It has been a disastrous start to the new Premier League season for Manchester United as they suffered back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Brentford.
The scoreline aside, what hurt most was the manner of the defeats. There was no fighting spirit on display as all the hard work done in pre-season seemed to evaporate as soon as the first Brighton goal went in.
Erik ten Hag has already admitted that the belief at the club is at an all-time low and the team still seems to be nursing a hangover from last season.
None of the big players have stepped up and constant talk of friction inside the dressing room is not helping. The players seem to have forgotten the basics of what it means to be playing for the 20-time English champions.
Bruno Fernandes: “It's a sad locker room, a bit dejected by the results. Expectations were high after the pre-season we had. The locker room knows it's not at the level it needs to be. to look in the mirror and do better than I've been doing.” [@Record_Portugal]
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) August 20, 2022
Bruno Fernandes‘ signing was the pivotal moment in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s managerial reign. Before the arrival of the Portuguese, United were struggling in the Europa League spots but his arrival uplifted the team and he was seen as the saviour, someone who could do no wrong.
Liverpool challenge up next
The 27-year-old’s form took a nosedive under Ralf Rangnick last season and he is yet to get back to his best. One of the few world-class players at United, Fernandes is aware of the extra responsibilities he needs to take up in order to help United get on the board.
The former Sporting Lisbon playmaker spoke to Portuguese outlet Record and admitted that the best way to show the fans that this team has what it takes to get back to the top is to get the better of eternal rivals Liverpool on Monday.
Especially after United suffered two humiliating thrashings at the hands of Jurgen Klopp‘s side last season, the least United can do is give their best this time around.
“It’s been a difficult start, nobody is prepared to start like that at this club. But there is no better game to give an answer, for us and for our ambitions. It’s because of the lack of trust between us.
With Brighton, when we suffered the goal we felt that mistrust that came from last year. It’s mainly confidence. That’s what we have to recover,” he was quoted as saying.
United dressing room
The Portugal international also spoke on the situation inside the dressing room and maintained that the squad remain committed to the cause and that there are no divisions among them.
“It’s a sad locker room, a bit dejected by the results. Expectations were high after the pre-season we had. The locker room knows it’s not at the level it needs to be.
“The quality of the performances has to be improved. to look in the mirror and do better than I’ve been doing. There is no problem in the dressing room, quite the opposite,” he stressed.
Fernandes has always been a vocal presence and Monday will show whether these are just empty words or whether the team is ready to fight for the badge and the new manager.
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