Manchester United Head Coach, Erik ten Hag Makes Fresh Demands From Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo needs to work on his fitness and develop greater selflessness, according to Erik ten Hag, Manchester United’s manager. 

The Portuguese superstar was unable to leave Old Trafford during the 2022 summer transfer window, and after a lackluster cameo at St. Mary’s last weekend, he looked better during his 22 minutes at the King Power Stadium on Thursday. 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro

Cristiano Ronaldo has been given the go-ahead to play according to Erik ten Hag’s plan for Manchester United. 

The Dutchman turned around the club’s early-season struggles with three straight victories, leaving the sulky Portuguese star on the outside looking in. 

The 38-year-old future was the subject of much conjecture before the transfer market closed last Thursday. He will remain at Manchester United at least until January but ten Hag would not make any promises when asked what comes next for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo not happy after Manchester United lost

“Ronaldo is here, as we stated,” he said. “He also didn’t have a preseason, as is well known. You must attend the preseason. It is the base. Particularly while playing the game the way we want to play. 

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik Ten Hag

“There is no comparison; we don’t play like we did last year. This necessitates collaboration and specific posture in and out of possession. His physical condition is another factor. 

“But the season has only begun. We’ve got a team. You can see that there are currently more than 11 players with us.”

A front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga, and Jadon Sancho was preferred by Ten Hag for the victory over Leicester, and Ronaldo has only started one of the five Premier League games so far this season. 

In the Red Devils’ victory, the latter scored the game’s sole goal, and Ten Hag said of the Englishman: “I am happy for Jadon Sancho. He invested little and scored a lot during the preseason, but now he is reaping the benefits. 

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“He had a good preseason; he knows he needs to put in the physical work, and he did just that. For him, this is just the beginning. He has a lot of promise, therefore there is still opportunity for growth. He may perhaps be more significant.”

For the Red Devils’ last four domestic games, Ten Hag decided to keep Ronaldo on the bench. Even though he was substituted in each of those games, he is yet to score.

Before Sunday’s match against Premier League table-toppers Arsenal at Old Trafford, Ten Hag stressed that Ronaldo must put in just as much effort as any other player if he wants to make a comeback to the starting eleven. 

If 4th placed Brighton & Hove Albion cannot duplicate or improve upon their previous results when they face Leicester City at 14:00 on Sunday, September 4, a victory for Man United against Arsenal at 16:30 on Sunday might move the Red Devils up to the fourth position in the Premier League standings.

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