Fernandes’ Fifth Booking: A Tactical Move or Genuine Misstep?
Manchester United’s latest setback, a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth, was compounded by an incident involving their captain, Bruno Fernandes. Criticised for dissent towards the referee, Peter Bankes, Fernandes received his fifth booking of the season. This card carries a weighty consequence – a one-match suspension, coincidentally aligning with United’s upcoming visit to Anfield on December 17.
Owen’s Perspective on Fernandes’ Attitude
The suspension of Fernandes has not gone unnoticed, with commentary emerging from various quarters. Michael Owen, a former player of both Manchester United and Liverpool, shared his insights on this development. He highlighted Fernandes’ tendency for dissent, including gestures of frustration during matches. Owen humorously speculated whether Fernandes might be avoiding the challenging Liverpool fixture, although he swiftly adopted a more serious tone. Owen remarked, “I wonder how many yellow cards he’s had for dissent and waving his arms about. Possibly you don’t fancy going to Anfield – I wouldn’t at the moment!”
The Burden of Leadership
Owen emphasised the responsibilities that come with leadership. As United’s club captain, Fernandes is expected to set an example, both in conduct and performance. Owen pointed out the increasing scrutiny referees are applying to dissent on the pitch, a factor Fernandes seems to have overlooked. The frequent bookings for non-tackling offences, according to Owen, are a concerning pattern for a player in such a pivotal role.
Manchester United’s Challenging Week Ahead
The suspension adds to the list of challenges for Erik ten Hag’s side. Facing a critical Champions League match against Bayern Munich, where anything less than a win could mean their European campaign’s end, United must then revisit Anfield. The site of their previous 7-0 defeat looms large, with hopes that Liverpool will not replicate their earlier formidable form.