Michael Carrick said it is a “myth” that Cristiano Ronaldo is not suited to a high-pressing style of play and backed the Portuguese forward to thrive under Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
German coach Rangnick, who will take charge after receiving a work visa, is a proponent of ‘gegenpressing’ — a style of football in which teams press with high energy to win the ball back as soon as possible, rather than falling back to regroup.
Carrick, who looks likely to continue as caretaker for United’s game against Arsenal later on Thursday, said 36-year-old Ronaldo had the qualities to adapt to any tactical changes that Rangnick would implement.
“Maybe it is a myth (that Ronaldo can’t press). He’s played in enough teams over the years and been successful to play in a variety of ways,” Carrick said.
“He has kept scoring goals for every team he has played for and I am sure he will continue to score goals, no doubt about that. Players adapt anyway. You’ve got to have skills for different styles.”
Ronaldo is United’s top scorer this season with 10 goals in 15 appearances in all competitions.
Carrick also downplayed his decision to drop Ronaldo for United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea and commended the Portuguese international for responding in the right spirit.
“He was incredible. He supported the players,” Carrick said. “A lot can be made of it and trying to spin it in a negative way, but behind the scenes it is very different.”
United are 10th in the league, and have picked up one point in their last three matches. Arsenal are up to fifth place after winning four of their last five matches.