Ian Wright has made his feelings on Bruno Fernandes’ performances against Liverpool clear, dubbing the Manchester United midfielder “laughable” and “totally out of order.”
Manchester United suffered one of their worst defeats ever on the first weekend of the month, being thrashed 7-0 by rivals Liverpool at Anfield.
The first half was an even affair, with it ending 1-0 to the hosts, but Erik ten Hag’s side completely fell apart after conceding two goals shortly after the break.
Given the performance, no Man Utd player escaped criticism in the aftermath, but Fernandes received more than any of his team-mates for how he behaved.
Wright was one of many unimpressed with the 28-year-old and made that abundantly clear on Premier League show The Final Word.
The former Arsenal man and Michael Owen analysed clips of Fernandes refusing to track back or run at all unless it was to complain to the referee, and Wright was infuriated by that, calling it “laughable.”
“The thing is we wouldn’t have a team-mate like that,” he said when asked how he’d feel if one of his team-mates behaved in such a way.
“I don’t think we’d have a player like that in our dressing room… It’s not good to have that guy in there because of the influence he’s got and the fact that he’s constantly moaning, he’s not working.
“That wouldn’t happen – I’m not one of those players that wants to talk about ‘back in our day’ – but that wouldn’t have happened back in our day simply because a player like that would not get to the levels where he’s now putting all that kind of histrionics on one of the biggest games in English football.
“It’s there for everyone to see, he’s totally out of order.”
looooool Bruno is honestly embarrassing. Ian Wright ripped into him here. pic.twitter.com/KfKZr6B85I
— RL (@RL_Comps) March 7, 2023
There have been widespread calls for Fernandes to be stripped of the Man Utd vice-captaincy following his performance, but when asked about the matter, Ten Hag defended his player and said he’ll continue to wear the armband when club captain Harry Maguire isn’t on the pitch.
“He’s playing a brilliant season,” said the Dutchman.
“He’s had a really important role in why we’re in the position where we are. He’s giving energy to the team, not only running a lot at the highest intensity, but in the right way and right direction.
“He’s coaching players, he’s an inspiration, but no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. We have to learn, he has to learn, [and] he will because he’s intelligent.
“I’m happy to have Bruno Fernandes in the team and that he’s captain when Harry isn’t on the pitch.”
Ten Hag and co will try to bounce back with a win against Real Betis in the first leg of the Europa League tie between the two sides, and the manager feels the Liverpool defeat can help his players in that game and beyond, teaching them important lessons.
“There were a lot of lessons in it and that can help us for the future, that’s the positive,” he stated.
“How negative is it? We were really below average, especially mentally wise.
“All the energy, all the focus, has to be on the next game.”