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Cristiano Ronaldo made a gloomy impression when he arrived at the club’s Carrington training base on Monday morning – less than 24 hours after being benched for Manchester United’s 6-3 drubbing at the hands of arch-rival Man City.
United were thrashed by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad on Sunday, with Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both taking hat-tricks in the emphatic victory that left Erik ten Hag and his players red-faced.
Ronaldo had to watch the violence from the sidelines, raising more questions about his future at the club, with Ten Hag instead choosing to send Anthony Martial to try to make a difference.
Cristiano Ronaldo looks gloomy as he arrives in Carrington for training on Monday
Erik ten Hag enters the club’s training camp the morning after his team’s 6-3 defeat at City
Stern-faced Ronaldo stopped before training alongside his deflated team-mates, with Antony being one of the few players to give photographers the thumbs up on arrival in Carrington in the summer.
In deciding to leave Ronaldo on the bench, Roy Keane accused Ten Hag of ‘respecting’ the Portuguese star and insists his former club should have let him leave in the summer.
After the match, Ten Hag told reporters that the 37-year-old superstar remained unused “out of respect for his great career” and chose not to comment further.
The Dutchman added: “The other thing was the advantage I could bring to Martial, he needs the minutes, but I don’t want to point it that way.”
Roy Keane finds the treatment of Ronaldo by Manchester United disrespectful
The 37-year-old was forced to watch City run rampant from the sidelines on Sunday
After the Manchester derby, Keane did not approve of the manager’s treatment of Ronaldo, who was one of only four unused substitutes, including goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
Keane told Sky Sports: “I think Man United show no respect for Ronaldo. I think he should have been released before the [closing] from the window.
“Okay, you’re the manager, you need options, but you’re not holding Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He is one of the best players ever.
“He’s played it in one or two European matches. It just gets uglier as the season goes on.
“When he sits on the bench for United week in, week out, it just gets uglier. I think United have shown nothing but contempt for Ronaldo.
The former Red Devils captain thinks the club should have let Ronaldo leave this summer
Keane thinks Ronaldo will be in pain after not playing a part in the Manchester derby
“They should have let him go when the opportunity arose. He did have options, I’m sure.
“But holding Ronaldo to sit on the bench is ridiculous for a player of his stature.”
The former Red Devils captain added: “So what if you are 4-0 down. You look at his goalscoring record, pretty much a chance for someone to put it in the back of the net.
“People are obsessed with the urgent side of the game. If you put the balls in the right place, he will score goals.’
Keane was also asked if there could be any problems at Old Trafford if Ronaldo keeps being left out of the starting lineup. He admitted that this could be the case.
Raphael Varane, who was out with an injury on Sunday, arrives at Carrington
Marcus Rashford also failed to impress in the heavy defeat at the Etihad stadium
Antony gives a thumbs up when the Brazilian arrives in Carrington on Monday morning
Keane continued: ‘I think he could be’ [a distraction in dressing room]. I think he will be if the season goes bad.
Because Ronaldo, the most normal thing in the world, is that he gets frustrated. Tomorrow he will be with the other boys. That’s fine, that’s the deal. But obviously you don’t really start when everyone is fit. Ronaldo does not start.
‘If there are some injuries of course. But Ronaldo doesn’t want to sit and think: “If there are a few injuries, I might get a chance.”
“You see him in the warm-up today, you see him on the bench. He will be in a lot of pain, let me tell you, despite what he won in the match. And he’s won some big prizes, I can tell you.
“But the big players and the top players want to play week in, week out. He didn’t come back to United to sit on the bench in a derby.”
It was another humiliating defeat for United as they sent six goals to their arch-rivals
Ten Hag brought in his United players for training the last time they were hammered – a 4-1 defeat to Brentford – and it looks like he will be tackling the issues with his side during training on Monday.
When asked if his players would face a similar penalty after being hammered by Brentford, Ten Hag replied: “The penalty is for a reason, they (Brentford) are avoiding us and we haven’t worked hard enough, today is mental too, but it is another mental problem.
“It’s like faith, not always about punishment, of course, we have to criticize each other, so I didn’t get the message across to the players, the faith on the pitch, our way of playing. That’s disappointing, it’s good that it’s happening against City and you become very clear if you don’t bring it.”