Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards believes that Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes isn’t doing his job well, with his on-field antics proving detrimental to his teammates.
The Portuguese midfielder replaced Harry Maguire as United’s permanent skipper this season, having worn the armband for much of the last campaign when the England international was out of first-team consideration.
In United’s first two games this season, Erik ten Hag’s side have struggled, labouring to a 1-0 home win before being beaten 2-0 by Tottenham on Sunday.
The lacklustre performances, especially on Sunday, infuriated the 28-year-old, who berated his younger colleague, Facundo Pellistri, following the breakdown of a move.
But speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, Richards criticised Fernandes for his conduct, claiming that his behaviour could be having an adverse effect on the team.
“It’s getting embarrassing now,’ he said. ‘The young lad Pellistri comes on. Fernandes is trying to get his team playing, and I totally understand he’s frustrated.
“Pellistri made a run, Fernandes didn’t see him, and [so] he made a different run, but because he wasn’t where [Fernandes] wanted him to be, he’s going off at Pellestri.
Richards also claimed that Fernandes’ body language on the pitch negatively affects the rest of the team.
“It’s every time,” he added.
“I saw an interview with him the other day, and he said he needs to be emotional when he performs because it makes him play better.
“But I feel like his body language on the pitch is disturbing the rest of the team, and it’s just not a good look at all. It’s pathetic at times.”
This is not the first time the attacking midfielder’s actions have been called into question. He was also criticised for his continued petulance during Man United’s historic loss to Liverpool, Fernandes in March.
The display even cast into doubt his suitability for the role of skipper after many at United – players included – were left irritated by him.