Ex-Manchester United captain Gary Neville was left extremely unimpressed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to ignore the travelling fans after Monday night’s woeful 1-1 draw with Newcastle, while he also criticised Bruno Fernandes’ ‘whinging’ and poor body language.
An equaliser from Edinson Cavani and a big late save from David de Gea ensured United escaped from St James’ Park with a point they probably didn’t deserve.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ post-match coverage, Neville expressed his disdain for how Ronaldo acted after the final whistle, which wasn’t a first and suggested both he and Fernandes should be doing far more to lift the spirits of the squad and lead.
Cavani, meanwhile, came in for praise for the way he carried himself and tried to encourage others.
“At the end of the day, I love that lad [Ronaldo], he’s the best I’ve ever seen in my life at times, but don’t run off like that. I’m not having that,” a visibly frustrated and annoyed Neville said.
“I don’t care how you’ve played, you need to go over and clap the fans at the end of the game. Get over to them, particularly when you’re the best player in the world, one of the greatest of all time.
“We talk about body language. We talked about it earlier in the season when Ronaldo ran off at the end of the Everton game. He’s run off again. He ran off at Watford, when everyone knew the manager was going to get the sack, and at Norwich.
“And there’s Fernandes whinging too. They’re the two senior players. It’s devastating for younger players when the two best players are looking at every other player like they’re not good enough.”
Neville said that such behaviour had ‘annoyed’ him for the last two months, drawing on his own experience of having more senior players to guide him through mistakes and difficult times.
“Cavani takes that away,” the pundit also explained, singling out the veteran striker for praise. “I don’t think Cavani wilts in the presence of Ronaldo or Fernandes, I think he stands up to them and helps other young players on the pitch. He needs to be on the pitch.”
At half-time in the game, Neville also hadn’t held back in his stinging criticism of the whole team, dubbing them a ‘bunch of whingebags’.
“Watch them on that pitch, arms up in the air, complaining about everything! Honestly, they’re absolutely shocking out there in that first half,” he said.
“They got the last manager the sack! Ralf Rangnick is not going to get the sack, he’s only had a few weeks with them, but they’ll get a lot of managers the sack, that lot, if they carry on like that.”