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19th Jan 2024

Jamie Carragher drops truth bomb about the reality of Man United’s best player

Lee Costello

Jamie Carragher

“I didn’t think he was a great player.”

Jamie Carragher has dropped a truth bomb about the reality of Man United’s best player in regards to his ability and what he actually brings to the team.

United have gone through a difficult period, and they seem to have a lack of identity in terms of their playing style, something which is rather surprising given how distinct Erik ten Hag’s philosophy was when he was at Ajax.

Speaking about this matter on the latest episode of Stick to Football, the conversation shifted to United’s captain Bruno Fernandes and his role in the team.

Although he undoubtedly brings the most quality in the squad, he seems to have the freedom to move wherever he wants, rather than stay within a system, and Gary Neville believes that is because Ten Hag has given him that freedom.

Jamie Carragher drops truth bomb about the reality of Man United’s best player.

However, the reason the Portugal international has this responsibility is because he is their best player, although Carragher was quick to clarify that he doesn’t think the midfielder is actually a “great player”.

“I always used to describe [Paul] Pogba a bit like this – I think there’s a difference between a great talent and a great player. Pogba was a great talent, but I didn’t think he was a great player and the same with Bruno Fernandes.

“No doubt the talent is there but there’s just something [missing] and the great players, it’s in their head of where they need to be whether it’s defensively or to receive the ball – like [Kevin] De Bruyne.

“De Bruyne is better than Fernandes but in terms of creating chances and different things, Fernandes is not a million miles away from them.

“We’ve seen him under Ole Gunnar Solskaer, I’ve watched him where – and it’s not been lazy by the way – he’s just running everywhere and this is without the ball by the way.”

Gary Neville has revelation on why Bruno Fernandes behaves the way he does in matches.

Neville believes that Fernandes has been given this roving role in midfield and that is why he covers more ground than any of the other United players.

However, he also thinks that it is affecting the team’s shape and prevents them from knitting any patterns of play.

“Any team that is anything at all, you see repeated pass patterns and combinations,” Neville told his co-hosts on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet.

“I think about Bruno Fernandes, and I watched him on Sunday, he’s obviously the best player in terms of talent – but he’s everywhere.

“He must be being told to go and do what he wants. I don’t think Bruno Fernandes is that type of guy.

Jamie Carragher

“If, for Pep Guardiola, a player plays out of position for a minute or two, he’s on the sideline saying, ‘Get back into your position’, and I think Ten Hag is giving him the freedom to go everywhere, and actually that means you can never have a combination or a pattern – when you’ve got your main midfield player everywhere on the pitch.

“It’s almost like 20 years ago, where your number 10 was given licence to play. That’s gone now, you have to fit within a combination and pattern system and attacking shape, and that’s the bit that I think Bruno is told he must be able to go everywhere.

“I never see Ten Hag going up to him and telling him to get back into position.”

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