Both Maguire and Ronaldo on the bench and United are thriving. But the legend warns Ten Haga

Zero points, 1-6 and bottom of the table for the first time since August 1992. United’s position was miserable after two rounds of the new season. The fans, the legends and the players themselves cursed. Expectations from the next match with Liverpool were logically not high.

But Dutch coach Erik ten Haga’s wards managed the duel, as well as another one at Southampton and also Thursday’s one in Leicester. United are suddenly in fifth place with nine points and are also looking for higher places.

The biggest stars on the bench

What are the reasons for United’s progress? The Hag came to England only in the summer, moreover, after a season that did not go well for the team in terms of results or performance. A significant strengthening of the staff did not come before the start of the year, so the strategist had to step down and start making drastic changes.

After the first two defeats, he dropped both captain Harry Maguire and the team’s biggest star, forward Cristiano Ronaldo, from the starting line-up. While the Portuguese since then has always intervened for at least a few tens of minutes in subsequent encounters, the English stopper did not look at the pitch.

“As a manager, you have to make clear decisions. The team is always the most important thing and you decide what is best for them. No, it doesn’t matter who has what name. You have to be clear and honest in your communication,” Ten Hag explained the absence of Ronaldo in the starting eleven before the duel with Southampton.

And because the unwritten rule says that the winning line-up does not change, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner remained among the substitutes on Thursday. “I have spoken with Ronaldo several times about his future and we are on the same page. He is a great player with great skills. It fits into every system and style. We are in the same boat and he knows what is required of him,” Ten Hag outlined the team’s communication.

Ronaldo will not change, warns the legend

But for example, Red Devils icon Rio Ferdinand does not think that the Portuguese would be satisfied with his role. “Knowing Cristiano, I’m sure he’ll be absolutely furious now. There cannot be someone who will sit and accept the position of a substitute, even for a team that does not play in the Champions League. You can’t expect him to change at 37,” Ferdinand said on YouTube on the Five show.

The Hag openly complained after the start of the competition that the club had not managed to bring in the reinforcements he had imagined. But everything changed with the end of the transfer window. Brazilian midfielder Casemiro came from Real Madrid for 1.7 billion crowns, while former Ten Hag’s Ajax protege Antony went to United for 2.33 billion crowns.

Casemiro has even come on as a substitute in the last two matches. “I’m glad that there was an opportunity to get him so quickly. We have a lot of games ahead of us, so we will rotate the lineup. We have to go from match to match,” argued Ten Hag with a busy schedule including duels in the Europa League group stage. “Once Casemiro and Ronaldo are fully fit, they will be even more valuable to the team,” he added.

United face another tough task on Sunday. They will welcome London’s Arsenal at home, which is the only team in the competition that has not lost a single point. It is not clear whether Antony will be ready. “We have to look at everything in detail. He completed his first individual training session on Thursday. Then we have two more teams and we will see on Sunday,” the Dutch coach could not be specific.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Maguire Ronaldo bench United thriving legend warns Ten Haga

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