Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken about midfielder Bruno Fernandes’ tendency to shout at his teammates.
Fernandes joined the Red Devils in January and his infectious desire and determination to win instantly transformed an ailing United side into top four contenders.
But on occasion the Portuguese international’s passion spills over into rage and there have been some heated spats both on and off the pitch with his teammates.
In August during the Europa League semi-final defeat to Sevilla, Bruno had a heated on-pitch argument with teammate Victor Lindelof.
And at the beginning of October, Fernandes was substituted at half-time as United crashed to a humiliating 6-1 home defeat to Spurs amidst rumours that he was so angry with his teammates in the dressing room that he had to be separated from the group – a story, it should be said, that the player himself denied.
When asked on Friday about the player’s vocal outbursts, Solskjaer clearly suggested that he saw them as a positive and important part of the team’s character.
‘I’ve been in a team and I like a team where it is not just the manager or the coaches who shout,’ the boss said.
‘I want players to take responsibility and put other players into their place at times when that is necessary because they’re out there fighting for one cause and that is for the team to win.
‘I think once in a while you just have to take a rollocking. Not that Bruno is just giving out rollockings, he is also instructing, and I think we can all learn from his mentality and mindset.
‘If it is 2-0, he wants 3-0. If it is 4-0, he wants 5-0. He always wants to improve and for the team to improve.’
It is a mentality that is arguably taking some time to transmit itself to the rest of the team. ‘We all need to step up and improve. Especially in difficult times — and Bruno has done that,’ Solskjaer said.
The fact remains that Fernandes has been involved in 55.8% of United’s goals since he joined the club, a figure that The Times’ Jonathan Northcroft believes indicates that United are a one-man team.
‘Cristiano Giaretta, the Watford sporting director, who discovered Fernandes for the Italian side Novara explained the player’s mentality as wanting “to be not one of the best, but the best”, and also to “transmit his confidence to team-mates”,’ Northcroft writes.
‘He must feel he is only halfway there at Old Trafford. He has definitely become United’s best but what about his colleagues?
‘Helping them to grow is proving trickier than only assisting their goals.
‘It is both dazzling and disquieting how reliant on Fernandes United have become.’
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