ten Hag could've 'prevented' Ronaldo's 'reaction', says Ferdinand

Erik ten Hag could have prevented his fall-out with Cristiano Ronaldo if he had ‘looked at the bigger picture’, claims Rio Ferdinand, as ex-United defender says Sir Alex Ferguson would have ‘explained what was going on’ to the dropped star

  • Ronaldo refused to come on for United in Wednesday’s victory over Tottenham 
  • Ferdinand says that it’s ten Hag’s ‘duty’ to ‘prevent’ situations like that occurring 
  • The former United defender said Sir Alex Ferguson would’ve done differently 
  • The Manchester United manager is keen to speak with his Portuguese superstar

Erik ten Hag should have ‘prevented’ Cristiano Ronaldo’s emotional outburst against Spurs, according to former team-mate Rio Ferdinand. 

Ronaldo was banished from first-team training and axed from the squad for Saturday’s draw at Chelsea after he refused to come on as a substitute in last week’s win over Tottenham and then leaving Old Trafford before full-time. 

Ferdinand admits the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was ‘wrong’ to leave early but claims that it’s the manager’s ‘duty’ to prevent situations like that from occurring.

Man United legend Rio Ferdinand says Erik ten Hag should’ve ‘prevented’ Ronaldo’s outburst 

Ronaldo refused to come on and left Old Trafford before full-time in the 2-1 win over Spurs 

Speaking on his podcast FIVE, Ferdinand said: ‘I’m not sitting here saying he [Ronaldo] was right to do that. His actions are wrong but if you look at the bigger picture – this could be prevented. As a manager, that’s your duty – you’ve got to look at the bigger picture. 

‘Before every game, Sir Alex Ferguson came to the table and explained to you what was going on. He’d go: “listen, you’re not going to play the next two games but there’s a third game up the road that’s made for you and you’re going to play”. 

‘So you don’t get them emotional reactions next week when you’re not playing. Just looking at the bigger picture down the line, so there’s no surprises. When you get a bad surprise, the emotion takes over and you get these types of reactions.’

Ronaldo stormed down the tunnel at Old Trafford before the full-time whistle after he refused to come on as a substitute during their 2-0 win over Antonio Conte’s side last Wednesday. 

Ferdinand insists that Sir Alex Ferguson (L) would’ve handed the situation differently

 Ronaldo was exiled from the Red Devils squad by manager Erik ten Hag after the Spurs game

The former United centre-back continued: ‘Erik ten Hag’s reaction is the way that you’d want to see it as a fan. My pushback on that is that, I don’t think he should’ve allowed it to get to that point. 

‘You have to have the conversation and talk to Ronaldo – who, all his career, has mapped out season after season. Looking at the bigger picture, so he can prepare himself. At 37-years-old, he probably needs that more now than ever in his career.’

Ronaldo is under contract until the end of the season and Ten Hag has made it clear he wants the 37-year-old to see out his deal at the club. 

The United boss will hold clear-the-air talks with Ronaldo on Tuesday morning in the hope of drawing a line under his fall-out with the Manchester United star. 

Ronaldo trained on his own following the incident against Tottenham on Wednesday 

Ten Hag wants to speak to Ronaldo to make sure he has seen the error of his ways before re-integrating the 37-year-old. 

The squad were given two days off after the Chelsea game — though Ten Hag and several players were at Carrington on Sunday — so today will be the first opportunity for the Dutchman to discuss the situation with Ronaldo again.

If talks go well, Ronaldo could return to training with his team-mates and be in contention to play at home to Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday. 

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