Ralf Rangnick should follow Sir Alex Ferguson’s lead in Cristiano Ronaldo debate

Why on earth does Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick have to explain himself to anyone – let alone to Cristiano Ronaldo – a footballer who will turn 37 years old in a couple of weeks’ time?

The German felt it necessary to have a quiet word after the winker was dragged off 20 minutes from the end of their midweek victory over Brentford.

Ronaldo remains a very good player. He will be remembered as an ‘all-time great.’

But he’ll lose a footrace with Father Time – just like every professional footballer that has gone before him.

He’s been around the game long enough to know that having a strop after being substituted isn’t the greatest look.

He’s not playing for the Dog and Duck on Sunday morning. He’s still wearing the crest of Manchester United on his shirt – a club that once demanded the best.

No manager of that football club should have to explain any of their decisions to the players.

Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t have done. And that goes for his successors, too.

Graham Thorpe, England’s batting coach, lost his job this week.

As if the regular collapses weren’t sufficient reason, he gave the ECB further ammunition to sever his employment by filming a boozy session that had gone on until the early morning.

Never mind what on earth was he drinking, what on earth was he thinking?

English cricket was looking for a scapegoat after the disaster Down Under and Thorpe pretty much handed over his head on a silver plate. Brainless.

Diogo Jota – Liverpool’s front three looked set in stone. But the Portuguese has really stepped up to the plate. That front three has turned into Merseyside’s second Fab Four.

Dean Smith – the victory over Watford was Norwich’s second in one week. After looking dead and buried the Dead Parrot, sorry Canary, (one for Monty Python fans) is slowly being resuscitated.

A review of county cricket – The shambolic Test series in Oz showed reform is needed. The competition needs to be streamlined while the players learn from tougher cricket in mid-summer conditions.

Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson’s pursuit of Derby County. He either signed up to the punishments the EFL handed out for financial misdemeanours or he didn’t. It is to be hoped his claim fails – or where will it end?

Rumours that Roberto Martinez might be heading to Goodison Park. He failed there once. Why would the Toffees’ decision-makers go there again? Makes no sense.

Arsenal’s lack of discipline. Granit Xhaka is sent off one week and Thomas Partey the next. It seems to be a constant. Boss Mikel Arteta needs a full complement if he wants to challenge the best.