Man Utd players adopt unified stance on Ten Hag handling of Ronaldo, with three claims revealing Old Trafford mood
Erik ten Hag’s handling of Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo has sparked a unified response from his squad, with a report detailing three huge ticks on the Dutchman’s résumé.
Once Ronaldo’s exit wish was not granted over the summer, fears his situation at Old Trafford would become a sideshow began to grow. The 37-year-old wanted out in order to continue his Champions League legacy. However, when only Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal placed a bid, Ronaldo was forced to stay put.
New manager Erik ten Hag could well do without a Ronaldo circus clouding his first season at the helm. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, that’s exactly what he’s got.
Ronaldo recently refused to come on as a substitute during the impressive 2-0 victory over Tottenham. For the first time in his storied career, the Portuguese icon is no longer a regular starter and is clearly struggling to deal with that fact.
Ronaldo then left Old Trafford entirely before the full time whistle blew. In response, Ten Hag banished him from the squad to face Chelsea last weekend.
Ronaldo was also fined two weeks wages and was forced to train with the Under-23s. His indiscretion was not his first after also leaving early during United’s pre-season clash with Rayo Vallecano.
Showdown talks between Ronaldo and Ten Hag were expected at the beginning of this week. While talks between the pair have taken place, Sky Sports reported it was far less dramatic that the term ‘showdown’ suggests.
Ronaldo “has served his punishment”
They claimed Ronaldo has been brought back in from the cold and has re-joined training with the first-team.
Furthermore, he’s in contention to feature in United’s next fixture – a Europa League clash with Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.
“Erik ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo have been in constant dialogue,” said Sky reporter Vicky Gomersall.
“There were no showdown talks at Carrington today and the manager’s focus is on preparing the squad for Thursday and Cristiano, they say, is part of [their plans for that fixture].
“Ten Hag feels the player has served his punishment and wants to move forward, with the whole group pulling in the same direction.”
Prior to this afternoon’s update regarding Ronaldo’s re-integration, a report from the Manchester Evening News shed light on how the Man Utd squad have reacted to the situation.
Ten Hag leadership earns Man Utd squad’s respect
Ten Hag has shown bravery and courage in his convictions by initially dropping Ronaldo who is clearly a poor fit for his system. Additionally, he did not shy away from backing the punishments handed down to Ronaldo for his antics.
The MEN report the United players have been impressed with Ten Hag’s handling of a situation that could’ve overshadowed the team’s marked improvement under the Dutchman.
Indeed, United are unbeaten in their last six and their performance against Tottenham was the finest to date since Ten Hag took charge.
The report puts three big ticks on Ten Hag’s résumé when stating his firm approach has ‘earned him plenty of respect’ from within the squad.
Furthermore, the players are said to be ‘enjoying working under’ Ten Hag and many are ‘benefitting from his detailed instructions and clear demands’.
Despite criticism from some in the media – most notably Roy Keane – it appears Ten Hag’s management is going down a treat with his players.
Crucially, they’re responding on the pitch too and for the first time in too long, United have a manager who is both an excellent tactician and who won’t stand for anything that harms the collective.
It’s still early days, but from what we’ve seen, Ten Hag is the right man at the right time for Manchester United.
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