top of page

Why a dip in form for Fernandes means a dip in form for Man Utd

The Portuguese has carried his club at times throughout the last 12 months but is going through a bad patch and his team-mates have not stood up

Bruno Fernandes’ reaction at the full-time whistle at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday night said everything you need to know about him as a player and a winner.

With two points dropped and an opportunity to leapfrog Manchester City again at the top of the Premier League table missed, the Portugal international showed his frustration by marching straight down the tunnel without acknowledging anyone. Some have regarded it as petulant but it will have been more a reaction of anger.

Firstly, there will have been frustration with himself for failing to make the difference and secondly, he was clearly annoyed about Manchester United’s failure to get the three points against Arsenal which were there for the taking.

Fernandes had only been at the club a matter of weeks when he made his opinions on draws very clear to his team-mates in the dressing room at Goodison Park. That mindset has not changed so his disappointment following the stalemate in north London should come as no surprise.

Bruno has set such high standards since signing for the club, breaking record after record. But recently his performance levels have dropped, making average displays glaringly obvious.

The fact that he wasn't shortlisted for the club’s January player of the month award prompted a head scramble emoji from their social media accounts. And that's not because he deserved to be there but rather that he had dominated the awards since his arrival a year ago.

For 12 months now, United have been used to Fernandes being the hero. He would always be there with a goal, an assist, a key pass or a game-changing contribution. Worryingly, he is now without a goal in his last five league games - his longest dry spell since signing - and United have won just two of those.

While his form may have faltered his effort certainly hasn't. He remains one of the last to leave the training pitches on a daily basis and his determination cannot be doubted. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, meanwhile, has refuted suggestions that United rely on the playmaker’s genius too much.

“Bruno has come in and helped the team, no doubt about that,” he said. “Bruno came in at a time when we needed that type of player and he came into a team that makes his attributes and skills come to fruition.

"He’s come to a team that suits him and he suits the team. That goes hand in hand. If the players don’t run, Bruno can’t play his passes. If Bruno doesn’t play his passes then they can’t run.

“He’s part of a chain here and I’m sure that Bruno will say that he also appreciates his team-mates and that they help him through games.”

The statistics, meanwhile, show just how vital Bruno has been. He has featured in 35 league games in 12 months - scoring 19 goals and providing 14 assists - and has earned four player of the month awards. He propelled United into the Champions League last season and pushed them all the way to the summit this year.

But it has been a disappointing couple of weeks for the 26-year-old.

While Solskjaer dismisses the idea that Fernandes alone makes the team tick, it is hard to look past that notion. At the moment it feels like a dip in form for Bruno correlates to a dip in form for the team.

They’ve been lacking his individual moments of magic and somehow need to find that spark to get past teams and pick up the points they have dropped in their last three league games.

Solskjaer's side are in danger of losing the momentum they worked so hard to build up earlier in the season following recent draws against Liverpool and Arsenal, as well as defeat to Sheffield United.

That was their only loss since the start of November but, with Manchester City now firing on all cylinders, draws aren’t going to be enough to keep United at the top.

They must win both of their games this week starting with Southampton at home on Tuesday and if Fernandes does have another off day, they must find a way to do it without his expertise.

If they really are to keep challenging for the title, then the whole team needs to stand up, not just Fernandes.

Register account with us at

Get 5% weekly rebate and more exclusive promotion now!

浏览 并与我们注册账号,


1 view0 comments
bottom of page