Bruno Fernandez was below his ability against the Arsenal photographer (Photo: Sean BOTTTERILL/BASSE/AFP via Getty Images) : Sean Botterill Provider: POOL/AFP via Getty Images Source : AFP
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes admits he is very concerned about Bruno Fernandes’ performance against the club’s six main rivals.
The midfielder made his presence felt in Saturday night’s 0-0 draw between United and Arsenal in the title race.
For the fifth time in six games against United’s six main rivals this season, the Red Devils failed to score against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.
The only goal United have scored in six attempts against their main rivals this season was Fernande’s penalty in the 6-1 defeat of Tottenham in October.
But Fernandes came up short again in United’s disappointing 0-0 draw in north London, and Scholes believes the Portuguese playmaker’s performance against the top six is a truly worrying trend.
Scholes is very concerned about Fernande’s performance against the top six (Photo: DAZN)
United just can’t win these games, Scholes told Premier League Productions.
You fight last night against Sheffield United, you have a chance and then you get to the big games, you have to win, they just can’t find a way to do it.
Bruno Fernandez disappointed them all. He’s done a lot: nice passes, nice goals, but I don’t think he’s scored any goals or passes in the last five games against big teams, and that’s very worrying.
That’s why United is where they are. They’re in a good position, but it’s not the position you think this team will continue to play and win in the league. They came to Arsenal, which is not a great team to win a big game, but they can’t do that. There is no despair. I don’t see them throwing bodies forward, Arsenal weren’t really a threat going forward, you don’t have to worry about them without Saki and Aubameyang. There’s no threat.
United are not doing enough to win these big games, they are not putting enough body forward and not showing the desperation needed to win the Premier League.
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Fernandes has transformed United’s mentality since coming to Sporting Lisbon for £47m 12 months ago. No player has contributed more goals or assists since his transfer from Portugal.
The midfielder scored a superb free kick in the 3-2 FA Cup win against Liverpool last weekend, but failed to score in the game against another first division side.
Scholes thinks the criticism is now directed at Fernandez because people have found a hole in his armour.
Asked if criticism of United’s performance against the Sixers would have a mental impact on the team, Scholes replied: I think people will continue to talk about it. Bruno Fernandez too, that’s what we’ll always tell him: You can’t do that against a big team. That will certainly work to his advantage.
It will stick in the minds of the players. If you don’t win these big games and you don’t win against Sheffield United, then you’re really struggling. The team needs to finally show it’s capable of winning these big games – whether it’s at home or away – when you think about the four semifinals, the big games it lost. There must be a mental block they have to get rid of.
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