Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo responds to Todd Boehly Chelsea transfer question with Graham Potter backing

Cristiano Ronaldo responds to Todd Boehly Chelsea transfer question with Graham Potter backing

Behdad Eghbali and Jose E. Feliciano provided an explanation for the change in head coach in the statement that accompanied the announcement of Graham Potter’s appointment as Chelsea’s new head coach.

“We are thrilled to partner with Graham to build a winning team,” the quotes read. “One that embodies the culture of collaboration, innovation, teamwork, player development, and a commitment to excellence on and off the pitch.”

The need for vision alignment was cited as a primary reason for the communication breakdown with Thomas Tuchel during the summer. Soon after, Todd Boehly reflected on this in New York at the SALT Conference, reiterating the need for a shared vision.

“When you take over any business, you have to make sure you’re aligned with the people who are operating the business.” Boehly said.

“[Thomas] Tuchel is obviously extremely talented and someone who had great success at Chelsea. Our vision for the club was to find a manager who really wanted to collaborate with us, a coach who really wanted to collaborate.”

Graham Potter, for whom the new owners have shown unwavering support despite the team’s recent poor performance, is viewed as a candidate for this position. The need for cohesion at Chelsea is undeniable, which renders Boehly’s potential lingering thoughts about signing Cristiano Ronaldo in January completely absurd.

Ronaldo’s name surfaced in the aftermath of Tuchel’s dismissal when, in the summer, the German rejected the opportunity to acquire the Portuguese superstar after Boehly met with his agent Jorge Mendes. 

Not only did Ronaldo’s profile not align with Tuchel’s philosophy, but an apparent conversation with Ralf Rangnick, who had spent the previous season at Old Trafford, also influenced his decision.

The explosive quotes and jabs at Rangnick, Manchester United, the Glazers, and Erik Ten Hag from Ronaldo’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV have dominated the news cycle. 

United’s victory over Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday has been completely overshadowed by the World Cup as we enter the break.

This season, Ronaldo has become a disruptive presence for Ten Hag. Not contributing much when called upon, but consistently causing problems from the bench, and having publicly stormed down the tunnel after refusing to come off the bench in United’s victory over Spurs last month, he was left out of the squad to face Chelsea three days later.

This season, United appears to be a better team without Ronaldo, who has contributed only three goals, two of which have come in the Europa League.

All of this is an unnecessary distraction for Chelsea. Ronaldo’s actions reflect a preference for the individual over the group, without even considering the tactical challenges that a 37-year-old Ronaldo poses for a team that wants to counter-press.

Chelsea is going through a difficult time; they must find a sense of identity and consistency on and off the field. Boehly should adhere to the same principles that led him to appoint Potter in the first place, given that Ronaldo’s conduct fails the aforementioned test.

Cristiano Ronaldo responds to Todd Boehly Chelsea transfer question with Graham Potter backing

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