Exclusive Wes Brown interview: Ronaldo Shouldn’t have done interview; Ten Hag won’t be fazed by criticism; Agrees United have stagnated since Fergie
Manchester United hero Wes Brown has opened up to Fair Betting Sites about the impact that Cristiano Ronaldo’s bombshell interview with Piers Morgan could have on his former club.
Ronaldo slammed United boss Erik Ten Hag for a perceived lack of respect but Brown says he has not been impressed with the legendary striker’s actions.
He also revealed why he is such a big fan of Ten Hag and outlined the impact the Dutchman has made since he took charge at Old Trafford in the summer.
The former England defender spoke about England’s chances at the World Cup and manager Gareth Southgate’s squad choices.
Brown also commented on Harry Maguire’s future at Manchester United, as well as the huge potential of the Red Devils’ young winger Alejandro Garnacho.
If you would like to use the quotes from this interview, please credit Fair Betting Sites and link to https://fairbettingsites.co.uk.
Here are the key stories from the interview:
- Ronaldo should have gone about it differently (interview was wrong choice)
- ‘Shocked, gutted and disappointed’ that Ronaldo situation has deteriorated into public slanging match
- Says Ten Hag won’t be fazed by Ronaldo’s antics and will focus on rest of squad
- Agrees with CR7 that Man Utd have stagnated since Fergie era but says future is bright under ETH
- Ten Hag is handling ‘huge talent’ Garnacho with aplomb
- Harry Maguire has huge decision to make on future after World Cup
- Names three Man Utd players who have excelled under Ten Hag this season
Owen (O): What’s your verdict on Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan?
Wes Brown (WB): I’ve not seen the whole interview, I’ve just seen some snippets but honestly I’m just shocked that it’s got to this point. It’s one of those situations where it’s become more and more obvious that he wants to leave the club. Personally I think you should go about it in a different way but Ronaldo will feel a certain way and has decided that this is the course of action he wants to take. I’m a bit gutted about the whole situation but until I’ve seen the whole thing it’s hard to say too much else on it. But I am disappointed with how it’s played out because he’s been a great person and great professional up to now.
O: Has Ronaldo now damaged his legacy in terms of how Man Utd fans view him?
WB: Maybe with some it might have, probably not with the majority. Ultimately when there’s stuff to be said like this that you do it behind closed doors and with the right people. This hasn’t been done that way. Ronaldo is a mega star and he felt he had to do it this way but it’s something I certainly wouldn’t have done and probably most others wouldn’t have either.
O: With the World Cup coming up now, is the timing of the interview cowardly?
I’m pretty sure that this is the way he wanted it to go. They’re off to Qatar now and he won’t be back at United until mid December but then it’s up to the club and the player because they’ll have to talk about it at some point. The timing of the interview makes that probably not possible for a while. We’ll hear more in the next couple of weeks but yeah clearly the result of the timing is that everyone’s not at the club for the next six weeks or so.
O: Where does this all leave the manager Ten Hag?
WB: He’ll just deal with it because he’s got a squad of players that he’ll be more focused on. This is obviously a situation that’s not needed at any time but Ten Hag will just get on with what he’s got now, with or without Ronaldo. I think Ronaldo would’ve left Manchester United in the summer anyway but that might change now whereby he leaves a bit earlier. There’ll be lots of contractual scenarios that need sorting out but ultimately it’s down to the club and Ronaldo to handle that and for Ten Hag to focus on the team.
O: Do you agree with Ronaldo that Man Utd have stagnated since Fergie departed in 2013?
WB: I think since the manager’s gone (Fergie) you can see that Manchester United have struggled. Yes they’ve won bits here and there under other managers but that consistency has not been there for a while now. The new manager has come in and I think he’s done a really good job. I think some of the signings are really good and you can see some real progress. I can understand that the past is the past but to reach the heights of those times again is going to take a long time.
O: How good can Alejandro Garnacho become under Ten Hag at Man Utd?
WB: He’s come in and been wonderful and I do think the manager is doing the right thing in terms of how much he’s playing Garnacho. He could’ve easily started the last two or three games because of the impact he’s had on the team. He’s very direct, young and enthusiastic. It’s infectious. He’s given the manager a good problem, he was excellent against Fulham he’s exactly the player you want in that situation. He’s going to be great in the future and at this point in time he’s doing a fantastic job.
O: Are Harry Maguire’s days numbered at Man Utd?
WB: Maguire is a great player but Lisandro Martinez has come in and taken his place. When Varane was fit, he and Martinez built a really good partnership but Maguire will want to play football. He’s been United captain, he’s been England captain and he’s got the World Cup now and yes he would’ve loved some more games and it will get to the point where he wants to play but I don’t think anything will happen anytime soon.
If the manager keeps him out of the team he will have to make a decision because there will be other clubs that will want Harry. But he will want to show everyone that he can still get back in the team. It’s a difficult situation because he’s behind Lindelof too now. It’s a confidence thing like Rashford last season, but Maguire cost a lot of money and expectations are high.
O: Who have been United’s stand out players this season?
