Is CR7’s time up at Manchester Utd?
Erik ten Hag was expected to take action over Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7’s) latest strop yesterday after the Portugal star stormed away from Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford before full-time.
Ronaldo responded to being left on the bench as an unused substitute by disappearing down the tunnel in the 89th minute, and Sportsmail understands he may even have left the stadium before the match finished.
Ten Hag didn’t give an answer when he was asked if Ronaldo had been given permission to leave. The United manager said:
‘I have seen him, but I didn’t speak to him. I will deal with that tomorrow, not today. We are celebrating this victory. ‘I don’t pay attention today. I will deal with it tomorrow. I want to keep the focus on the team and a magnificent performance from all 11 players and the subs who came on. It was a squad performance.’
It is the second time Ronaldo has left a United game without permission under Ten Hag. In July, the 37-year-old exited Old Trafford at half-time after being substituted in a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano.
Ten Hag described the incident as ‘unacceptable’ but pointed out that Ronaldo wasn’t the only United player who went early.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s behaviour has been a problem for both Ten Hag and his predecessor Ralf Rangnick.
Only three days, Ronaldo attracted more negative publicity when he was substituted against Newcastle by Ten Hag and left the pitch shaking his head and muttering. In the build-up to this game, Ten Hag said he had no problem with Ronaldo’s reaction as long as it was ‘in a quiet normal way’.
But the Dutchman will be furious that Ronaldo’s latest sulk has overshadowed United’s best performance under him, with goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes giving United a richly deserved 2-0 win.
Alan Shearer, who was on commentary for Amazon Prime Video during the match, said: ‘I understand his frustration but if you look at the bigger picture his team has put in a really good performance.
‘The manager had a big decision and it’s been proven right. You’re talking about maybe the best player we’ve ever seen, but it makes things difficult for the manager.