HATCHET MAN: Stay calm Cristiano - then learn how to stay upright if you want referees to start liki
10 March 2009 01:11
When Cristiano Ronaldo vows to curb his temper and stop lashing out at opponents it has to be commended.
But how many times have we heard top players pay lip service to the idea of changing their behaviour - and what about the diving?
Whoever is advising the Manchester United forward, it seems like they may not be taking a particularly forceful approach to pointing out his faults.
'Sometimes it is difficult because of the atmosphere in the stadium and the importance of the game,' Ronaldo claimed with an excuse which made his anger management pledge seem half-hearted.
The World Player of the Year is probably kicked more than any other and has admirable resilience in the face of considerable provocation.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson rightly praises Ronaldo for it, yet he also defends the Portuguese almost every time his ugly side rears its head.
That stance could make life easier in convincing Ronaldo to stay at United but it won't to persuade him to calm down and stay upright.
And it could stunt his development as a player.