Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop midfielder Bruno Fernandes for the visit of Liverpool today because the Portuguese star ‘lets the team down’ defensively.
The Red Devils host high-flying Liverpool at Old Trafford this afternoon with the pressure stacked on Solskjaer, whose side have won just three of their last nine matches in all competitions.
United were 2-0 down against Atalanta at half-time on Wednesday and Fernandes summed up the side’s first-half display, with the former Sporting Lisbon ace admitting after the match that he was well below-par.
However, Fernandes provided a sublime assist for Marcus Rashford’s goal early into the second half which got United’s comeback on track.
Scholes, though, feels Fernandes is guilty of ‘letting the team down’ defensively and has urged Solskjaer to bring in Jesse Lingard in his place today.
After being asked about the prospect of playing Paul Pogba and Fernandes as attacking midfielders in a 4-3-3 system, Scholes told Premier League Productions: ‘I think both Pogba and Fernandes in that position against a team like Liverpool lack discipline. They do not play that position well.
‘I’d even think about bringing in Lingard for Fernandes for a big game like this. It’s a big call because Fernandes gives you so much going forward and he’s scored a lot of goals but defensively he lets the team down a little bit.’
Solskjaer dropped Pogba for the victory against Atalanta but the Frenchman impressed after coming on for Mason Greenwood in the second half.
Fernandes apologised for his first half performance against the Italians and the midfielder is a doubt for today’s game with an injury, though he was with his team-mates at the team hotel last night.
Pogba is often left out of the side against United’s top six rivals and Scholes says there’s too much evidence against the former Juventus man that he cannot play the central midfield role.
‘He should be able to play this position,’ said Scholes.
‘He plays it regularly for France. But every time he comes into the team in these big games in central midfield Ole cannot trust him because discipline.
‘He can’t and does not play the position well. It disappoints me because you look at the coaches at United in Micahel Carrick, he played the position brilliantly. Discipline, always in the right place. how can he not learn from someone like Michael Carrick?
‘I hope he’s tried but it doesn’t look like it. That’s why I think PP if he plays in this team it has to be on the left hand side. He still has defensive responsibilities don’t get me wrong but they’re not as big as the ones in the centre of that pitch.’
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