Paul Scholes pinpoints huge 'worry' for Manchester United about Bruno Fernandes ahead of Real Betis win
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Paul Scholes has identified a major “worry” in Bruno Fernandes ahead of Manchester United’s resounding 4-1 win over Real Betis on Thursday.
Goals from Marcus Rashford, Antony, Fernandes and Wout Weghorst sealed a comfortable win at Old Trafford after United’s humiliating defeat to Liverpool.
Erik ten Hag’s men are in pole position to reach the Europa League quarter-finals, with the return leg for the last-16 clash against Betis to be played on 16th March in Spain.
Fernandes took the captain’s armband for the first-leg round-of-16 tie against Betis after United manager Ten Hag came out and backed the Portuguese midfielder.
The 28-year-old United star was heavily criticised by the likes of Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Roy Keane over his behaviour in the Red Devils’ defeat at Anfield.
Speaking on BT Sport, Scholes claimed that he is unsure if Fernandes would be the “ideal” choice for United captain towards the tail end of the season.
The United legend added that Fernandes, who is vice-captain to United skipper Harry Maguire, might not be the “calming influence” Ten Hag needs on the pitch.
“Your captain has to be a calming influence, really. He almost has to be the one who calms characters like him down,” Scholes said ahead of the Betis clash.
“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.
"I think he's sent the same team out to test a few characters tonight..."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2023
Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves discuss Erik ten Hag's decision to stick with the same Man Utd XI vs. Real Betis 🗣️#UEL pic.twitter.com/Kd7MrFHzd9
“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.”
Fernandes was called out for shoving the assistant referee in the Liverpool match and also flailing his arms around to his United teammates and officials.
However, Scholes sympathised with the Portugal international and claimed that Fernandes will “learn” from his actions in United’s 7-0 loss to Liverpool.
“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,” he explained.
“He was clearly frustrated with his teammates 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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Topics: Paul Scholes, Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United, Real Betis, Europa League, Football