Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has accused Erik ten Hag of ‘disrespecting’ Casemiro following the club’s 6-3 Premier League defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. The Brazil international was benched for the showdown at the Etihad Stadium, with Scott McTominay picked instead. Yet that decision backfired on the day, with hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden giving the home side all three points.
Manchester United signed Casemiro back in the summer transfer window, with the Red Devils spending a huge £60million on the veteran.
However, he’s yet to start in the Premier League in the time since – with the Samba star again left on the bench for the club’s derby match with City on Sunday.
McTominay was picked instead, with the Scotland international becoming a regular ever since the appointment of Ten Hag back in the summer.
Yet the 25-year-old endured a horrendous afternoon before making way in the second half, when the game was already lost.
Now, speaking on his YouTube channel Five, Ferdinand has accused Ten Hag of ‘disrespecting’ Casemiro – and shut down the notion that McTominay deserved to start.
“Casemiro’s another one, he’s sitting there going, ‘I’ve won five Champions Leagues with this team’, he said.
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“I’ve heard people today say, ‘if he plays he needs legs around him, he can’t play with Eriksen and Bruno’.
“This geezer played with two snails in Modric and Toni Kroos – he just knows his way around a football pitch.
“He is a fantastic defensive midfielder, one of, if not the best, in the world before he came to Man United.”
And, when grilled on whether McTominay deserved his place in the starting XI given his good displays in recent weeks, he ranted: “You can’t say that.
“The geeze hasn’t been given a chance, he hasn’t been given a fair crack of the whip.
“He’s come in and played in a Europa League game against some dead team.
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“He ain’t been given a start in the team when he’s fit and ready, he’s regressed in terms of fitness, so he’s now worse off than when he came.
“He still had to get up to speed when he came from that league to this league.
“I wonder the impact it’s having on someone like him. Yes he’s experience and whatnot, but he must be sitting there thinking, ‘wow, I’m happy to be here at Man United but I’m feeling a little bit disrespected here, given what I’ve done’.
“I’d be surprised if he’s not feeling like that.
“I think we will [see Ronaldo and Casemiro play], but I think it’s the context of what games they’re playing in – they could be playing midweek Europa game. That won’t sit well with them.
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“They’d be sitting there going, ‘wow, I’m like the Rumbelows Cup player right now, the Carabao Cup player’.
“These are the sub-plots to what Ten Hag has to deal with. This is what management is about, he’s got to manage that type of player, that type of ego, the pride that comes with these types of players.
“If you’re not playing, you’ll see a difference in the way they look at you now, and that’s what you’ve got to manage.
“He didn’t have those problems at Ajax with the players he had, he was very much in control, the master of the universe there.
“Here you’ve got big egos to deal with and this is the task when you come to a top club.”
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Ten Hag was asked about his refusal to start Casemiro after the defeat to City.
And the 52-year-old claimed that, because United had been winning prior to the match, he felt justified in his decision-making.
“On the day we signed him, we started to win and it’s about the team,” said the Dutchman.
“The team is doing really well, it’s not against Casemiro, it’s for, in this case, Scott McTominay, he performed great in the team and then we get into a run.
“But I’m sure it will be important for us in the long and short-term, he will find himself in the team but it has to come in a natural way.”
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