Scholes fears combustible Man Utd star could wreck future title charge; blames Ten Hag for player’s meltdown
Paul Scholes fears a Man Utd star is too emotional to lead his side to a future Premier League title, though pointed the finger of blame at Erik ten Hag when discussing the player’s recent meltdown.
The Red Devils roared back against Real Betis on Thursday night to put their 7-0 thumping against Liverpool firmly to bed.
Man Utd will take a commanding 4-1 lead into the second leg of their Europa League Last 16 tie. Among the standout performers on the night – and scorers – was stand-in captain, Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese has worn the armband for most of the season with regular skipper Harry Maguire no longer in Ten Hag’s strongest eleven.
However, Fernandes became a lightning rod for criticism for the role he played in the Liverpool defeat last Sunday.
Club legends Gary Neville and Roy Keane blasted the Portuguese. Keane labelled Fernandes’ display “disgraceful”, while Neville branded the 28-year-old “embarrassing”.
Fernandes pushed a linesman after a decision didn’t go in his favour. He repeatedly voiced and showed his displeasure at his teammates and refused to track back in the match’s latter stages.
It was a display not befitting of a Man Utd captain, though Fernandes bounced back in style against Betis last night.
However, speaking to BT Sport about the United playmaker, Paul Scholes claimed Fernandes may be too emotional to be a truly effective United captain.
Scholes reckons Fernandes’ volatility could be something that torpedoes a future United title charge when the pressure is on in the final months of a campaign. In Scholes’ view, a more calming influence should don the armband for Ten Hag.
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Bruno as captain not ideal – Scholes
“Your captain has to be a calming influence, really,” said Scholes. “He almost has to be the one who calms characters like him [Fernandes] down.
“I worry about him if Manchester United, in March or April time, are going for a league title. I don’t think having Bruno as your captain would be ideal. But we know he’s only the vice-captain at the minute, we know Harry Maguire’s not playing.
“Going forward, bigger games, bigger parts of the season, going for trophies and big Champions League finals and stuff, I think a captain who’s less emotional might be better.”
Scholes then offered an explanation for Fernandes’ meltdown against Liverpool, and pointed the finger of blame at Ten Hag in the process.
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Ten Hag tweak to blame?
Fernandes has regularly played out of position on either flank of late. His selfless displays have allowed Ten Hag to deploy Wout Weghorst at No 10 on occasion in a move that’s pushed Marcus Rashford up front.
Scholes stated Ten Hag’s decision to push Fernandes out of his favoured No 10 role may have contributed to his histrionics when a result finally didn’t go United’s way at Anfield.
“You have to remember that he has been asked to play in positions that he is not comfortable in and I think he has sacrificed himself for the team for that,” continued Scholes.
“He was clearly frustrated with his team-mates and he shows it in a way that I don’t think, when he looks back at it, he will be proud of what happened, throwing his arms up in the air and pushing the linesman. I think he will look back at that and learn from that.
“He has also come from a different culture and they do that all the time; in England it is not quite acceptable as much.
“I think, going forward, he will learn from that and he will try and get rid of those little, annoying things in his game.”
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