Manchester United fans are certainly pleased with Bruno Fernandes and the team’s performance vs Watford but they were probably just as pleased that it meant not having to see Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard start.
The out-of-form duo didn’t just fail to make the starting XI but they were also missing from the bench with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer satisfied with his options for the fixture.
Supporters were happy enough to not see them play but they’ll be even more pleased by what the legendary Norwegian said in explaining their absences.
Bruno’s arrival has meant there’s less of a need to rely on the two academy products and his obvious talent has raised the standards.
Some fans were consistently on Solskjaer’s case for playing both Pereira and Lingard despite their obvious problems but that seems to be no longer the case.
Solskjær on Pereira and Lingard: "There's more and more competition for places. Your standard has to improve." #mulive [mu]
— utdreport (@utdreport) February 23, 2020
Ole knows ball
— Sam ???????????????????????????????? (@UtdSamm) February 23, 2020
I’ve been saying this for time. Ole doesn’t rate them, he’s just been forced to hype them, because he didn’t have any replacements for them. Now that he doesn’t have to play them, he’s being honest. Great man management.
— RegistaUnited (@RegistaUnited) February 23, 2020
Exactly, he chose to trust in their experience over the youth fullness of Gomes etc. rightly or wrongly it wasn’t due to preference, but lack of experienced alternatives. Give Ole the players he wants and we will see a different United
— Soko (@SimplySoko) February 23, 2020
I mean he had to be nice to them cos he had nobody else to play but now Scott and Bruno are here they are straight out of the squad. Asif people actually think he rated them????????
— Ben (@benrf17) February 23, 2020
At least it’s clear the majority of fans understood Solskjaer’s reasoning but some have taken it as an opportunity to attack him, believing his decision-making has proven to be incompetent.
Nonetheless, hopefully Lingard and Pereira step it up as they’ve struggled to do so all season long and Bruno does still need cover for whenever he’s tired or injured.