Bruno Fernandes’ role as captain at Manchester United has come into question following the 3-0 defeat against Manchester City on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag’s side were embarrassed at Old Trafford in the Manchester derby on the weekend and Fernandes was poor throughout.
Roy Keane called for the Dutch manager to strip the Portuguese midfielder of the captaincy after he was seen complaining and playing in an erratic style when things weren’t going United’s way.
It was something similar to his display at Anfield last term when The Reds were beaten 7-0 by Liverpool. That was when alarm bells rang for some about his potential in the role he was filling whilst Harry Maguire was out of the team.
Now, with the armband permanently, Fernandes has received criticism amidst the club’s poor start to the season.
The former Premier League winner Chris Sutton has claimed that the 29-year-old does not have the same traits as previous captains at Old Trafford.
“When you stand in a tunnel you are looking for your captain to have a presence, a stature, leadership. When the going gets tough they are the ones who step up and drag the team through,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“You think of great United captains of the past, [Roy] Keane being one of them. Steve Bruce, who I had so much admiration for. Bryan Robson – brilliant captain. Gary Neville – a bit of clout. [Nemanja] Vidic, the same.
“And then you get this petulant, spoilt kid in Bruno. In my opinion, he was never designed to be a Manchester United captain – he doesn’t have the right characteristics.”
Fernandes has previously explained that his demeanour on the pitch is always due to his desperation to win and help his team. But it can not be argued that it can sometimes be seen as a negative in these difficult moments.
Sutton, who won the league with Blackburn Rovers, believes that Fernandes’ attitude on the pitch has rubbed off on teammates. Antony was seen getting into a confrontation with Jeremy Doku just minutes after coming off the bench on Sunday.
He also suggested that the likes of Marcus Rashford would work harder out of possession if they had a better captain on the pitch.
“That is why the likes of Antony are lawless, they do what they like,” added Sutton. “It’s then that the captain has to get a grip, but players feel that they can act like they want on the pitch.
“Marcus Rashford feels that he doesn’t have to track back. Are you telling me that if Roy Keane was captain of Manchester United [on Sunday] he would have let that happen?”