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Ten Hag couldn't look any better after the Cristiano Ronaldo debacle - Charlotte Duncker

The Times journalist Charlotte Duncker joined Will O'Callaghan to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo and E...

The Times journalist Charlotte Duncker joined Will O'Callaghan to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik ten Hag.

Erik ten Hag took a hands off approach to Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Dutch manager disciplined Ronaldo on multiple occasions, but he never ostracised him or took a stern hand in response to Ronaldo's outbursts. Other managers likely would have. Other managers might have forced Ronaldo out or stopped playing him.

Ten Hag doesn't have the cache that a Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola has. He understood that he would create a line of demarcation between him and Ronaldo if he acted rashly. Even if Ronaldo deserved the punishment, the fan base would be split.

But since ten Hag gave Ronaldo the captain's armband and started him multiple times after he refused to play against Tottenham, nobody can complain. Nobody can say that it is ten Hag's fault that Ronaldo left. Nobody can accuse ten Hag of being unreasonable.

In fact, he was almost too kind to Ronaldo.

Charlotte Duncker explains that ten Hag couldn't have handled this situation any better. He is now reaping the reward of that, being untouchable coming out the other end.

"If you look at the way Erik ten Hag has managed Cristiano Ronaldo since he came into the club," Duncker began.

"He was very adamant that Ronaldo would not be this surface that would detract from what he was trying to do. Ronaldo himself was put in front of media yesterday in Qatar...he wants all the focus to be on Portugal, but if he really wanted the focus to be on Portugal he wouldn't have let this interview with Piers Morgan be released so close to the World Cup."

In the simplest of stories, there is a good guy and a bad guy. Ronaldo is inarguably the bad guy in this story. Not only did he repeatedly disrupt Manchester United's season, but he also disrupted Portugal's World Cup campaign.

Ronaldo has revealed himself as a selfish character. There is also a lack of professionalism in his actions and that is the opposite of what ten Hag has shown.

Duncker continued:

"I genuinely don't thin ten Hag could have come out of this situation any better. He's never spoken against Ronaldo. I think he's disciplined him in a way many Manchester United fans would can't just say you're not coming on for the club you play for.

"[Ten Hag] has shown he has that authority. Maybe since Sr Alex Ferguson left the club, they've not had that manager in charge. Who has been able to show their authority and stamp their mark on the club in the way he has in recent months.

"It's definitely a positive in the way he's dealt with it."

Ten Hag also won't have to discuss this for another month. He does not have a press conference again until after the World Cup. Manchester United thanked Ronaldo for his contributions, but his release today was quick and quiet. There will be no fanfare celebrating him.

Ronaldo and Manchester United are better off without each other. But while Manchester United will continue on, will anyone take on Crisitano Ronaldo at this stage of his career?

It's hard to think of anyone who makes sense. At least, anyone he would deem worthy of his services.

Football is bigger than FIFA - Pat Nevin


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Cristiano Ronaldo Erik Ten Hag Manchester United