Ralf Rangnick believes Cristiano Ronaldo was too emotional at being replaced during Manchester United’s win at Brentford and has urged him to temper his behaviour for the benefit of the team.
The 36-year-old, who is a doubt for Saturday’s home match against West Ham due to a neck injury, was taken off on 71 minutes with United 2-0 ahead as Rangnick switched to a back three, and the unhappy player immediately demanded an explanation. On Friday Rangnick was asked whether he accepted Ronaldo’s behaviour did not look good because it appeared a challenge to his authority.
“I don’t blame him for that but obviously any manager would wish it shouldn’t be too emotional and also in front of the TV cameras I don’t think this will be for the benefit of anyone: not to his benefit or teammates,” the interim manager said. “It’s an emotional game and players are emotional and I didn’t take it personally at all.
“I didn’t at all see or interpret that he was challenging me. This was not the first time – if you have a look at the moment when Sir Alex [Ferguson] replaced him or other coaches, his reaction was pretty similar, which shows in the end it has got nothing to do with the manager. It’s about his own ambition and desire to stay on the pitch.
“It’s a team sport and for us it’s important for us that we get the most out of each game, the maximum points, and it’s a decision of each manager [regarding] what we need right now in order to win. I’m not somebody who says afterwards everything was perfect but in this case everything that I had hoped regarding the result of that decision was confirmed in the end.”
Victor Lindelöf will not be available for Saturday’s match after what Rangnick described as a “traumatic” break-in at the defender’s house. Lindelöf was playing at Brentford when intruders entered while his family were there. They were said to be shaken but unjurt.
“The club will speak to the players in the next couple of weeks and hopefully be able to make their houses more safe in the future,” said Rangnick.
Harry Maguire will replace Lindelöf, and Rangnick will speak with Jadon Sancho to determine whether the forward is ready to play after attending the funeral of someone close.
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