Manchester United manager, Erik Ten Hag, has admitted that he left Cristiano Ronaldo out of the travelling squad because he didn’t live up to the standards he had set.
After refusing to come off the bench on Wednesday, as Sportsmail reported on Thursday, and storming down the tunnel before leaving Old Trafford before the end of the game, Ronaldo has then been punished by Ten Hag.
The coach confirmed that the player declined to come in as a substitute in the game against Tottenham during his pre-match conference before the weekend match against Chelsea.
The 37-year-old Ronaldo was omitted from the squad for the trip to London on Saturday and banned from first-team training by the Dutchman, who reacted quickly and firmly.
For the benefit of the team, Ten Hag also admitted that he sidelined Ronaldo for the match at Stamford Bridge.
He claimed that after the player received a warning for leaving the field early in a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano, he had no option other than to act.
“I am the manager, I am responsible for top spot culture here and I have to set standards and values and I have to control them,” he said.
“In the team, we have values and standards and I have to control that. After Vallecano, I told him it was unacceptable but not him everyone, this is the second time, there are consequences.”
The Dutchman admitted that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be missed in the squad, but the standards he has set are more important.
“We miss him tomorrow, it’s a miss for the squad but it’s important for the attitude and mentality of the group and now we have to focus on Chelsea as that is important,” he said.
“I think it will have a (time for) reflection for him, but also for everyone else, I sent a warning at the start of the season, next time there have to be consequences otherwise when you are living together when you are playing together, football is a team sport and you have to fulfil certain standards. And I have to control it,” said the Dutch tactician.
Following the saga at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, Ronaldo arrived with the under-21s on Friday and underwent one-on-one training with a fitness coach to get used to life in exile at United.