Erik ten Hag explains Manchester United’s reasoning behind Cristiano Ronaldo punishment

Erik ten Hag says there had to be “consequences” after Manchester United punish Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has stated that there had to be “consequences” as Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped from the squad to face Chelsea.

The Portuguese was punished for walking down the runner in the 90th minute after refusing to come on as a substitute a few moments earlier. Consequently, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been made to train separately and will not travel to Stamford Bridge with the Red Devils.

Speaking to the media via Manchester Evening News ahead of the Chelsea game, Ten Hag explained he had already warned the players of ramifications after a similar incident against Rayo Vallecano during pre-season. And the Dutch manager felt action had to be taken against the forward.

Erik ten Hag feels there needed to be consequences for what Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo did against Tottenham.
Erik ten Hag feels there needed to be consequences for what Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo did against Tottenham. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“So after Rayo Vallecano, I told him it was unacceptable but he was not the only one, but that is for everyone, so when it is the second time, that will have consequences.

“I think it will have a (time for) reflection for him, but also for everyone else.

“I sent a warning at the start of the season, next time there have to be consequences otherwise when you are living together when you are playing together, football is a team sport and you have to fulfil certain standards. And I have to control it.”

Against Spurs at Old Trafford, United put in one of their best performances of the season. However, Ronaldo leaving before the full-time whistle marred the occasion.

The 37-year-old has not had the best of campaigns in Manchester. He has often found himself on the bench this season, with the gaffer preferring other options.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have been the first choice number lines when they have been available. And the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been relegated to a substitute role.

Is this the beginning of the end for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United?
Is this the beginning of the end for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United? (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

When Ronaldo has featured in the current campaign, he has cut a frustrating figure. In the 2022/23 season, in 12 appearances, the Portuguese star has two goals and one assist.

On the other hand, Rashford and Martial have made an impact when they have been chosen to lead the line. While fans feel the England international has not been clinical enough, he has made a difference in other aspects.

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With this transgression, is Ronaldo’s career in Manchester in its final stages? Will the 37-year-old leave in the January transfer window? Only time will tell but fans would certainly be desperate for such insipid controversies to get over soon.