Michael Carrick plays down decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo

Michael Carrick has downplayed his decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench for Manchester United‘s Premier League fixture against Chelsea last weekend.

The decision created much discussion amongst fans and pundits, with Ronaldo only having failed to start one other league game he was available for this season. That was the 1-1 draw with Everton in October.

It was also the topic that formed the backdrop for the furious – but superb – debate between Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports over the reasons behind the signing of Ronaldo.

Carrick made four changes to the side that beat Villarreal. United eventually went on to earn a 1-1 draw against the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. 

Ronaldo came on in the 64th minute, and besides a few fleeting moments, failed to have any real impact on the game’s outcome. When the full-time whistle went, the Portuguese icon quickly walked down the tunnel. After the match, the discussion over Ronaldo rumbled on.

Carrick plays down Cristiano Ronaldo decision

Carrick Cristiano Ronaldo
Image Credit: Getty

Speaking in his pre-match press conference before United’s Premier League clash against Arsenal on Thursday, Carrick reiterated that the move to drop Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t a “major decision”.

He explained: “I think those types of decisions get blown up more than they are when you’re inside the team and the club.”

“Decisions are made for lots of different reasons, certain ones get bigger news than others. I don’t see it as a major decision. We all got on really well, the game went well to an extent, and it wasn’t a drama at all.”

He added: “I’ve learnt an awful lot this week. You have to learn on the job, but being pretty close and seeing what’s going on in recent years, it’s not been as much of a step up as people think.”

What is United’s record like without Ronaldo in the starting XI?

Cristiano Ronaldo has started all bar three of Manchester United’s matches in all competitions this season.

He was left out of the squad entirely by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for their Carabao Cup fixture against West Ham in September. United would go on to lose the game 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo was then benched for the home Premier League fixture against Everton in October. He came on in the second half, with United leading 1-0. However, within eight minutes, Andros Townsend had equalised for the Toffees. The game finished 1-1.

With Ronaldo on the bench against Chelsea, the Red Devils took the lead on 50 minutes through Jadon Sancho. However, they had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Jorginho equalised from the penalty spot.

When are Manchester United playing next?

Manchester United are next in action on Thursday evening when they host Arsenal at Old Trafford. Carrick will be in charge – and it will be interesting to see whether he brings Cristiano Ronaldo back to the starting XI.

Ralf Rangnick was appointed as United’s new interim manager this week. However, delays in obtaining his visa mean that the earliest possible date by which he will be in charge is the Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace on December 5.

Read: When Ralf Rangnick took on Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United.

The Red Devils then take on Young Boys in their final Champions League group fixture on December 8. They are already through to the knockout stages.

Featured Image Credit: Getty