rashford these days is “a real concern.”

“I think he needs to do a lot of soul-searching and figure out what he wants, for his own good, before anything else,” said Rooney.

“He looks like he wants to be anywhere but on a football pitch. I haven’t seen him smile on the field for a long time.

“He’s a lovely kid and a local lad who came through the ranks at United, who everyone wants to see doing well.

“But you look at the difference between Marcus now and when he first came into the team: the passion he showed, the smile on his face when he scored.

“It’s night and day.”

Rooney wonders whether part of the problem is that Rashford is keen to leave.

“There has been speculation about a move to Paris Saint-Germain, and it could be that he is another, like Cristiano, who wants a change of scene.”

AFP

Police Caution Ronaldo Over Smashing Of Fan’s Phone

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 7, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has been cautioned by British police after footage emerged of the Manchester United forward appearing to smash a phone out of an Everton fan’s hand at a match last season.

The 37-year-old was interviewed by officers in relation to an allegation of assault and criminal damage following the incident at Goodison Park on April 9.

Merseyside Police launched an investigation after a clip was circulated online of Ronaldo appearing to knock the supporter’s mobile phone on to the ground as he limped towards the tunnel following United’s 1-0 loss.

The force said in a statement on Wednesday: “We can confirm that a 37-year-old man voluntarily attended and was interviewed under caution in relation to an allegation of assault and criminal damage.

“The allegation relates to an incident following the Everton v Manchester United football match at Goodison Park on Saturday, April 9.

“The matter has been dealt with by way of conditional caution. The matter has now concluded.”

READ ALSO: Ronaldo Blasts ‘Lies’ Over Man Utd Future

After the incident, Ronaldo issued a social media apology for his “outburst” and invited the supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford “as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship”.

Taking to his Instagram account after the match, the Portuguese forward said: “It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing.

“Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient, and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.

“I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship.”

It comes as Ronaldo hit out at the “lies” surrounding reports about his future at struggling United.

The Portugal forward missed the club’s pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia for personal reasons as speculation swirled over whether he would be leaving Old Trafford.

It has been reported Ronaldo wants to play Champions League football, but United maintain he is not for sale and remains an integral part of the plans of new boss Erik ten Hag.

The former Real Madrid star played the full 90 minutes of United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford on Saturday, which left them bottom of the Premier League.

In a reply to a fan account on Instagram that referred to a report linking the United frontman to Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo said fans would “know the truth” in a couple of weeks, adding: “The media is telling lies.”

AFP

Ronaldo, Maguire Most Abused Premier League Players On Twitter – Report

A file photo combination of Ronaldo and Maguire.

 

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire have received the most Twitter abuse of any Premier League players, a report published Tuesday has found.

Analysis by British media regulator Ofcom of 2.3 million tweets in the first half of last season found nearly 60,000 abusive posts, affecting seven in 10 top-flight players.

Half of that abuse was directed at just 12 individuals – eight from United.

Twitter was chosen due to its popularity with players, and because it makes data available for research but the study does not take into account the safeguards that are in place.

Ofcom is preparing to regulate technology companies under new Online Safety laws aimed at protecting users.

“These findings shed light on a dark side to the beautiful game,” Ofcom group director for broadcasting and online content Kevin Bakhurst said. “Online abuse has no place in sport, nor in wider society, and tackling it requires a team effort.

“Social media firms needn’t wait for new laws to make their sites and apps safer for users. When we become the regulator for online safety, tech companies will have to be really open about the steps they’re taking to protect users. We will expect them to design their services with safety in mind.”

READ ALSO: England Beat Germany To Win Women Euro 2022 Trophy

The report identified two peaks in the frequency of abusive tweets.

The first came on the day Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United — August 27 2021 — generating three times more tweets than any other day (188,769), of which 3,961 were abusive.

The volume of posts can largely be explained because of Ronaldo’s 98.4 million followers.

On this day, the Portugal forward was mentioned in 90 percent of all tweets aimed at Premier League footballers and 97 percent of abusive tweets.

The second peak came on November 7 when Maguire tweeted an apology following Manchester United’s 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City, with many posts using insulting language towards the England defender.

Twitter said it also removed more than 38,000 abusive tweets, with a spokesperson telling Britain’s PA news agency they were “committed” to combatting abuse and did not tolerate harassment on grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

At an Ofcom event at the National Football Museum in Manchester on Tuesday, Manchester United women’s player Aoife Mannion said using social media was a particular “deal with the devil” for female footballers.

“We do need it because we need the exposure and visibility we get from it, we don’t need the abuse,” she said.

AFP

Ronaldo Insists On Leaving Man Utd As Talks Breakdown

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo makes a rare appearance as captain during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 3, 2022.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Tuesday meeting has yielded no positive outcome as he has asked the club to end his contract to allow him to join a Champions League side.

Despite Ronaldo’s stance, Manchester United have insisted the forward is not for sale as they are yet to receive any formal bid for his services.

Talks over the 37-year-old to make commitments to the Red Devils proved abortive but he is expected to carry on professionally.

Ronaldo had missed United’s pre-season tour in Thailand and Australia respectively but was available for a medical checkup on Wednesday at which he watched his side’s 4-1 victory against Wrexham behind closed doors.

It is believed the Portuguese superstar will be available for the pre-season fixture against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Chelsea had withdrawn their bid for the superstar a while back while Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid appeared to publicly rule themselves out this week.

Atletico fans displayed a banner stating “CR7 not welcome” at a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

Ronaldo had taken a leave of absence from the club two weeks ago to attend to “family issues.” which called for a form of sanctions as he was seen to be breaking contractual obligations by missing the tour.

But due to the sensitive reasons for him remaining in Lisbon, United CEO Richard Arnold decided not to sanction him as Arnold is said to be “relaxed” about the fact Ronaldo might miss the entire tour – and is more concerned with resolving the striker’s immediate future.

 

Police Arrest Six Burglars Who Raided Ronaldo’s House

A file photo of Ronaldo. Credit: [email protected]

Six people have been arrested in connection with the three-million-euro burglary at the house belonging to former Brazil forward Ronaldo, AFP learned on Thursday from sources close to the investigation.

Paris Saint-Germain player Marco Verratti was staying at Ronaldo’s house in Ibiza but was not home when the burglars struck on Monday, making off with jewellery and money.

Two people were arrested in the port of Denia in eastern Spain and four others were held in the southern city of Malaga, these sources told AFP without further details.

According to the Spanish press, four of the six arrested are Albanian, the other two being a Spaniard and a Romanian, making up an organised gang specialising in burglary.

Press reports also claim that the Spanish police recovered a large part of the loot, estimated at around three million euros.

AFP