Bruno Fernandes has been a terrific signing for Manchester United, but questions have been asked about his performance against top class opposition this season.
The Portuguese midfielder has one goal and no assists against the so called ‘big six’, with the only goal coming from a penalty in the 6-1 defeat to Spurs.
However, it’s not that big a problem for Fernandes because it stems from the fact United play two holding midfielders in these fixtures and that makes it a lot easier for the opposition to man mark our best player in the middle.
Speaking ahead of the Manchester derby today, Roy Keane said that Fernandes needs to accept the criticism coming his way until he does start to produce in those games.
Today would be a good time to start.
“In the big games they’ve kept clean sheets,” Keane said on Sky Sports. “When you’re a talented player like him, the players that play at the back and the two central midfielders, their job is to make sure they don’t lose the game.
“They’ve done that, they’ve kept clean sheets and that’s a big positive. For the attacking players, it’s your job to go and win the game , that’s your responsibility. That’s why you’re well paid.
“I don’t know why they get upset about people giving an opinion…
We’ve seen him being taken off and his body language hasn’t been great. There’s nothing wrong with being taken off and shaking your head for ten seconds, but if you’re walking off and one of your teammates is coming on and you’re throwing your arms up in the air, that is disrespectful.
“If I was coming on and a player is shaking his head almost disrespectfully like ‘I’m coming off for you’, you’d have a quiet word.
“He has done it a number of times. You’re on about maturity and showing respect to his teammates, well show respect for your teammates when you do have a bad game don’t be throwing your arms up in the air…
“It’s all about what you do on the football pitch. I know players are under pressure to do interviews and respond to criticism, just get on with it, don’t be such a baby and produce against a brilliant Man City team.
If he does well we will praise him, but if he doesn’t he better be ready.”
Fernandes is what makes us tick so it would be pleasing to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to come up with a way to make him more influential against City.
City like to keep possession so United must ensure they use the ball wisely, especially in the final third if we can get that far (it took Wolves over 20 minutes to get into the final third on Monday night).