Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come off the bench for Manchester United against Tottenham last week.
Cristiano Ronaldo is not making Erik ten Hag's life easier at Old Trafford.
The Manchester United manager is getting decent results and performances from his squad. The team has definitely improved on last season, when Ronaldo was the team's leading scorer. But the former Manchester United superstar threw a strop when asked to come off the bench last week.
Ronaldo is perennially a bench player in the league. He starts games in the Europa League. He is no longer an option to start in ten Hag's system and he is not embracing his role as supersub.
Roy Keane represented Ronaldo fans across the world at the weekend. Keane argued that Manchester United disrespected Ronaldo, so Ronaldo was justified in refusing to come off the bench. But this isn't Ronaldo's first time breaking a team rule.
Charlotte Duncker of The Times explains.
"This is the second time that Ronaldo has left a stadium early," Duncker said.
"He did it in a preseason friendly, he was warned then that behaviour wasn't acceptable. So if you do it a second time you're going to get punished. And I think the punishment was right. Ten Hag has gone about it in the right way and I think really I agree more with what Gary Neville was saying than Roy Keane."
Ronaldo is on the bench because that's where he belongs at this stage of his career. It's not disrespectful for ten Hag to keep him there. Manchester United do not owe Ronaldo more starts because of who he was more than a decade ago for the club.
Ten Hag has not said anything disrespectful about the player, in fact there's more evidence Ronaldo has disrespected the club than the other way around.
"Just because he's not making a decision that Ronaldo agrees with doesn't mean that he's disrespected him. Ten Hag has been making decisions that he believes benefit his team the best. He's selecting the players that he believes fit into the system he wants to play.
"That's the reason that Ronaldo has started this season on the bench.
"He 0bviously missed preseason for personal reasons. So that intense time that they had on tour, the preseason where they were all drilled into ten Hag's methodology, how he wanted to play, and his tactics and his philosophy. Ronaldo missed a massive chunk of that.
"You then put in this argument that he can't press...you add all that together and is there a strong enough argument for him starting every week? I don't think so."
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