Erik ten Hag gives best possible response to Cristiano Ronaldo tunnel walk
The Manchester United boss dealt with the matter swiftly, and well.
Erik ten Hag witnessed his side put in a best all-round performance of the season, but was fielding questions, after the match, about an unused sub.
What a shame that what looks to be the final season of Cristiano Ronaldo's second stint at Manchester United is ending like this.
The Portuguese stalked down the Old Trafford tunnel before the end of United's 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, on Wednesday night. The 37-year-old was an unused substitute in the Premier League match, and did not hang around for the full-time whistle.
Cristiano Ronaldo heading into the dressing room early this evening... 👀 pic.twitter.com/WncXjV6yt1
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) October 19, 2022
'Cristiano Ronaldo should not be the story'
Cristiano Ronaldo started Man United's previous match, a goalless draw with Newcastle United last Sunday, but returned to the bench for the visit of Tottenham. Marcus Rashford replaced Ronaldo in the starting XI for the game, which was won by goals by Fred and Bruno Fernandes.
Erik ten Hag, Man United's manager, said he would 'deal with' Ronaldo tomorrow and the forward was criticised by pundits covering the game. He told Amazon Prime:
"I have seen him but I didn’t speak. I will deal with that tomorrow, not today. Today we are celebrating this victory and now we have to recover from this."
In truth, that is the best possible response the Dutchman could have given. The focus should be on his team dismantling third-place Spurs, rather than the actions of a disgruntled substitute.
Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry, who was working for the broadcaster, agreed that 'Cristiano Ronaldo should not be the story'.
"Everyone is different," said Patrice Evra, a former teammate of Ronaldo. "I want to stay on United performance, not to protect Cristiano Ronaldo. Maybe he needed some treatment? I don’t want to find an excuse. We have to stop talking every day about Ronaldo."
As for the United win, which sees them climb to fifth in the Premier League, Erik ten Hag focused on the team as a whole.
"We had some more really good performances like Liverpool and Arsenal," he told the BBC, "but this was the game from start to the end we were really good and I told the team it was very enjoyable to watch.
"The plan was to get in those spaces, but you need switch of play, dynamic and get their backline back. You have to get the spaces for the shots and it was good to see the transfer of the game-plan."
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