‘Furious’ Ronaldo at ‘loggerheads’ with ‘stubborn’ Ten Hag over Man Utd tactics

Date published: Saturday 8th October 2022 10:24 - Joe Williams

Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo speaks to Erik ten Hag

Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been unhappy with Erik ten Hag’s tactics since he joined the club earlier this year, according to reports.

The Portugal international made it clear to the Red Devils hierarchy that he wanted to leave the club in the summer transfer window but a lack of interest saw him stay.

His only concrete option was reportedly an unnamed Saudi Arabian outfit but Ronaldo wanted to more to a top European club in the Champions League.

The Ronaldo transfer saga was an unwelcome distraction for Ten Hag in his first few months at the club –  but since realising his immediate future will be at Old Trafford the Portuguese superstar’s ‘attitude to training and games has been exemplary’.

There are already reports about Ronaldo potentially looking to leave again in January but Man Utd are ‘confident’ he ‘will stay at the club in January mainly because of a lack of interest in him’.

But now a report in The Times claims that Ronaldo has been causing more disruption at the club with the Real Madrid legend ‘furious’ after Ten Hag left him on the bench against rivals Man City.

The Man Utd boss argued after the match that he chose to keep Ronaldo as an unused substitute, with the Red Devils 4-0 down at half-time, out of respect. Ten Hag said: “I wouldn’t bring him in. . . out of respect for Cristiano, for his big career.”

A couple of days later, Ten Hag admitted that Ronaldo was “pissed off” at not playing but that the 37-year-old was still giving everything in training.

Ten Hag said: “He wants to play. And he is pissed off when he’s not playing. But he is training well, he has a good mood, he is motivated and he gives his best, and that is what we expect.”

The Times adds:

‘They describe a Ronaldo often at loggerheads with the latest coach of his long, and until now, relentlessly successful career. They speak of a footballer who complains about the nature and quality of training sessions, and who thinks United would be better off playing a different way.

‘Ronaldo is said to consider Ten Hag stubborn and unnecessarily wedded to an approach that worked impressively well at Ajax, yet has delivered catastrophic defeats to Brentford and City in his first 10 United matches. Dig a little deeper into Ten Hag’s comments and the fault lines surface.’

Ronaldo got an assist as Man Utd beat Omonia Nicosia 3-2 in the Europa League on Thursday night and Paul Scholes argued that it was “more disrespectful” to play him against the Cypriots than it would’ve been to bring him on against Man City.

Scholes said on BT Sport: “I think it is almost more disrespectful playing him on a Thursday night in the Europa League. This man is a world superstar.

“I am not saying at 37 years of age he should be starting the games, the big games especially, but this is a competition that is hard to get yourself motivated for.

“I don’t like saying that, but it’s true when you are a big player at a big club like this.

“He has to change his mentality now, and because he is so strong mentally, it will be to score two goals and get himself in the team for the weekend.”

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