Why Roy Keane’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Man Utd comments are wrong

The former Manchester United midfielder doesn’t agree with the way Erik ten Hag has dealt with Cristiano Ronaldo since his arrival as manager.

Roy Keane has slammed Erik ten Hag’s treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo following the latter’s departure from the club on Tuesday. The former Manchester United captain believes the Red Devils’ boss should’ve dealt with the Portuguese international differently to the rest of his squad.

United announced on Tuesday evening that Ronaldo would depart the club by mutual consent, with immediate effect. This comes after the 37-year-old participated in an interview with Piers Morgan where he criticised Ten Hag and the Red Devils’ board.

Ronaldo’s second departure from Old Trafford didn’t come as a surprise to many following his comments. The forward expressed his displeasure when the club opted to hire Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis and also admitted he didn’t have respect for current manager Ten Hag.

However, despite Ronaldo publicly slating the club and Ten Hag, ex-United captain Roy Keane seems to have sided with his former teammate. The Irishman believes the Red Devils boss should’ve given more attention to the forward due to his ability.

What has Keane said?

Speaking before Germany’s 2-1 World Cup group-stage defeat to Japan on ITV, Keane slammed Ten Hag’s treatment of Ronaldo. He said "I don’t think it’s been great management. I think it’s been a very difficult situation but I don’t think the manager comes out with it [looking well].

"People might say he’s put a marker down, part of management is looking after the top. You do have to treat top, world-class players differently. This idea that you treat everyone the same, you don’t.”

However, the Irishman, who made 480 appearances for United between 1993 and 2005, thinks Ronaldo’s departure is the best solution for both the player and club. Keane insisted, despite the interview, the Portuguese international’s legacy will remain intact with the Red Devils.

"I think it’s better for everybody,” he said. “The club, obviously. You don’t want that dragging into the second half of the season. Ronaldo’s obviously ran out of patience. People say ‘is his reputation tarnished at Manchester United?’ Far from it."

Why Keane’s comments were wrong

There’s no denying the impact Ronaldo had on United last season. He was the club’s top scorer netting 24 goals in all competitions and was named their Player of the Year last campaign. However, the arrival of Ten Hag has seen the forward decline in his performances and ultimately losing his place in the starting line-up.

The Dutchman has instilled a fresh outlook on the club since his arrival in May. His pressing style of play, alongside his willingness to drop players who are underperforming, has sparked life back into United fans after their poor performance last season.

Ten Hag’s treatment of Ronaldo has been exactly what is expected of him. The latter has shown on several occasions this campaign why he shouldn’t start over other players, failing to perform at the expected level.

If you add his underwhelming performances to his public criticism of Ten Hag and reports him leaving Old Trafford before the final whistle in the Red Devils’ 2-0 win over Tottenham in the league last month, it can be argued that Keane siding with Ronaldo is completely against the majority of the fanbase - the most important part of a club.

The whole situation comes back to the age-old saying in football that no player is bigger than the club and that is certainly the case here. Ten Hag and Ronaldo will be thankful of parting ways and will be hoping the decision to do so will benefit them individually in the future.