EPL

Part of the job is to make difficult decisions – Chelsea boss Potter on Ten Hag's handling of Ronaldo

By Sports Desk October 21, 2022

Graham Potter acknowledged that difficult decisions are part of management following Erik ten Hag's handling of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

Ten Hag has forced Ronaldo to train away from the first team after the Portugal international took himself down the tunnel at Old Trafford before the end of United's 2-0 win against Tottenham on Wednesday.

Ronaldo will not be in the squad for United's trip to Chelsea on Saturday following his manager's statement after the Spurs game that he would "deal with" the player's behaviour.

"I can't really comment because I don't know the ins and outs but he's taken his stance, sometimes you have to do that. Then you need the club's support. From the outside, that's what's happened," Blues head coach Potter said at a press conference on Friday.

"It's difficult for me to comment... Part of the job is to take some decisions that are difficult, but that's normal."

Since losing their first two games, including an opening day defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion when Potter was still in charge of the Seagulls, United have lost just once in eight Premier League games (6-3 at Manchester City), winning six of them.

The victory against Spurs was arguably the Red Devils' best performance so far under Ten Hag since his arrival at the end of last season, and Potter believes they will only get better.

"I think they've done well," he said. "Obviously not had a great start from their perspective, but they've battled back and they're getting points and they're playing well, so it's going to be a tough game.

"They've changed a bit in how they build up I think. More longer balls, more direct, at the same time they still have the same quality, they've got the likes of [Marcus] Rashford, Antony, [Jadon] Sancho, Bruno Fernandes plays a key role for them.

"They just seem to have adapted to the competition, adapted to each other, probably learning more about each other. It's a normal process really... I'm pretty sure they'll get better and better as time goes on."

Chelsea are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions since Potter took over from Thomas Tuchel (five wins), but have suffered recent injury blows with the news that N'Golo Kante will be out for around four months, missing the World Cup, while Reece James faces a race against time to be in Qatar and will be absent for the next few weeks.

"You have to at least acknowledge the fact they're human beings that want to be involved in that type of competition," Potter added. "The reality is I haven't got anything to say that'll make it any better for them.

"You just have to focus on the things you can control, focus on your rehab day-to-day, things get better and then you just move forward."

Related items

  • Lacazette confident of leading France to gold at Paris Olympics Lacazette confident of leading France to gold at Paris Olympics

    Alexandre Lacazette is confident France can secure a second-ever gold medal ahead of the start of their Paris Olympics campaign next week. 

    France last triumphed in the competition at the 1984 games in Los Angeles, failing to reach the knockout stages at the Tokyo Olympics back in 2020. 

    But under the guidance of Thierry Henry, who scored 51 goals for Les Bleus during his international career, the French are among the favourites to scoop the top honour.

    Henry's side have won two of their three pre-tournament friendlies this month, the latest result ending in a 1-1 draw with Japan, who won bronze at the 1968 games. 

    Lacazette was named by Henry as the nation's captain ahead of the competition, and will lead Les Bleus' star-studded line-up out for their opening game against the United States in Marseille on Wednesday. 

    Jean-Philippe Mateta, Michael Olise, Rayan Cherki and Manu Kone are just some of the names at Henry's disposal. 

    Having not featured for Didier Deschamps' side since 2017, Lacazette explained that the squad are in unison of achieving gold at their home games. 

    "We all have the same ambition, to go all the way and win a medal," the 33-year-old said. "The fact that it’s a home games is really going to motivate us."

    Henry has lost just two of his 11 games in charge of France's U21 and U23 sides (W7, D2) since being appointed back in August 2023. 

    Former Arsenal forward Lacazette said Henry wanted the team to play an attacking, possession-based style of football heading into the tournament.

    "Tactically, he is decidedly forward-thinking... he especially wants us to enjoy ourselves and put on a show for the spectators,” Lacazette said.

    Following their Group A opener against the United States, France will play Guinea and New Zealand. 

  • Lacazette confident of securing gold at Paris Olympics Lacazette confident of securing gold at Paris Olympics

    Alexandre Lacazette is confident France can secure a second gold medal ahead of their first game at the Paris Olympics next week. 

    France last triumphed in the competition at the 1984 games in Los Angeles, failing to reach the knockout stages at the Tokyo Olympics back in 2020. 

    But under the guidance of Thierry Henry, who scored 51 goals for Les Bleus during his international career, the French are among the favourites to scoop the top honour.

    Henry's side have won two of their three pre-tournament friendlies this month, the latest result ending in a 1-1 draw with Japan, who won bronze in the 1968 games. 

    Lacazette was named by Henry as the nation's captain ahead of the competition, and will lead Les Bleus' star-studded line-up out against the United States in Marseille on Wednesday. 

    Jean-Philippe Mateta, Michael Olise, Rayan Cherki and Manu Kone are just some of the names at Henry's disposal. 

    Having not featured for Didier Deschamps' side since 2017, Lacazette explained that the squad are in unison of achieving gold at their home games. 

    "We all have the same ambition, to go all the way and win a medal," the 33-year-old said. "The fact that it’s a home games is really going to motivate us."

    Henry has lost just two of his 11 games in charge of France's U21 and U23 sides (W7, D2) since being appointed back in August 2023. 

    Former Arsenal forward Lacazette said Henry wanted the team to play an attacking, possession-based style of football heading into the tournament.

    "Tactically, he is decidedly forward-thinking... he especially wants us to enjoy ourselves and put on a show for the spectators,” Lacazette said.

    Following their Group A opener against the United States, France will play Guinea and New Zealand. 

  • Meunier completes return to French football with Lille Meunier completes return to French football with Lille

    Thomas Meunier has completed a return to French football, signing for Lille after just five months with Trabzonspor. 

    Meunier, who won the Ligue 1 title three times with Paris Saint-Germain during his four years at the Parc des Princes, has signed a two-year contract with Les Dogues.

    The 32-year-old featured eight times for Borussia Dortmund this season after missing the start of the campaign through injury, before completing a move to Turkey in February. 

    Meunier will provide experience for Bruno Genesio's side, who will compete in the Champions League this season following their fourth place finish in Ligue 1. 

    "Lille was the perfect choice from a sporting and family point of view. With its proximity to Belgium, it's like being at home," Meunier said in a statement.

    "My experience in the various European Cups will enable me to coach the youngest members of the dressing room and ensure that they're 100% focused on the club's sporting success."

    Meunier becomes the French side's third addition this transfer window following the long-term arrivals of Ethan Mbappe and Ngal'ayel Mukau. 

    Having allowed defender Leny Yoro to complete a reported £59.8million deal with Manchester United, Lille are expected to dive into the transfer market for further additions to their squad. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.