Erik ten Hag cut Cristiano Ronaldo from the Manchester United team following his antics during the Tottenham Hotspur match.
Pundits and supporters alike have stood by the manager’s decision. “No player is bigger than the club,” is the commonly held sentiment.
Ronaldo is not without his sympathisers.
Rio Ferdinand believes there is no smoke without fire, questioning whether United gaffer Ten Hag had made his season plans for the Portuguese clear (via The Manchester Evening News).
For the most part, Ronaldo has found playing time hard to come by and has been relegated to the sidelines as a substitute this season.
The highly decorated forward’s future is up in the air after refusing to participate in United’s 2-0 win against Spurs.
Ten Hag showed no leniency, dropping Ronaldo from the squad that drew with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The United boss also exiled Ronaldo to train alone at Carrington.
On Thursday, the Red Devils will face Sheriff Tiraspol at the Theatre of Dreams. Today’s talks between the manager and disgruntled player will determine whether Ronaldo gets a role to play in the fixture.
More to the story than what meets the eye
Ferdinand doubts whether a clear understanding was reached between Ten Hag and his former teammate.
Speaking on Vibe with Five, Ferdinand said: “In the summer, did the manager want him or not want him? Whatever the outcome, there has to be communication. Did Ten Hag say, ‘You’re not going, we’re going to keep you, but you’re going to be a bit-part player’. Was that conversation had? I wouldn’t have thought that would have happened at all.
“If that conversation is had, I don’t think we have the reaction that we saw against Tottenham, when he walked off five minutes before the game had finished. Listen, I want people to know, I don’t condone that. I don’t condone Cristiano walking off and leaving his teammates with five minutes still to play.”
Nonetheless, if Ronaldo is to play out the rest of his contract with United, many a slice of humble pie will have to be had.
The publication also revealed that Ten Hag was open to the idea of letting the Portuguese leave in the summer but co-owner Joel Glazer was against sanctioning his departure.
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