Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes faced intense scrutiny after an eventful and contentious display during the team’s 7-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last Sunday. The Portuguese midfielder was observed shoving the referee’s assistant, expressing evident frustration, and questioning the substitution of teammate Marcus Rashford, all of which led to calls for him to be stripped of his captaincy. However, Manager Erik ten Hag rose to Fernandes’ defense, acknowledging that everyone is prone to making mistakes.
Ten Hag staunchly supported Fernandes, emphasizing his pivotal role in the team’s successful campaign. “He is playing a brilliant season,” the United boss asserted. “He has played a big role in us being where we are. Everyone makes mistakes and we learn. I have to learn, and he will as well. He is intelligent. I’m really pleased he is our player and he is captain when Harry [Maguire] is not playing.”
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville and ex-Blackburn forward Chris Sutton were among those who criticized Fernandes’ conduct. Neville went as far as calling him “embarrassing,” while Sutton suggested other players were more qualified for the captaincy. Despite the backlash, Rashford came forward to defend his teammate, expressing unwavering support. “I love playing with Bruno. I don’t have anything negative to say,” Rashford stated. “Nobody is perfect. Sometimes you want to win so bad you end up doing things a little out of character. But I 100% support Bruno and am behind him. As a team, we have to support him because he’s a fantastic player. We wouldn’t be in the position we are in if he wasn’t playing games for us.”
The 7-0 defeat was a major blow to Manchester United, matching their worst-ever result. Ten Hag openly admitted that his team lost their composure during an “unprofessional” display. Despite this setback, the manager remains optimistic about the squad’s prospects and praised their resilience throughout the season.
Manchester United’s campaign under Ten Hag has not been without silver linings. The team clinched the EFL Cup last month, marking their first trophy under the Dutch manager’s tenure. Moreover, they continue to vie for the FA Cup and Europa League titles, with a crucial Round of 16 tie against Real Betis from La Liga scheduled for Thursday night. Fans can catch the action live on BT Sport.
As Manchester United looks to bounce back from their humbling defeat, the spotlight will undoubtedly be on Bruno Fernandes. The midfielder’s talent and leadership will be instrumental in steering the team towards further success in the ongoing competitions.
Erik ten Hag’s unwavering support for Bruno Fernandes sends a strong message to critics and fans alike. The team’s spirit and determination, coupled with Fernandes’ skill on the pitch, continue to shape Manchester United’s season. While mistakes are an inevitable part of the game, the focus remains on the collective effort to secure victories and lift trophies, underlining the unyielding determination of the Red Devils.