Bruno Fernandes has revealed that Manchester United players were pleasantly surprised to find Erik ten Hag ‘pulling apart’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
It seems like a lifetime ago that Ronaldo exited United in controversial circumstances, following his shock interview when he criticised the club, the manager and several of his teammates.
His contract was torn up at the start of the World Cup, meaning he wouldn’t return to the club that he’d rejoined to such monumental excitement just over a year previous.
That incident saw Ronaldo walk out on his teammates and then get dropped for the following game completely, as punishment by the manager.
Ten Hag’s use discipline since getting the job has been praised by many and Fernandes has now revealed that players weren’t sure if the rules would apply to the biggest name players.
“He demands from people. He demands and you either do it, or you’re out,” Ronaldo’s fellow countryman told Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport.
“In the beginning everyone was like: ‘Will he do that if a big player doesn’t do what he wants? Will he pull him apart or not?’
“And then he did it many times, he did it with Cristiano, he did it with Jadon [Sancho] and with Marcus [Rashford] also.”
Ronaldo fell out with Ten Hag. Image: AlamyCertainly the United boss has not been afraid to deal with tough situations, despite being in good form, the manager dropped Marcus Rashford for the start of a game against Wolverhampton Wanderers back in December.
It was the perfect reminder that players have to stick to the manager’s rule, without being too over the top of a punishment, and Rashford has only got even better since.
Jadon Sancho’s form saw him sent from training with the first team ahead of the return to action after the World Cup to train on his own.
He was out of the team for a couple of months but has returned recently in excellent form, showing again that Ten Hag seems to have got all the big decisions on players right so far.