Manchester United managed to perform one of the most unconvincing wins of the Premier League season yesterday against Norwich, and whilst three points will be very much welcomed by the fans, there is clearly so much work to do at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo managed to win a penalty in the 75th minute of the game that allowed the Red Devils to walk away from Carrow Road with three points, but the performance, in general, was flat and Jamie Redknapp scathed the team for their lack of effort after the game.
He told Sky Sports, via The Daily Mail:
“From United’s point of view, this is what I expect from them at the moment there’s a few problems with the system, set-up, it will take time for the manager to bed in what he wants and it’s going to be a case of giving him weeks or months to do that as a lot of United players have bad habits.”
One player who stuck out in the game is Bruno Fernandes, with a performance the Portuguese star will want to forget.
Pundit, Paul Merson, suggested Fernandes has become a bit of a problem, commenting:
“He’s lost confidence. When you lose confidence it doesn’t matter who you are – we all lose confidence – it’s a different game.
“He’s not touching the ball in the game now, he’s not touching it 60, 70 or 80 times.
“Everything went through Fernandes, everything. It’s not that case now, everyone’s looking for Ronaldo now. This needs to change.”
The £180k-per-week midfielder has flopped this season when you compare it to the season he had last year where he was the stand out star at Man United that lead to the side finishing second in the Premier League.
In the 2020/21 season, Fernandes scored 28 goals and bagged 21 assists in 58 appearances which was a phenomenal, record-breaking achievement for the midfielder, who was expected to emulate this season in the current one with his Portuguese teammate, Ronaldo, joining the side in the summer. Instead, he’s only registered three assists all campaign so far in the league.
Ralf Rangnick is currently setting up with a 4-2-2-2 and it may be wise to axe Fernandes in the upcoming game on Tuesday against Brentford by trying Donny Van De Beek and Jadon Sancho in the two behind the strike force. It would give the Portuguese midfielder either a rest or a realisation that he needs to start picking up his performances.
Fernandes is struggling to find consistency in his game, although he does have five goals already this season, the attacking element of his role only makes up for half of the midfielder’s position in the team and he is finding it difficult to establish himself as a reliable player in games where attacking opportunities are few. For instance, when his creativity doesn’t come off, the stats don’t make for good numbers, losing possession 26 times against Norwich on Saturday.