Former Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has launched a biter tirade against Manchester United’s Portuguese talisman Bruno Fernandes.
Souness has a long history of using his platform as a pundit to single out United players for criticism, with the most obvious example being his frequent and often excessive criticisms of Paul Pogba.
However, as reported by The Daily Star, the pundit has switched focus over recent days, with Fernandes being the latest United star to be subjected to the pundit’s withering gaze.
In the aftermath of Portugal’s disappointing 4-2 defeat by Germany at Euro 2020, Souness said: “I played with players that would not be accepting of the thing you just touched on (petulance), you know he doesn’t get the ball and he is waving his hands around.”
Harking back to an era that no longer exists, Souness added: “He would not have lasted more than five minutes in my dressing room” before begrudgingly conceding, “but he’s a wonderful talented boy.”
The Scotsman’s comments came following a frustrating afternoon for Fernandes. In a sight familiar to United fans, the midfielder became increasingly irate as the match wore on and struggled to contain his emotions as the game ran away from his side.
People who understand how Fernandes operates, from coaches to the multitude of adoring fans, know that he’s a born winner. It’s in his DNA.
The part of his personality that sees him chasing lost causes for 90 minutes is the exact same facet that drives his frustration when he’s not performing to his own high standards.
It’s the reason he can be such a singular influence for both club and country and isn’t something anyone would want to remove from his game.
In short, if you take away the warts-and-all drive for perfection, you’re left with a fraction of the player who has set the Premier League alight over the past 18 months.
Finally, if there’s a theme to Souness’ tirades – and there’s always a theme – it’s that times have changed and he’s forever scrambling to get a foothold on a game that has long-since left him behind.
Invariably there’ll always be a United player who embodies the changing times most acutely. It’s usually Pogba and his exasperating determination to enjoy life on his own terms but it’s not exclusively limited to the Frenchman.
Textbook ‘old man yells at clouds’ then and, at this point, it’s slightly embarrassing and more than a little tedious. But, mostly, just plain old sad.