Date published: Sunday 25th October 2020 5:10
Former Man Utd assistant coach Steve McClaren highlighted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s in-game tactics as a reason behind what he perceived to be poor body language from Bruno Fernandes in their draw with Chelsea.
The Red Devils played out a tepid 0-0 stalemate with Chelsea on Saturday evening.
The result wasn’t what either manager had hoped for, and ensured Man Utd got off to their worst start in 48 years with regards to league results at Old Trafford.
With superstar attacking talent such as Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba all out of the starting line-up, much of the responsibility to crack open Chelsea’s defence rested on Fernandes’ shoulders.
The Portuguese playmaker failed to make the sort of impact Utd fans have become accustomed to, however, and was shifted out onto the right side when Cavani and Pogba were introduced from the bench.
This change of position led to ex-England boss McClaren accusing Fernandes of “making it very easy” for his counterpart Ben Chilwell after visibly showing his “disappointment” at the switch.
Speaking in his role with talkSPORT during the match, McClaren noted (via Goal): “I’ve been watching Bruno Fernandes and he’s disappointed.
“He’s disappointed because he’s been taken out of the middle and he’s out on the right-hand side.
“I saw it last week against Newcastle, when he went out wide, and I’m seeing it again now. His body language is not good, he’s not getting involved.
“He needs to be in the game and on that right-hand side he’s not moving from there, he’s got to move from there, he’s got to get his head up and get back into the game and affect the game.
“At the moment he’s just standing out on the right and he’s making it very easy for Ben Chilwell.”
Solskjaer knows best midfield – Neville
Meanwhile, Gary Neville believes Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will “privately” know his best midfield trio, amid questions over his selection decisions.
Donny van de Beek’s arrival means the Red Devils now have an abundance of talent in their engine room.
Indeed, Fred, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes are also fighting for game time.
But in Saturday’s draw with Chelsea, Solskjaer opted to field Fred and McTominay behind Fernandes. Statistically, that is one of the manager’s favoured trios, the three selected on two occasions so far this season.
And while Solskjaer faced questions as to why Pogba and Van de Beek were left on the bench after the dull 0-0 affair, Neville believes the United boss has his mind made up.
Read the full story here.