Erik ten Hag has a big decision to make following Cristiano Ronaldo’s antics during yesterday’s preseason encounter with Rayo Vallecano.
— utdreport (@utdreport) July 31, 2022
But regardless of that incident, the cracks were already starting to show before his withdrawal at half time.
During a brief water-recess in the first half, Ronaldo acted petulantly when given instructions from his manager.
His trademark arm-flapping was followed by a dramatic head-in-hands exasperation as he turned his back on his manager.
Ten Hag is a perfectionist in all of his endeavours, most of all in getting his team to play in the manner he believes will maximise their potential.
It would seem that Ronaldo has no intention of adjusting his positioning to the betterment of the team, however.
This is not a new situation for the Dutchman, who has managed players who put their own individual quality over the team effort before
During a cup game at Ajax, Ten Hag went so far as to tell Nao Lang to “shut up” in response to backchat over tactical input.
A self-confessed “entertainer,” Lang did not last long under Ten Hag, despite his talent seeing him linked with Arsenal since moving to Club Brugge.
Erik ten Hag wasn't happy with Noa Lang's attitude in a cup match for Ajax.
He was loaned out a month later. pic.twitter.com/eo2MHgdD20
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 26, 2022
“It’s our game, not just yours!” was a particularly pertinent line from the new manager and should the legendary goalscorer end up staying at Old Trafford, it is a line we may hear repeated.
Whether Ronaldo chooses to hear it is another matter entirely.