'Ole had a plan until Ronaldo came in'

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A Premier League legend has seemingly laid the blame on Cristiano Ronaldo for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's fall as Manchester United manager.

United went on a run of five losses in seven Premier League matches that eventually saw the club pull the plug on the Norwegian manager, with the Red Devils now in eighth place on the table, 12 points adrift of log leaders Chelsea. 

Scroll through the gallery below to see some other managers who have been sacked this season 

Former Arsenal star and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has now claimed that the signing of Ronaldo from Juventus in August is a big reason why Solskjaer's plans for this season went into disarray, eventually leading to his departure from the club. 

"I feel sorry for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer," Merson wrote in a column for Sky Sports. 

"He had a plan at the start of the season, having finished second last season. He's chased Jadon Sancho for a long time, got him in, and he's given Edinson Cavani another year.  

"Then, he gets given Ronaldo. I think he's thrown it all out of the window. From day one, they're not a better team with Ronaldo in it. 

"You don't go 29 games unbeaten away without playing a certain way, and bringing Sancho in gave them another weapon to play that way. 

Read: Ronaldo bids heartfelt farewell to Ole

"With Ronaldo up there, you don't have that weapon to play on the counter-attack anymore. And Bruno Fernandes was their best player last season – he's hardly had a touch this season! 

"It's all snowballed for Solskjaer. He had a plan, and the Ronaldo situation threw it all out of the window, just before the season started." 

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