“Man Utd should strip Bruno Fernandes of club captaincy” – Roy Keane

Roy Keane says he would take the Manchester United captaincy off Bruno Fernandes after the Portugal international delivered a petulant display in the 3-0 derby defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

Fernandes and United were subdued by a brilliant City performance as two goals from Erling Haaland and another from Phil Foden eased Pep Guardiola’s side to victory on Sunday afternoon.

United skipper Fernandes could not influence the game in a positive light from the right wing and was later booked for kicking out at Jeremy Doku.

The former Sporting CP star has previously been criticised for his conduct as captain at United, most notably during their 7-0 defeat at Liverpool last season. Harry Maguire has since been stripped of the armband, which was handed to Fernandes permanently in the summer earlier this year.

Keane, a famed former captain at Old Trafford, was not impressed while watching on as a Sky Sports pundit and believes manager Erik ten Hag may have made a mistake in making Fernandes the full-time skipper.

He said: “The first thing I would do after today…I’ve been watching him again, I would take the captaincy off him, 100%.

“I know it’s a big decision, they did change the captaincy with [Harry] Maguire. But Fernandes is not captain material. I think he’s a talented player, no doubt about it, but what I saw today, I know we’ve discussed this many times before, at Liverpool last year, his whingeing, his moaning, his throwing his arms up in the air, it really isn’t acceptable.

“After what we saw today, I would take that off him.

“You have to start somewhere. You’re talking about making changes at board level, at manager level, I would start with that, because the manager is capable of doing that.

“And hold his hands up and say ‘Listen, I got it wrong’. Fernandes is a brilliant footballer, but in terms of captain material, he is the opposite to what I would want in a captain.”

Fernandes is on a run of six games without a goal in United colours, having posted two strikes alongside two assists in the early stages of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign. His booking was his fourth, meaning he will face a one-match ban if and when he picks up a fifth caution.

United’s next outing comes in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday when they host Newcastle at Old Trafford.

What we know

  • Fernandes was booked for a kick towards Man City’s Jeremy Doku in 3-0 loss on Sunday
  • Midfield star replaced Harry Maguire as club captain in the summer
  • Keane says Fernandes is the ‘opposite to what I would want in a captain’.

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