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Rio Ferdinand insisted he would have told Cristiano Ronaldo to ‘sit down’ when the superstar moved to the touchline to start shouting instructions during Manchester United’s shock defeat by Young Boys.
Ronaldo scored the third goal of his second spell at the club to hand United the lead in Bern, but was later left frustrated along with his team-mates after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off and the hosts hit back.
After being taken off in the second half, the typically passionate forward was not afraid to stand close to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to advise United’s players, but Ferdinand has said he would not have accepted the antics.
‘If I’m the manager, I’ve got to be honest, I’m telling him to sit down,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport during their post-match coverage.
‘I get it. You know, with Cristiano people go, “Oh it’s bravado, it’s for the fans”. He’s just a passionate guy. He wants to win, he’s desperate to win, and he can’t hold it in.
‘If that means he has to go up there and stand next to the manager, shouting instructions etc so be it. When it’s someone of his standing and stature in the game how can you argue with it?’
Ronaldo has previous with temporary coaching stints, having been just as animated inside the technical area during Portugal’s Euro 2016 final triumph against France after being forced off with an injury.
But his effect off the field was unable to stop United from crashing to their first defeat of the season, with Moumi Ngamaleu tucking in and Theoson Siebatcheu sweeping home after Jesse Lingard’s horror back pass.
The tactics of boss Solskjaer were quickly questioned by supporters after the final whistle, but Ferdinand looked to defend his decisions.
‘In the 72nd minute, they’re talking about needing a goal. Ole’s not thinking like that,’ Ferdinand said.
‘As a manager I understand what he is probably thinking at that time, 1-1, away in Europe, always difficult no matter where you go, in Europe it’s always difficult to go away, on an artificial pitch, we’re down to 10 men, we’ll take a point.
‘And that’s what he was thinking. He wasn’t thinking about bringing players on or keeping players on to score goals, it was about seeing the game out. And listen, if he sees that game out, no-one is talking about substitutions.’
However, former United stalwart Ferdinand also admitted that Solskjaer will face the sack if the club don’t win trophies this season.
Having been knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage last term, the pressure is on the embattled coach to be successful.
‘Of all the managers in the top four fight, Ole hasn’t proved he can win at this level yet,’ Ferdinand said. ‘He’s done what he’s been asked to do up until this point.
‘Now its D-Day. It’s his squad, shaped by him, a wonderful transfer window just gone, bringing in winners, people that can change the culture of this club.
‘Now he’ll be judged properly. Now you’ve got to convert that to trophies and if he doesn’t his head will be on the chopping block like any other manager.’
Ronaldo, meanwhile, looked to shrug off the setback, telling his followers on social media that United’s focus is already on this weekend’s trip to West Ham.
‘Wasn’t the result we wanted, but now it’s time to recover well and focus on the next game,’ he wrote on Instagram.