Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has warned star striker Cristiano Ronaldo to get used to life on the bench for matchday squads. The Dutch coach has also explained the reasons behind his decision, with Ronaldo starting only one of United’s first five Premier League matches. Ahead of United’s Premier League clash vs Arsenal, Ten Hag said, “I will be his friend. Sometimes I will be his teacher. It depends on the situation. As we all know, he didn’t have the pre-season and you can not miss the pre-season, it’s a base. Especially the game we play, the way of play is not the type in comparison with last year.”
“It depends on the demands, co-operation and demands certain positioning, in and out of possession. And the other thing is the fitness”, he further added.
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If given a chance against Arsenal, Ronaldo will be aiming to make his mark. In his last eight appearances across all competitions against Arsenal, Ronaldo has scored seven goals. He scored in his side’s both home and away games against Arsenal during the 2021-22 season. In total, he has scored nine times against Arsenal, and the Gunners could become the 20th side to concede in double digit figures if the Portugal captain finds the back of the net on Sunday.
Speaking about the upcoming game, Ten Hag also said, “I have seen Arsenal, a tough opponent, they have started really well as we all know in the season, and you can see there is a team who are a long (time) together, with a coach who brings his philosophy in the team.”
“So this is a good test and I’m really looking forward to it. We will pick the right eleven to start but as you see, it’s not only a team, we have a squad… the substitutes who came on (on Thursday) did really well, so I’m happy with that. That is what we have to construct further.”