Manchester United should have learned in 2019 that appeasing Ronaldo just won't be worth it

The Treble column: July 6

Manchester United should have learned in 2019 that appeasing Ronaldo just won’t be worth it

Manchester United fly out on pre-season tour this week, and The Athletic report it is still ‘unclear’ if Cristiano Ronaldo will be part of it.

Ronaldo is keen to leave United, leaving the club with a dilemma. Should Erik ten Hag try to sell him, or try to appease him and convince him to stay.

Seeing as the 37-year-old was only ever a short-term fix up front anyway, the option to cut ties and move on is a tempting one.

It’s also a familiar problem for Manchester United. Back in 2019 there was uncertainty whether Paul Pogba would be boarding Manchester United’s pre-season tour to Australia. This came after Mino Raiola had told The Times that Pogba wanted to leave the club.

United played hardball, and insisted Pogba had to be on the tour. The Frenchman did what was asked, flew out with the rest of the squad, but it wasn’t really worth it.

Pogba spent most of the following season out injured, and his performances across the subsequent three years of his contract remained inconsistent. He has just left on a free transfer.

Looking back, Manchester United might well reflect that keeping Pogba was not worth it.

Is the Ronaldo situation really much different? Once a player says he wants to leave, it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

Photo by FreshFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

Time for a new pre-season hero

Andreas Pereira is closing in on an exit to Fulham.  Fabrizio Romano reports he is set to sign a three-year deal with the newly promoted side.

It means Manchester United’s annual pre-season star won’t be in action this summer, as we saw last season with his wondergoal against Brentford.

It’s time for a new pre-season hero to step up, and hopefully one who can translate pre-season success into starring in the actual season too.

With United’s players desperate to impress new manager Erik ten Hag, we could be in for a very interesting few weeks.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Three words from Ten Hag mean so much

‘Too many mistakes’, Erik ten Hag was caught shouting at his Manchester United players on a short video this week, The Mirror reported.

The new manager is introducing a new way of playing to his players, and has incredibly high standards he wants to uphold. This is exactly what these players need.

Manchester United’s players have long needed a top-level coach, and Ten Hag is exactly what was required. He has staked his own reputation on making the club a success, and he is not going to lower his own standards and accept mediocre performances.

These three words from the manager are just a glimpse into his approach. He has been encouraging and having one-to-one chats with players too. Ten Hag is regarded as an excellent man manager who likes to get to know his players and what makes them tick.

But when it comes to training drills and matches, Ten Hag will push the players as much as he can. Many of these players may already be on their final chance, and they will not be allowed to let the new manager down.

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