Manchester United coach, Erik Ten Hag has finally admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo is not happy that he is not playing regularly for the club. For the first time, the Dutch tactician admitted that Ronaldo is unhappy at the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently unhappy at Old Trafford as he continues to struggle for game time under new manager Erik Ten Hag.
He has played two Europa League matches for the Red Devils and has been included in the squad to face Omonia Nicosia.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s situation at Manchester United came to the climax when Manchester United battled City in the 188th Manchester Derby.
The Portuguese was an unused substitute in the match and was obviously frustrated as the Red Devils suffered a heavy 6-3 defeat at the Etihad.
When asked why he didn’t use the five-times Ballon d’Or winner in such a high-profile game, Ten Hag gave a very controversial reply.
According to him, he did not use Cristiano Ronaldo “out of respect for his big career.” He also, admitted that he had an alternative to Ronaldo – Anthony Martial, who just returned form injury.
Former Manchester United players and pundits, Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand had been on the neck of Erik Ten Hag after he benched the highly-rated forward throughout the Manchester derby.
According to Roy Keane, it was the very height of disrespect, not respect, to keep Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench during the game.
Rio Ferdinand also dismissed Ten Hag’s claims that he is respecting Cristiano Ronaldo by keeping him on the bench, during the derby match.
Manchester United suffered a heavy defeat against their city rivals, with two promising City youngsters – Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks each.
Watching from the bench, Cristiano Ronaldo was obviously unhappy as Manchester City kept piling up the deficit, with four goals scored in the first half.
Speaking before Manchester United’s clash with Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League, Erik Ten Hag confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo was unhappy not playing in the Manchester Derby.
“He’s not happy that he wasn’t playing Sunday”, the coach admitted.
“Of course, he wants to play and he’s annoyed when he’s not playing. It’s clear.
“But when I tell you all the players, when you’re here and you’re happy, or satisfied, when you’re on the bench, this is not a club where you have to be, and especially Cristiano.
“He’s really competitive, as we all know. He’s not happy of course when he’s not playing.
Nevertheless, Erik Ten Hag admitted that the former Juventus and Real Madrid star is in good spirits and is training well with the team.
“But I already said and, I have to repeat, he’s training well, he has a good mood, he’s motivated and he gives his best. That is what we expect.”
Ten Hag further delved into his tactics and methods used to select his starting lineup. According to him, he considers respect and the player’s background.
“Nobody is the same in the team, I will treat everyone with respect but they all have different backgrounds”, he noted.
“I have to treat players differently to get the best out of them, but there are general standards and values that count for everyone.”
On the defeat to Manchester City, Erik Ten Hag says it is a reality checked on the team and he is ready to go back to the drawing board and fix things.
“Now we get a reality check with Manchester City, we know we have to step up,” he noted.
“So thank you for the lesson, Pep and City, we will take that and we have to understand we have to do things much better.”
Whether Ronaldo would have made a difference in the Manchester derby is unknown. However, it is clear that the 37-year-old is not part of Erik Ten Hag’s plan.
He is at a disadvantage of Ten Hag deep press system and may not be in Erik Ten Hag’s lineup in key matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo must explore avenues to exit Old Trafford if he must rekindle his dying football career.