Erik ten Hag could have prevented Cristiano Ronaldo walking out on his Manchester United teammates, that's according to Rio Ferdinand.
Six days ago, United defeated Tottenham Hotspur in their best performance of the season so far, although plenty were blaming it on Spurs' dreadful part in the game.
Whilst Ten Hag would have been hoping the headlines would have been about how good his side were, all the focus was on Ronaldo.
The 37-year-old refused to come on as a substitute, ending claims the manager had 'disrespected' the forward, and walked out of Old Trafford whilst the game was still going.
Whilst United have generally looked better without the five time Ballon d'Or winner this year, and most people agree he was in the wrong, the days since have seen plenty of people defend his behaviour.
It's mostly been his former United teammates, from his first spell at United, with Roy Keane's defence, on Sky Sports, particularly galling.
There's no way the Irishman ever would have accepted it from another player, especially during his playing or management days.
Now Ferdinand is the latest former player turned pundit to blame Ten Hag, claiming the Dutchman could have stopped the incident from happening by talking to the forward.
"I'm not sitting here saying he [Ronaldo] was right to do that [walk out]," Ferdinand said on his FIVE YouTube channel.
"His actions are wrong but if you look at the bigger picture - this could be prevented. As a manager, that's your duty - you've got to look at the bigger picture.
"Before every game, Sir Alex Ferguson came to the table and explained to you what was going on. He'd go, 'listen, you're not going to play the next two games but there's a third game up the road that's made for you and you're going to play.'
"So you don't get them emotional reactions next week when you're not playing
"ust looking at the bigger picture down the line, so there's no surprises. When you get a bad surprise, the emotion takes over and you get these types of reactions."
Ronaldo had already been perturbed days before when Ten Hag decided to take him off in the 0-0 draw with Newcastle United.
It was just his second start of the Premier League campaign and he felt hard done to that he'd been booked for what looked to be a legitimate goal, only to be more peeved when he was replaced late on.
Ten Hag dropped Ronaldo from the squad completely for the weekend's draw with Chelsea and Ferdinand accepts that it was the right call.
The former centre back still thinks it didn't need to get to that point though, adding, "Erik ten Hag's reaction is the way that you'd want to see it as a fan. My pushback on that is that, I don't think he should've allowed it to get to that point.
"You have to have the conversation and talk to Ronaldo - who, all his career, has mapped out season after season. Looking at the bigger picture, so he can prepare himself. At 37-years-old, he probably needs that more now than ever in his career."
Despite the fact that it's totally in keeping with his previous behaviour, comes off the back of him wanting to leave United and the fact Fergie would never have put up with it from anyone, it seems ex players will continue to back Ronaldo, no matter what.
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