The Manchester United stand-in captain put on a disappointing display during Red Devils’ historic loss to their fierce rivals at Anfield.
Bruno Fernandes faces an uncertain future following an incident with assistant referee Adam Nunn. The Manchester United stand-in captain was caught handling the assistant referee during the second half of the Red Devils’ dismal and historic loss to their fierce rivals at Anfield
Despite appearing to push the linesman, during the second half of the devastating 7-0 defeat. Fernandes has seemingly managed to get away scot-free. However, the Portuguese midfielder’s behaviour has not gone unnoticed with many critics condemning his actions. And although he may have narrowly escaped disciplinary action at Anfield, United supporters fear that Fernades may face an FA ban.
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For now, it appears that United supporters can rest easy, as no further action involving the incident has taken place by officials or by the FA, with Fernades appearing to have managed to escape an internal investigation. According to the FA, since referee Andy Madley allegedly saw the incident but decided to not pursue it further, the claim could not be investigated.
The FA is within its right to pursue disciplinary action against a player once the game has finished if it is deemed match officials missed a clear sending-off offence. However, following the events that unfolded at Anfield, many believe that the FA have dropped the ball with Ref Support UK chief executive Martin Cassidy urging the governing body to make a statement, urging the FA to clamp down on the abuse of referees.
As a response, the FA did recently write to all clubs reminding them of their due diligence when it comes to how their participants conduct themselves. Former Manchester United star Gary Neville, also voiced his disdain after the team’s devastating defeat against Liverpool, branding the Red Devils captain a disgrace.
Having played at major tournaments and won over 50 international cups, it is hard to defend the 28-year-old player’s actions as he should have known better. In fact, Manchester United is facing pressure to remove Ferdinand’s captain duties as a result of his deplorable behaviour.
Ferdinand is no stranger to criticism, having been on the receiving end of another scathing attack from the former Aston Villar striker Gabby Agbonlahor. Back in August, following another heavy defeat against Brentford, Agbonlahor took aim at Fernandes’ negative body language.
However, in the wake of the Liverpool debacle, Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag has made his support for Fernandes clear, confirming that he will continue to captain Manchester United despite his disappointing display drawing public outrage.
Ten Hag stated that he did not feel let down by his players following the heaviest competition defeat in the club’s history, just one week after they celebrated winning their first silverware in six years. The Manchester United manager explained that he had already expressed his frustrations with his players’ recent performances before the Liverpool game and that the result at Anfield further proved what he had already been aware of.
In fact, Ten Hag has doubled down on his support and is willing to risk Fernandes in the Europa League despite him being one booking away from a ban. In an attempt to minimise the possibility of players being suspended for the UEFA final yellow cards will be wiped at the end of the quarter-finals. As such, Fernandes runs the risk of a suspension if he receives a yellow card during the next game and would be suspended for the first leg of the quarter-final.
Few signings have had the immediate impact, especially mid-season, that Fernandes had when he first burst onto the scene in 2020. While Marcus Rashford who jumped to the stand-in captain’s defense, has dominated headlines due to his unwavering success, Fernandes has remained a fan favourite securing 20 goal contributions in 41 matches.
The Portuguese national is also regarded as the second-highest scorer and truly comes alive when the team is at their best. Although it remains yet to be seen whether Fernandes will receive a suspension, Man United fans can take comfort in knowing that Ten Hag has the team’s best interest at heart.