It is difficult to see how Cristiano Ronaldo can have a future at Manchester United after the events of the last week or so.
Not only is it clear that the team functions much better when he's not in it, but the way he has conducted himself during the last few games make it difficult to see how he can be a valuable member of the squad.
Shaking in his head in frustration after being substituted due to a poor performance against Newcastle was one thing, but refusing to come on against Spurs and then storming down the tunnel was an altogether different one. Roy Keane aside, most onlookers agree that his actions crossed a major line.
Paul McGrath has interesting Cristiano Ronaldo theory
Paul McGrath agrees that Ronaldo was completely out of order for the way he behaved during the Spurs game, although he does not believe it was done out of any sort of disrespect for his manager or teammates. In fact, he feels it all comes down to the player's frustrations with his own body.
Writing in his column in the Sunday World, the Ireland legend said that it is clear that the Portuguese superstar is finding it difficult to come to terms with his own diminishing powers.
The most terrifying point in the career of any professional footballer is the moment he is confronted by his own athletic mortality, when he can see the finishing line of the only life he has known hurtling toward him like a runaway train.
All sorts of thoughts flood through your mind: Panic, desolation, confusion. You feel terribly alone. And incredibly vulnerable.
Honestly, it was an earth-shattering experience for me – and I had nothing like Ronaldo’s profile...
The thought of losing all that, of no longer being able to do the stuff that set you apart from even the best of the rest, can cause you to do the most self-destructive things.
Like refuse to go on to a pitch. Or marching off to the dressing room while your team are still fighting for three points. It is wrong, but – honestly – I felt Ronaldo’s pain...
Although he will rail against the notion, it must be dawning on him that he cannot beat Father Time. I genuinely believe that is at the core of all that is going on with Ronaldo over recent weeks.
He is enormously frustrated, not so much with Erik ten Hag, but with the ticking clock. He has a big personality and he is evidently struggling to come to terms with the reality that he is no longer The Man...
I hope it works out for him and I would be loath to criticise him for what he did on Wednesday. As I said, I’ve been there. And it cuts you to the core, gives you a terrible feeling that the walls are closing in.
Cristiano Ronaldo still has an eye for goal, but the other areas of his game have dropped off dramatically. He is no longer a good fit for top sides in the modern game, who want to play at a fast pace and press with intensity when out of possession.
It is difficult to see another big European club taking him on at the moment, meaning his future is very much up in the air. One thing that is becoming clearer is that it is likely to lie away from Old Trafford.