WB: Luke Shaw, Christian Eriksen and Casemiro for me. Luke Shaw’s stepped up again. He’s been quality and got back to his best. Maybe the competition of having Tyrell Malacia at the club has helped too. Casemiro was a bit slow in his first three games but ever since then he’s been impressive. The way he and Eriksen control the midfield now, they don’t panic or just play backwards. Now it’s first time passes round the corner and once the confidence began growing in midfield you see things opening up. They’ve really shone out in this United team in the last couple of months.
O: Will the Glazers be tempted to put Man Utd up for sale following FSG’s decision to listen to offers for Liverpool?
WB: No I don’t think they will and I certainly haven’t heard anything to that effect anyway. I think they’re happy with the progress and that’s it really. Just because Liverpool are doing it doesn’t mean that United will necessarily follow suit.
O: Where will Man Utd finish in the Premier League this season?
WB: I think Champions League qualification is very realistic at this point. Minus Manchester City and Arsenal, the other two spots are up for grabs. Newcastle are flying and they’ll be in the mix because they don’t look like slowing down anytime soon. There’s a great buzz up there. Liverpool will be back in it so it’s them, United, Tottenham and it’s going to be tight. At the start of the season no one put United in the top four but we’re in the mix. You just have to keep pushing because anything can happen in the Premier League. We’ve been playing some really good football but if we don’t do the dirty work, the running and the graft then opposing teams will take advantage.
O: How do you see Man Utd’s Europa League tie with Barcelona panning out?
WB: The Europa is a good cup to win and I’m buzzing we’re playing Barcelona because it will show us where we’re really at. It’s going to be tight, I don’t see it being particularly high scoring. We could’ve been given an easier draw of course but once the game comes around everyone will be well up for it. We haven’t played them for a while and yes you’d think historically that’s a Champions League fixture but it doesn’t matter because it’s two big clubs clashing again and that’s what people want to see.
O: How far can Arsenal push Man City in the Premier League this season?
WB: The confidence is very high with Arsenal right now but they know Man City won’t be going anywhere despite being beaten at home by Brentford recently. Arsenal are defending well and getting goals from everywhere rather than just relying on Jesus and Martinelli. Everyone’s chipping in. The squad is happy and everyone’s working for each other really well. I think Arteta will be a bit gutted that the World Cup is happening now because they’re on a good run right now but he’ll be focused on getting them back and ready to go again.
O: What are your thoughts on Jadon Sancho being left out of the England WC squad by Gareth Southgate?
WB: It’s hard on him but Southgate has left him out before so perhaps it wasn’t a massive surprise. Jadon needs to be playing week in week out and the manager has gone with players that are doing that. We have a lot of similar players to Sancho in those wide areas but he’ll be devastated I’m sure. The fact he’s not playing regularly won’t have helped and I know people will say ‘neither has Harry Maguire’ but that’s different because we haven’t got anyone else in that position. In the back end of last season Sancho was one of our better players but this season hasn’t really panned out how he’d have wanted it to.
O: Has Southgate made the right call picking Callum Wilson over Ivan Toney?
It’s a tough one. Personally I love them both but Callum Wilson, you’ve got to respect the way he’s come back from injuries and is still scoring. I think he brings something different to the team. He’s different to Harry Kane and Rashford. He’s got great physical strength and he holds the ball up well and can get on the end of balls into the box. Toney’s been unlucky but Harry Kane is the main man. Conte’s been saying he’s tired but I don’t think he’ll be feeling tired now, it’s after the World Cup that the fatigue might kick in.
O: Thoughts on Trent Alexander-Arnold being selected for the World Cup?
WB: I like Trent but sometimes he switches off. I think he’s a type of player that we’ve not really seen before in that position but his concentration levels aren’t the best and that has sometimes got him into trouble. If we play five at the back, I think that’s perfect for him. But talent wise and in terms of what he can produce going forwards, it’s a no brainer and you’ve got to take him. He probably wouldn’t have gone if Reece James hadn’t got injured but he’ll want to show everyone he deserves his place and I’m sure he will.
O: England’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?
WB: We’ve had slow starts at previous tournaments so it’s vital we start well this time because we had some poor results at the back end of the Nations League. We’ve got some great talent in this squad and Southgate needs to get the confidence flowing as quickly as possible. Reaching the final at the Euros will have given them so much experience that their confidence will still feed off that. It’s tough if you haven’t been in that situation before but now that they have, they’ll have a better mentality when they’re in those high pressure games. So for me that’s a big boost but we have to start well against Iran.
O: How far will England go in Qatar?
WB: If we got to the quarters or semi finals I’d be very happy. If we win it I’ll go crazy but I do think it’s going to be very difficult with the quality some of the other teams possess. I wish we could go one step further than the Euros but it’s all about how the players perform on the day.
O: What nations are the biggest threat to England?
WB: Argentina and Brazil for me. I would say Belgium too but they never seem to do much despite the squad they have. I would normally say France too, but this time I’m sticking with those two South American teams – Argentina and Brazil.