Erik ten Hag has been told to ‘keep his mouth shut’ after explaining his Cristiano Ronaldo captaincy decision. Ronaldo not only started Manchester United’s defeat to Aston Villa but captained the side despite his recent antics.
The Portuguese superstar refused to come off the bench earlier this season and walked down the tunnel before the same game had come to an end. But Ronaldo throwing his toys out of the pram was not enough to stop him being named captain, a decision many had a problem with.
Ten Hag explained after the game: “Harry Maguire is on the bench, Bruno Fernandes is our captain but was not available. David de Gea is a leader but a goalie is far away from the outfield, then Casemiro is a leader, but he doesn’t speak 100 percent perfect English and Cristiano Ronaldo is a leader, and especially the leader of the team, so he is the man – it is clear.”
The decision is one thing, but talkSPORT pundit and former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood has slammed Ten Hag over his explanation of it.
“What basically he’s saying, he was fifth choice isn’t he,” Sherwood told talkSPORT. “Why he has to justify why he’s given Cristiano Ronaldo the armband, I just don’t know. Just keep your mouth shut.”
Fellow pundit Ally McCoist also had his say on the situation, understanding why the superstar was handed the armband. “It doesn’t surprise me at all and he’s given a perfect explanation for it,” McCoist added. “The one thing Ronaldo is, he’s a leader. He’s let himself down probably the last couple of weeks, with the substitute performance, walking away and all that kind of stuff.
“However, over his career he’s been an absolute example. I don’t have a problem with it at all and as Ten Hag was saying there, he clearly wasn’t the first choice. But sometimes you have to make decisions you know somewhere down the line somebody will ask you about it. And that was certainly the case after the game. Listen, Manchester United were poor at the weekend - it wasn’t because Ronaldo was captain.”