Wayne Rooney praises Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag for how he handled the Cristiano Ronaldo situation
Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney was impressed with the way Erik ten Hag handled the Cristiano Ronaldo situation at the club. The ex-Red Devil feels the Dutch manager has shown great personality in his time with the Old Trafford side.
Ten Hag suspended the Portugal international after he refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on 19 October. The 37-year-old walked down the tunnel against Spurs before the full-time whistle.
Speaking on talkSPORT (h/t Manchester Evening News), Rooney, who spent 13 seasons at United, praised the former Ajax head coach’s character in how he has dealt with various situations at the club.
“I think [Erik] Ten Hag has done really well, I think he’s come in and stamped his authority on the team.”
“He showed his strength and character in how he dealt with Cristiano [Ronaldo] at times with some of the stuff he’s been up to, so I really think he’s the right man for the job, I think it will take time, but a real step in the right direction will be to finish inside the top four and get Champions League football again.”
Ronaldo has not had the best of campaigns at the Old Trafford side under Ten Hag. The Dutch manager has not fancied the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in his starting lineup.
The Portuguese star has started just four games in the Premier League in the current campaign. However, the forward had a consistent run in the side in recent weeks.
Ronaldo has started the last three games for the Red Devils in all competitions. But unfortunately, the 37-year-old has not had the required impact playing up front.
In the 2022/23 season, the Portuguese star has struggled to find the back of the net. In 16 appearances for United in all competitions, he has scored three goals and provided two assists.
As a result, Ten Hag has preferred Marcus Rashford in the number nine position. The 25-year-old is the club’s leading goalscorer in all competitions currently. Anthony Martial has also made it into the starting XI ahead of the former Real Madrid man when he has been available.
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The Dutch manager was astute in letting the squad know that even someone like Ronaldo cannot get away with disrespecting the team. And the fighting spirit has been evident in the players during the current campaign.