Paul Parker: Man Utd Need To Take Captain's Armband Off Bruno Fernandes

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Paul Parker: Man Utd Need To Take Captain's Armband Off Bruno Fernandes
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Manchester United have endured a tempestuous season that has been marked by inconsistency and fan dissatisfaction.

However, the Red Devils are still in contention for the FA Cup and remain among the favourites on betting sites.

We caught up with ex-United defender Paul Parker, who gave his thoughts on the current situation at Old Trafford.

Questions have been raised with regards to Erik ten Hag’s future at the club, but it’s on the field where Parker believes changes should be made.

“I think you have to look at Bruno Fernandes. What are United really going to achieve going forward with Bruno Fernandes? How far can he take Manchester United?” Parker told exclusively.

The former England international added: “He turned up around 2020 when there were no crowds in the stadium and he was excellent. He made such a difference to a floundering Manchester United and he added a positive energy. 

“I think since the league has changed with fans coming back into the stadiums, we have seen his consistency levels have dropped off.

“His saving grace is that people always talk about his numbers, what he produces in terms of stats, but it’s easier to get those numbers due to the players around him.”

Fernandes has just three goals and five assists in 25 Premier League games this season, and his performances would have to improve drastically if he wants to match the eight goals and eight assists he achieved last term.

Parker explained: "If United are going to step forward and have consistency as a team and individuals, Bruno Fernandes is not going to be one of them.”

As the current captain of United, Fernandes has a task on his hands if he wants to guide his side into the Premier League top four and subsequently qualify for next year’s Champions League.

The Red Devils are currently 12/1 on football betting sites to finish in the top four and Parker believes the Portugal international’s time as captain should be up.

When asked if Ten Hag should look at changing the captaincy at the end of the season, Parker admitted: “Yes, of course. I think you have to go by public opinion, when I say public, I mean the Manchester United fans' opinion. 

“You go through the fans who have supported the club through thick and thin who have seen great players, great managers, and great captains, and they would give you the reasons why he shouldn’t be the captain of Manchester United.

“United have had enough good captains over the years and there’s nothing about him (Bruno) that suggests he is a captain in terms of leading by example. 

“Every time you see him when things aren’t going his way he’s waving his arms about and you definitely don’t need a captain that goes chasing referees around all the time.

“His only saving grace is the question of, who would you give it to? Perhaps Lisandro Martinez? Many people might say he doesn’t speak great English, which I don’t know enough about, but he certainly leads by example.”

Parker, along with many of the Old Trafford faithful, has called for a squad overhaul, and Bruno wasn’t the only United player he took aim at.

Parker gave us his views on who needs to move on: Martial, his contract’s up but he was there for too long. Far too long. Far too many opportunities to give himself a chance, which as everyone knows he never took one.

“Defensively, are you going to shift Wan-Bissaka on. Ten Hag seems to have already made up his mind - that Dalot’s his right back. But Dalot is playing regularly with no competition, as Wan Bissaka’s injured.”

United are the favourites for the tie with Forest on betting apps, but there is defensive frailty within the backline which Parker acknowledged: “I think if you’re going to step forward and have a team that challenges for the Premier League properly, not a fleeting little challenge, you’d have to talk about Harry Maguire. You’d have to talk about Victor Lindelof.

“People would say about Varane, but when Varane and Martinez had that spell together leading up to the League Cup final where they were absolutely excellent together. 

“Varane is one of those players that loves to be led by another player, he had years of it with Ramos, and you saw what they achieved.”

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Billy Newton

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