Bruno Fernandes scolded and stripped of captaincy? Man Utd can't allow whinging to remain


Bruno Fernandes' competence as captain of Manchester United has been questioned ever since he took the armband from Harry Maguire at the start of the season. But he has continuously let his team down, the latest incident picking up a needless booking against Bournemouth that rules him out of this weekend's clash with Liverpool. Express Sport writers give their view on how Man Utd should deal with their skipper...

Mikael McKenzie

Bruno Fernandes is getting away with murder by his over-loyal manager. His ill-discipline and poor attitude are causing more harm than good in an already disjointed team.

As skipper of one of the biggest clubs in the world, the 29-year-old should be a shining example to the rest of his team-mates. But instead, the self-centred midfielder is letting his side down time and time again with his strops and petulance on the pitch.

No Man Utd player lost possession more than Fernandes at home to Bournemouth on Saturday and his stupid yellow card summed up his game. Harry Maguire has to be given the armband against Liverpool if the Red Devils want to avoid a 7-0 thrashing like the last time the two clubs met. He should have the armband for the rest of the season too.

Alex Turk

Bruno Fernandes’ mind-numbing booking in the latter stages of Manchester United’s 3-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth was no surprise. The United captain picks up yellow cards for bickering more often than not when his team’s backs are against the wall.

And that right there is the problem. How could Erik ten Hag’s skipper behave so petulantly, knowing the consequence would be missing a trip to Anfield? A United side in disarray are entering enemy territory for battle without their general. It will likely only have one result.

But Fernandes shouldn’t be stripped of the captaincy... solely because no one else is worthy. Fans can’t rely on any of Ten Hag’s current players to refrain from acting like Fernandes acts when things aren’t going his way. There is a leadership epidemic in the United dressing room, and the 29-year-old is the face of it.

Lewis Winter

Bruno Fernandes should never have been appointed Manchester United captain in the first place. His behaviour on the pitch is not something that would inspire team-mates and Saturday's yellow card summed it up.

He knew full well that a booking would rule him out of the trip to Anfield and to get it in the manner that he did is not a good look. Fernandes was on the end of brutal criticism following the 7-0 loss on Merseyside earlier this year and won't be able to make amends.

Ten Hag has created a problem for himself because stripping the 29-year-old of the armband could potentially see him down tools. There aren't many standout options to replace Fernandes but if Ten Hag pulls the plug, then Luke Shaw will surely be in line to take over.

Sam Smith

Fernandes offers a difficult conundrum to the Old Trafford hierarchy. He remains one of United’s best players but, when his contributions are weighted, he offers more problems to Ten Hag than solutions to the club’s plight.

A poor temperament calls into question Fernandes’ capability as a captain. Meanwhile, his lack of versatility means the Portugal star must be used exclusively in the No 10 position, despite United looking far better when Ten Hag adopts a 4-3-3 formation.

Harry Maguire’s reintegration into the starting XI and subsequent Premier League Player of the Year award has made Ten Hag's decision to strip him of the captaincy look silly. Fernandes, while a technically brilliant player who has single-handedly won matches, is just another example of United’s muddled recruitment structure over the past decade.

Jordan Seward

Bruno Fernandes has proven time and time again that he has not got the head to be a true leader for Manchester United. There's no denying he is United's go-to man and has got them out of a hole more times than I can remember.

But is that a reason to give someone the captaincy? Performance and consistency is only one aspect of the job, the other is to be an effective communicator and an example-setter to the rest of his team-mates. A captain stays resolute and composed in the face of adversity and is strong enough to shoulder the burden when things go wrong.

Whinging, arm-throwing and finger-pointing are not words or actions synonymous with a leader but they are with Fernandes. And now his incessant petulance has landed him a suspension against Liverpool, putting his team on the back foot before a ball has even been kicked. Erik ten Hag has made his bed by appointing Fernandes as Harry Maguire's successor but he must have words with him - and at least be questioning his suitably for the role in the long term.

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