Jamie Carragher backs Erik ten Hag in decision to bench Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo in derby
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been backed by Liverpool great Jamie Carragher for benching Cristiano Ronaldo against Manchester City. The Dutch manager received flak from people for not bringing on the Portuguese.
The Red Devils visited the Etihad Stadium to face Pep Guardiola’s unbeaten team. United were themselves on a four-game win streak before falling 6-3 to City. We had been victorious in the North West derby and got the better of Arsenal.
Ronaldo started the fifth consecutive league Premier League game on the bench. The 37-year-old has started only in the Europa League since the 4-0 defeat to Brentford.
Marcus Rashford has been the preferred number nine for Ten Hag. And the England international has ensured his place in the starting lineup with his impressive displays.
However, the Manchester derby ended in a disappointing result. The Red Devils were unable to get a hold of the park in the middle of the park and our forwards were not able to make an impact in the first half.
Some fans have argued Ronaldo should have started. However, making his thoughts known on Twitter, Carragher, who spent his entire career with United’s arch-rivals Liverpool, believes Ten Hag had every right to have the five-time Ballon d’Or winner on the bench.
“The idea that ETH got it wrong yesterday by not playing Ronaldo is laughable! Ronaldo played at Brentford when it was 4-0 at ht!! It’s not a dig at CR, but Rashford’s pace on the counter attack as we saw v Arsenal/Liverpool was the best option.”
While Ronaldo was our top goalscorer last season, the 37-year-old has not been in fine nick as of late. In the 2022/23 campaign, the Portuguese has registered just one goal. And that was against Sheriff Tiraspol.
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Ten Hag went with the same starting XI that played against Arsenal. United had found success with a similar team and no one can blame the gaffer for sticking with the same side. We must learn from the Manchester derby and bounce back against Everton on 10 October.