Former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys has taken aim at Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes, saying the Portugal international should lead by example.
The Red Devils suffered another disappointing result at the weekend as they were held 1-1 by Leicester City at Old Trafford. The result now leaves them in seventh place, three points away from the Premier League’s top four, and with just eight games remaining, Ralf Rangnick needs to get a tune out of his side on a regular basis if they want to play Champions League football next term.
Is Fernandes a disruptive influence?
After the match, Fernandes suggested some at the club are not playing to the standard required, something which Keys took aversion to. Writing in his blog, the broadcaster said: “Fernandes can’t leap out of a tackle – and then complain that his teammates aren’t putting enough into games. Lead by example, Bruno. Words are cheap.”
TIF Thoughts on Fernandes…
Indeed, Fernandes’ lack of commitment played a role in Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener for the Foxes. The former Sporting man jumped out of a tackle with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the build-up to the strike, which, given United’s current situation, is just not good enough.
Once lauded as United’s saviour after making the move to Manchester in January 2020, the 27-year-old now appears to have earned a reputation as a disruptive influence. Club insiders say the £81m-valued Fernandes is “uncoachable”, while Trevor Sinclair criticised him and Cristiano Ronaldo after the duo failed to acknowledge the supporters after their 1-1 draw with Newcastle United in December.
Fernandes continues to contribute, managing nine goals and 14 assists this season in all competitions, but his reported attitude problems are emblematic of a wider problem at the club. Earlier this year, it was reported the first-team squad is unhappy with Rangnick, and the players do not seem to all be pulling in the right direction.
In fairness to Fernandes, he has come out in defence of the German. However, as one of the senior performers, he must be the man that younger, less experienced players look to. Having signed a four-year contract extension, the club’s hierarchy clearly believe in him, and now he must repay that faith on the pitch.