Jamie Carragher claimed that Michael Carrick 'had to drop' Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United's game against Chelsea, his first league game as United's caretaker boss.
There was some surprise on Sunday afternoon when Carrick, in charge for only the second time after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking last week, decided to drop Ronaldo to the bench.
It's a rarity for the five time Ballon d'Or winner not to start, and Solskjaer was criticised from all sides, even from Sir Alex Ferguson, when he did the same against Everton earlier in the season.
However, talking on Sky Sports, Liverpool legend Carragher felt the temporary boss had to do it, in order to prove that he isn't the same as Solskjaer.
"I think he had to do that to be honest," the former England defender said pre match.
"Even when you're part of a coaching set up, everyone has different views on the team or how the team should be set up.
"It was really interesting to see what he did with Bruno Fernandes, bringing Anthony Martial back in, what he did with Martial and Ronaldo swapping positions at different times.
"He did put his own stamp on that. I think he had to do that because he didn't want to look like Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer ]'s guy doing exactly the same.
"Things haven't been going well, we know that. He will be pleased how that game [Villarreal] went."
Whilst Carragher clearly felt the decision not to pick Real Madrid's all time top goalscorer was Carrick's, fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville didn't agree.
The United legend wasn't on commentary or punditry duty on Sunday but took to social media to explain his theory that it was actually Ralf Rangnick who picked the team.
Neville argued that the pressing from the front suited the incoming interim boss far more than Carrick, and there has been talk Ronaldo could struggle to get into the German's starting XI when he moved to Manchester.
United were pegged back for much of the first half at Stamford Bridge, and failed to really have much impact in Chelsea's half.
However Carrick clearly inspired them with his words at half time and the away side started to look more threatening in the second period.
They took a surprise lead in the 50th minute, thanks to Jorginho's disastrous attempt at a clearance. Jadon Sancho ran onto the ball unopposed and slotted past Edouard Mendy.
After Ronaldo replaced Sancho, due to injury, the Blues equalised through a Jorginho penalty and the game ended 1-1, only after Antonio Rudiger blasted a brilliant chance over the bar in the final minute of injury time.
Featured Image Credit: PA
- ‘Disrespectful’ Cristiano Ronaldo slammed for blanking Jamie Carragher
- Jamie Carragher Urges Erik Ten Hag To Sell Cristiano Ronaldo
- Jamie Carragher Says Cristiano Ronaldo Was A 'Joke' Signing For Manchester United
- Jamie Carragher Absolutely Rips Into The Idea That Ralf Rangnick Will Be Working 'Part-Time' At Man United