Manchester United interim manager has offered his reasons for his substitution of Cristiano Ronaldo in Wednesday’s game at Brentford.
The 36-year old threw a strop on the sideline after he was replaced by Harry Maguire with 19-minutes to go at the Brentford Community Stadium. United were 2-0 up at that point, in a game they eventually won 3-1.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit of West Ham to Old Trafford, Rangnick attempted to downplay his striker’s hissy-fit.
“I think we shouldn’t make too much of a fuss out of it,” said the German, “I can only speak for myself and my coaching staff.
“I explained that to him even during the game when we had that little conversation after the third goal and, in fact, I told him the same as what I just said in the press conference.
“The job of a football manager is to help teams win games and, for me, it was clear after the experience we had at Villa Park that this time we had to do things better.
“The only question was who we take off. Cristiano is a prolific goal scorer and a player who always wants to play and score goals. He was also asking ‘why me not one of the younger players?’
“The answer came five minutes later when one of the younger players scored the third goal. Maybe Cristiano could also have scored that goal but football is not always ‘maybe’, it’s about getting a decision in the right moment.
“Until then we were 2-0 up, Cristiano made an assist for the second goal when he chested the ball to Bruno, this was tactically one of the best situations we had in the game.
“He has not been substituted, I believe, for the first time in his career. There have been a few other substitutions as far as I know, even under Sir Alex.
“A player like Cristiano doesn’t like to be substituted, that is pretty normal. His reaction was emotional but for me this not a problem at all.
“I have managed other players, maybe with not as quite a big name as Cristiano but also players like Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Raul or Ebbe Sand. I know how these players react to being substituted.
“But then again it is about the team and getting points. We are in a position where every single game is of maximum importance. The team is more important than no matter who it is – Cristiano, Edinson, Bruno or any other player.
“Bruno has also been substituted and was not happy with that in the last couple of weeks. It’s about what is in best interests of the team.”
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