Michael Carrick explains why Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t start vs Chelsea

ronaldo bench

Gary Neville also gave his thoughts on the selection…

Michael Carrick dropped Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench on Sunday evening for Manchester United’s trip to Stamford Bridge.

Instead, Carrick went with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho out wide, with Bruno Fernandes playing slightly behind them.

Ronaldo’s absence confused many when the team sheet came out, which led to the caretaker manager having to explain his decision before the game.

Michael Carrick on Cristiano Ronaldo

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “We wanted to freshen things up a little bit. Cristiano is of course the standout name, but it’s just the gameplan and different ideas.

“I actually had a good chat with Cristiano and he was great about us deciding to go like that today.

“It’s a decision just to pick the team. I don’t think there needs to be anymore drama than that. Everyone is fine, all the boys who have come out have been terrific, Cristiano included.

“He’s been fantastic with the boys, supporting them 100% and ready to come on if and when needed to hopefully win the game like the other night.”

Gary Neville on Cristiano Ronaldo bench decision

Neville on the other hand, suggested that it was incoming manager Ralf Rangnick who picked the team, and not Carrick.

He tweeted: “A lot of people having a go at Michael Carrick for dropping Ronaldo and picking that midfield. I’ve a feeling the the incoming manager has picked that team as it’s a huge departure from midweek and what they’ve been doing.”

When someone replied to say that Carrick himself said he picked the team, Neville responded by saying that he said he was full of confidence when he was manager at Valencia.

At 36 years of age, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that Ronaldo doesn’t start every single game, but based on his extraordinary fitness levels, he seems prepared to play every minute of every match.

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