Ex-Manchester United star claims “getting rid of Ronaldo was key” for manager Erik Ten Hag to get Red Devils back on track

Former Manchester United forward Garth Crooks has given his insight on Erik Ten Hag’s decision to let go of five times Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

The former English forward was impressed with Manchester United’s backline, despite manager Erik Ten Hag not having his first choice defenders available. 

In his BBC Sport column, Crooks wrote: “Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Diogo Dalot have not featured regularly in the first team this season, but you wouldn’t have known that the way they performed against Nottingham Forest.”

He further wrote about how letting go of the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was the key to Manchester United’s splendid performances. “All credit to Erik ten Hag, who has not just transformed the team but the entire squad since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. Getting rid of Ronaldo was key to that.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

With their 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on Sunday, the Red Devils have climbed back to the 3rd spot in the Premier League table. They will attempt to advance to the Europa League semifinals on Friday, when they travel to face Sevilla.

Who is Ex-Manchester United star Garth Crooks?

Former footballer Garth Crooks played for teams like Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, and West Bromwich Albion in the 1970s and 1980s. His current role as a football commentator and host on BBC Sport’s “Final Score” and “Match of the Day” has made him a household name.

Crooks, who was born in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent in 1958, debuted in the professional football league with Stoke City in 1976. He started his career with West Bromwich Albion but later moved on to Tottenham Hotspur, where he won two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup.

Upon leaving the field, Crooks pursued a career as a sports journalist and broadcaster, contributing to BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC’s football coverage on television. He has also done work for ITV and Sky Sports, where his outspoken and occasionally divisive commentary has made him a household name.


Crooks is not only a commentator, but also an active member of the community and patron of the anti-racism organization Show Racism the Red Card.

Do you agree with the Ex-Manchester United star’s claims? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. 



Tanzeem Rahman

255 articles

Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


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