Piers Morgan has been leading the calls for the Gunners to sign the Portuguese superstar, but it would only serve to derail their superb season
Cristiano Ronaldo to Arsenal? Oh please, don’t be so ridiculous.
I’m not often surprised by football nowadays, but the suggestion that Mikel Arteta should look to bring in Ronaldo following his exit from Manchester United has certainly got me stumped.
And it’s not because it’s Piers Morgan who is leading the narrative. Because, well, it’s Piers Morgan, so that noise is fairly easy to ignore.
Well, it’s more that there seems to be plenty of other Arsenal fans – on social media anyway – that seem to agree with him.
I just honestly don’t get it.
Ronaldo has been a truly wonderful player, he’s one of the all-time greats. But now he’s the exact opposite of what Arsenal need.
He has an ego bigger than Old Trafford and that’s not really a criticism. When you’ve had a career like Ronaldo has and have hit the incredible heights that he has, then you have every right to rate yourself as highly as he clearly does.
But the last thing this Arsenal changing room needs right now is someone like him walking through the doors.
Arsenal and Arteta have spent the past two years getting big egos out of the club in a bid to unite the changing room. And a look at the Premier League table right now shows how much that has worked.
It’s not about Arteta being unable to manage big players, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suggested after he was ushered out of north London last year.
It’s about having a group of players that everyone can trust and a group of players who know that their teammates won’t throw their toys out of the pram if things don’t go their way.
“We don’t allow big egos,” Mohamed Elneny said last month, while discussing the bond that has been built within the Squad under Arteta. “This is the dressing room we have now. Everyone loves each other and everyone works for each other. This is what actually makes our Squad really strong, because we don’t have egos in the team.”
Those comments are a real insight into what has been driving Arsenal’s success this season. The rebuild process over the past two years has followed a carefully mapped-out plan, and there is still a long way to go before that plan comes to fruition.
But the progress has been clear and the idea that someone wants a character like Ronaldo to come in and rock the boat right now – just as things are going so smoothly – is crazy.
“Gabriel Jesus needs a scoring partner next to him,” Piers Morgan said during some more mind numbing self-promotion on talkSPORT. “What we [Arsenal] need is a fox in the box, a world-class player with bags of experience, who has won everything, and to help us get over the line.
“I can think of somebody – Cristiano Ronaldo! I would take him for six months in a heartbeat. This idea that Ronaldo can’t suddenly play football, I’m sorry, it’s laughable.”
Well, actually Piers, your suggestion is the laughable one. And I don’t think there is anyone who believes that Ronaldo suddenly can’t play football.
It’s clear that he can, a quick look at his goal tally for United last season shows that he can still do it when a team is basically built around trying to give him service. But that is not what this Arsenal side is about.
It’s about teamwork, it’s about pressing, it’s about work ethic, it’s about unity. It’s about everything that Ronaldo is not.
The suggestion that he would come in and be a ‘scoring partner’ for Jesus is ridiculous. How would that work then? Should Arteta totally rip up the system he has spent months trying to perfect just to accommodate a 37-year-old on crazy wages?
Should he suddenly dump the electric Gabriel Martinelli – just at a time when the club are trying to convince him to sign a new contract – so he can move Jesus out wide and play Ronaldo centrally?
It’s just all so laughable and it makes it all the more baffling that it seems like there are plenty who would be willing to welcome the Circus that Ronaldo would bring.
Ronaldo is a legend. He’s one of the greats. But his time is done. His little PR exercise with Morgan has got the result he wanted. He got himself away from a club he says he loves just because he couldn’t handle being the bit-part player that he clearly is now.
So good luck to him. Hopefully he gets himself his final big move and he can end his glittering career as he wishes.
Where that is, remains to be seen. But the one place it certainly shouldn’t be, is Arsenal.