Manchester United icon Paul Scholes has slammed Erik ten Hag for his treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo in Sunday’s 6-3 defeat to Manchester City. The veteran gets the nod up top tonight as the Red Devils tackle Omonia. And he’ll be hoping to net for the second time this season, having scored against Sheriff last time out.
Manchester United have gone strong for tonight’s Europa League clash with Omonia.
David De Gea starts in goal, ahead of a back four consisting of Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.
In midfield, Casemiro partners up with Christian Eriksen with Bruno Fernandes then playing further ahead in the No 10 position.
And, up top, Ronaldo gets the nod with Jadon Sancho and Antony either side.
Ronaldo was an unused substitute on Sunday as United crashed to a 6-3 defeat to City at the Etihad Stadium, with Ten Hag saying he snubbed the veteran out of ‘respect for his great career’.
Yet Scholes has claimed the Dutchman was wrong with his comments, while also saying Ten Hag ‘doesn’t know the mentality of a big player’.
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“I don’t think he knows the mentality of a big player, if that’s what he’s saying,” he told BT Sport.
“Cristiano would’ve wanted to start the game but looking at him on the bench, he looked angry.
“When you’ve got a top quality player, not just top quality he’s one of the best that there’s ever been, you think you can come on the pitch and have a say in the game.
“It was 4-0 at the time, so what? He wants to be out on the pitch being sat there, look at him, he’s not happy.
“Going back to respecting him, not bringing him on the pitch because of his career is absolute nonsense in my eyes that man and anybody else wants to go on that pitch because they know they’ve struggled, had a bad time, bad half, they want to go on and do something about it.
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“I’m not saying he would’ve come on and scored four goals but he would want to be on that pitch.
“It’s more disrespectful in my eyes leaving him sat there watching the game.”
Owen Hargreaves chipped in, too, with the BT Sport pundit saying: “At 4-0, the game’s dead. I can understand why he’s said that but I agree, sitting there is hard for a player, especially one of the greatest of all time.
“Especially to sit there, I was next to him and as the goals went in you could just see, Casemiro was right next to him.
“It’s hard for players because you want to be out there with your team and team-mates but you’re sitting there and can’t affect the game.
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“I can understand why he didn’t bring him on because it’s 4-0 and I almost agree with the manager, what’s he going to say when it’s 4-0.
“It’s the hardest thing as a teammate to see your side struggle.
Scholes, meanwhile, also feels Ten Hag got his system wrong against City, too, while taking aim at Antony and Jadon Sancho for their subdued displays.
“I’ve never seen anyone have a foothold against Pep’s teams, it doesn’t happen,” he said.
“You have to be defensive first and foremost, not let any goals in, then at some point then you can go on the counter-attack with the pace you have.
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“I thought the wide players were lazy, you’ve got two full-backs who are unproven at the highest level in Dalot and Malacia, they were left alone, I know Foden and Grealish have had a lot of plaudits for the way they played on Sunday, rightly so, but if you go to the Dortmund game, Jack Grealish especially struggled because they got it perfectly.
“Every time the ball went to him, they had five or six players around him, they were helping their full-backs so he had nowhere to go, he got stick for that.
“At the weekend, Jadon Sancho and Antony were a waste of time.”
United have won one of their two Europa League games so far this term.
They lost 1-0 to Real Sociedad at home but bounced back by beating Sheriff last month, with Ronaldo and Sancho both on target.
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