Paul Scholes is now the third person to identify Bruno Fernandes’ apparent biggest weakness at Manchester United: his tendency to go missing in big games.
Roy Keane previously claimed the Portuguese couldn’t be compared to Eric Cantona because he lacks the leadership skills of the Frenchman.
And now Scholes has pointed out that Fernandes went missing in United’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“A lot of the problems I see are them two centre-halves and goalkeeper – well, not so much goalkeeper today,” Scholes told Premier League Productions.
“But the centre-halves need protecting, which means you’ve got to have your two holding midfield players right next to them all the time and it takes away everything from your attacking ability.
“They don’t get up the pitch, they can’t keep the ball in the last third of the pitch because they can’t sustain attacks because they’re too deep.
“And this is a recurring theme now that keeps going on. If they’re going to get to that next level they’ve got to be braver, they’ve got to be braver in the centre of the pitch.
“The two centre-halves, leave them, let them defend. Who are you playing against?
“An average Chelsea forward. Not average, because I like [Olivier] Giroud, but he’s not going to run away from anyone.
“He’s perfect for them two today. Mason Mount isn’t going to run away from them, [Hakim] Ziyech isn’t quick, no pace. They’ve got nothing to worry about.
“Let your midfield players join in attacks and at least contribute something to the attacking side of the game.
“They’ve got to change it, the quality has got to be better. The big players have got to step up. Again Fernandes today, I can’t remember him doing anything. I don’t remember him creating a chance, I don’t remember him having a shot on goal.
“I don’t remember [Edouard] Mendy, other than a couple of times, being brought into the game. So the quality is disappointing, they’ve got to get it better against these big clubs.”