‘Ronaldo is the past, Rashford is the future’ – Pundit backs Ten Hag’s decision to drop CR7

Date published: Monday 5th September 2022 2:01 - Jason Soutar

Cristiano Ronaldo preparing to come on as a substitute

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has made the “right decision” to pick Marcus Rashford over Cristiano Ronaldo this season, according to Garth Crooks.

Rashford has started every game for the Red Devils this season and has found the back of the net three times.

Man Utd pip Toney to top the winners as Arsenal boss Arteta joins Rodgers as a loser

He bagged a brace against Arsenal on Sunday, whilst notching an assist for Antony’s opener in the 3-1 victory.

United have won four matches in a row after losing their opening two fixtures against Brighton and Brentford respectively.

While Arsenal performed well on the day, the Red Devils were ruthless and punished some naivety from Mikel Arteta and his players.

This result makes it two terrific home wins on the bounce after United beat Liverpool at Old Trafford on August 22.

Their great form has made it very difficult for Ronaldo to break into Ten Hag’s starting XI.

The Portuguese superstar started the 4-0 defeat at Brentford – the only time this term he has played from the off.

Former United forward Crooks has backed Ten Hag’s decision to start Rashford over Ronaldo.

He believes Ronaldo is “part of United’s past”, whereas Rashford is “part of United’s future”.

“It would appear that Rashford has won the battle with Cristiano Ronaldo to start games for¬†Manchester United,” wrote Crooks in his BBC Team of the Week column.

“Erik ten Hag has made the right decision of course. Rashford is part of United’s future and Ronaldo, sadly, is part of United’s past.

“It comes to all great players of course. However, it’s time to see if Rashford can take United back to the glory days. That is what he must achieve if he is to lead United’s attack and leave Ronaldo on the bench.

“To do that Rashford must score goals and plenty of them.

“He looked good against Arsenal and took both his goals well but in order to be the best he will need to keep focused to maintain the consistency that was lacking last season.”

Rashford was joined in Crooks’ Team of the Week by his teammate Christian Eriksen, who set up the England forward’s second goal.

“I saw an element of aggression return to the Manchester United team, the like of which I’ve not seen for quite some time,” Crooks said.

“It was certainly absent in the defeats against Brighton and Brentford but there has been a gradual return to hostilities since the stinging criticism the team received after their first two losses of the season and Arsenal got the brunt of it.

“Eriksen was the player who provided the touch of class required to open Arsenal up and he did it on more than one occasion.

“For 60 minutes, Arsenal played the best football I’ve seen them play this season. Perhaps with a little more patience from their manager the Gunners might have come away with something. Having five substitutes doesn’t mean you have to use all of them.”

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