Paul Scholes has criticised Bruno Fernandes for failing to impact the game for Manchester United at Chelsea – but says he wasn’t the biggest problem after casting his thoughts on their 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The stalemate in west London means United have drawn a blank in their last six meetings with the ‘big six’. Fernandes, for his part, struggled to find his best form. The game, however, was not without controversy after they were denied a clear penalty after a VAR review.
It also means United taken just five points from a possible 21 against the ‘big six’ this season. Even more crucially, it leaves them 12 points behind table-toppers Manchester City, who on Saturday beat West Ham to make it 20 wins in a row.
While United failed to carve out too many meaningful chances at Chelsea, Scholes reckons their centre-halves need to shoulder the blame.
He states Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are given too much protection by Fred and Scott McTominay. Indeed, he thinks Fred and Scott McTominay should be affect play the other way.
“A lot of the problems I see are them two centre-halves and goalkeeper – well, not so much goalkeeper today – but the centre-halves need protecting,” Scholes told Premier League Productions.
“Which means you’ve got to have your two holding midfield players right next to them all the time and it takes away everything from your attacking ability.
“They don’t get up the pitch, they can’t keep the ball in the last third of the pitch because they can’t sustain attacks because they’re too deep.
“And this is a recurring them now that keeps going on. If they’re going to get to that next level they’ve got to be braver, they’ve got to be braver in the centre of the pitch.”
Scholes feels Maguire and Lindelof would have been capable of dealing with Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech by themselves.
“The two centre-halves, leave them, let them defend,” the former United midfielder said.
“Who are you playing against? An average Chelsea forward. Not average, because I like Giroud, but he’s not going to run away from anyone. He’s perfect for them two today.
“Mason Mount isn’t going to run away from them, Ziyech isn’t quick, no pace. They’ve got nothing to worry about.
“Let your midfield players join in attacks and at least contribute something to the attacking side of the game.”
Bruno Fernandes doesn’t escape criticism
Scholes was also disappointed in the performance of Portuguese superstar Fernandes. Normally so reliable, Fernandes had a very quiet afternoon by his standards and Scholes says he must do more in these sort of games.
“They’ve got to change it, the quality has got to be better,” said Scholes.
“The big players have got to step up.
“Again Fernandes today – I can’t remember him doing anything.
“I don’t remember him creating a chance, I don’t remember him having a shot on goal.
“I don’t remember [Chelsea keeper Eduoard] Mendy, other than a couple of times, being brought into the game. So the quality is disappointing. They’ve got to get it better against these big clubs.”