Erik ten Hag has decided to avoid Sir Alex Ferguson’s approach to getting the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

The legendary Scot knew how to balance his team during his 26-year stint in the Old Trafford dugout, even if that meant upsetting a few superstars.

Ronaldo’s career is currently at an impasse under new United boss Erik ten Hag. He’s scored one goal all season, with three of his four starts coming in the Europa League.

Ten Hag is attempting to implement a new brand of football at United, based on high pressing plus defending from the front, which Ronaldo’s failed to do throughout his career.

United legend Paul Scholes believes Ferguson would find a way to harness Ronaldo’s talents, no matter the tactical setup.

During an appearance on BT Sport, he discussed Ferguson’s attitude when it came to Wayne Rooney. The former England international was signed as a striker but was regularly pushed out wide early in his career as he refused to track back.

Ferguson eventually bought into Rooney’s prowess in front of goal, thinking it outweighed his inability to defend.

“You’d get onto him a little bit, even if he [Ronaldo] didn’t press he gives you something which is the hardest thing to do in football and that’s score goals that win you games of football.

“Wayne Rooney in our team he got pushed to the left because he wouldn’t run back in our team. He ended up centre forward and that’s the sacrifice you give to your teammates to try and win games.”

Scholes declared. 

Ferguson knew his other attackers would need to cover for Rooney and made that sacrifice in the big moments.

It ended up being a benefit to United. Rooney became their record goalscorer and won five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.

Ten Hag knows it’d be a similar situation with Ronaldo, who scored 24 goals in all competitions last season.

It was a strong campaign personally, but a disaster for United on the whole as they recorded their lowest-ever Premier League points tally.

Ronaldo’s only goal this term came from the penalty spot against Sheriff Tiraspol last month.

He cut a frustrated figure throughout Thursday’s 3-2 victory over Omonia Nicosia, blazing several shots wide before hitting the post from a few yards out.

United returns to action on Sunday evening against Everton.

Source: Daniel Marland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.