|Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the United team to start at the Etihad and couldn't get any minutes despite a huge need for a game changer on Sunday, what does this mean for the Portuguese? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Manchester United lost to Manchester City as many would expect but conceding six was clearly against the good run the team went into the fixture with.
Four wins in four, including a 3-1 success over the log leaders made a few groups believe United could come out of the Etihad with something and, while the three second-half goals added some respect to the result, the first-half collapse would always leave room for criticisms.
Eric Ten Hag has come out to defend his decision not to introduce Cristiano Ronaldo at halftime despite the look of things – with United four goals down and signs looking incredibly ominous, one would have expected the introduction of the talisman but Ten Hag opted for Luke Shaw, Fred, Casemiro and Anthony Martial instead.
Speaking to newsmen afterward, the German tactician said he didn’t introduce Ronaldo out of respect for his big career; he felt it would be embarrassing for him at that stage and also felt Martial needed the minutes after his injury crisis.
This only means one thing; time is running out and the gas is burning low. Ronaldo’s game is looking done and now might be the best time for the mega star to draw the curtains and there won’t be any shame in it as he has paid his dues.
If you’re not considered to start such a major game and not good enough to change the look of things when it’s going south, it shows you have nothing to offer anymore, and maybe, a move away in January or outright retirement after the World Cup would be the way but as it stands… It won’t get any better for Ronaldo.