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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Roy Keane U-turn over ‘outstanding’ Manchester United player shows he has proven a point

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Manchester United have had many great captains through the years and the high standards set mean there are a lot of eyes on any player who wears the armband.

Being Manchester United captain is not easy. The level of pressure and scrutiny, at a tough time for the club, means there is no hiding place.

Just ask Harry Maguire, who was picked apart during his four years as skipper, and looks to be playing more freely since Erik ten Hag ‘demoted’ him last summer.

In his place, Bruno Fernandes was selected to be captain. It wasn’t a surprise, with the Portugal international wearing the armband numerous times in 2022/23, when Maguire was left out of the team.

What followed was a barrage of criticism, perhaps with the pain of United’s 7-0 loss at Liverpool that season still stinging, a day Fernandes was captain.

The club’s inconsistent performances in 2023/24 have not helped, and the scrutiny on Fernandes’ role has rarely gone away.

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates with his teammates and fans after winning Manchester City during the Emirates FA Cup Final match be...

Photo by Richard Callis/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Roy Keane praises Bruno Fernandes

Nobody is more sharp-tongued and cutting when it comes to Manchester United than one of the team’s greatest captains of all-time, club legend Roy Keane.

Keane spoke out following the FA Cup Final win over Manchester City, and admitted Bruno Fernandes had proven him wrong.

He said: “They had a bit of confidence coming into the game with the last couple of results against Newcastle and Brighton. The character.

“I have been critical of Bruno over the years but I am happy to be proved wrong because his leadership today was outstanding.

“We always mention how brilliant he is as a player. I am pleased for the fans. It’s been a frustrating few months and we are quick to criticise.”

Fernandes has proven his point

This is now the second successive year Bruno Fernandes has won a trophy for Manchester United. He is no longer a nearly-man, he has something to show for his efforts at the club.

The FA Cup win was even more impressive than the Carabao Cup victory, with United beating Liverpool and Manchester City on the way to winning this trophy.

Keane has been critical of Fernandes in the past, and hit out after the team’s league defeat to City at home earlier in the season.

He told Sky Sports at time: “Today having watched him again I would take the captaincy off him 100 per cent.

“Fernandes is a brilliant footballer but in terms of captain material he is the opposite to what I would want in a captain.”

As Keane points out, sometimes in football, you can be quick to rush to judgment. At least he has been bold enough to admit he was wrong.

There are many other pundits who will not be so brave, and are staying quiet, no doubt waiting for a bad Fernandes moment to raise their terrible takes once again.

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