The circus surrounding the antics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United this season has settled down somewhat in recent times, although he does remain a talking point at the club.
It is clear that the team functions far better when he is not in it, looking like a more cohesive unit both in and out of possession. Erik ten Hag has managed the situation well, stroking the player's ego on occasion, including by giving him the captaincy against Aston Villa last weekend.
Despite this, the club must continue to be careful in order to stop the issue flaring up again.
Wayne Rooney questions Roy Keane's Cristiano Ronaldo opinion
It is clear that the behaviour of Cristiano Ronaldo early in the season was way out of line, but he still had his backers in the media. Roy Keane was chief among them, with the Irishman refusing to condemn him for the way he acted during the game against Spurs.
Considering the way Keane commanded the dressing room during his time as a captain and manager, it was somewhat of a surprise.
Wayne Rooney was certainly taken aback by the comments.
Appearing on talkSPORT, he said that there was no way Roy Keane would have accepted behaviour such as this from his teammates during his own playing days.
“I’ve seen Roy Keane defending him?!”
“Roy wouldn’t have accepted that at all. It’s a distraction #MUFC don’t need.” ❌
Wayne Rooney blasts Ronaldo for his recent outburst with Erik ten Hag. 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/t05HUQcD7b
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) November 11, 2022
I think the things he has done from the start of the season, it's not acceptable for Manchester United.
I've seen Roy Keane defend him, Roy wouldn't accept that. Roy wouldn't accept that at all.
It's a distraction Man United don't need when they're trying to rebuild. For Cristiano, he need to get his head down, work, and be ready when the manager needs you.
If he does that, he will be an asset. If he doesn't, it will become an unwanted distraction.
Rooney played with the legendary midfielder towards the end of his career.
It has been said that Roy Keane reacted in this way because it reminded him of the way he felt he was pushed out of Old Trafford during his final days at the club, a theory that looks rather compelling.
If there's one thing we know about the Cork man, it's that he wouldn't have been long stamping out this sort of behaviour in his role as captain of the club.