Bruno Fernandes | Match Discussion Thread 2023/24

Sometimes you need to move good players on. And get a fee to boot.
One of the things United have done so badly over the years… They’ve not moved players on at the right time to generate a good fee. They leave it and then end up stuck with a player.
 
There are rumours of interest from Saudi for the summer.

If a big fee was offered they'd have to consider it, I do think his absolute best years are behind him but he's still a good player.

He does need to sharpen up his finishing he misses quite a few good chances and with the role he has you need to be getting plenty of goals from him.
 
He does need to sharpen up his finishing he misses quite a few good chances and with the role he has you need to be getting plenty of goals from him.
I think the problem is… If he’s not scoring or assisting then he’s not doing much else. As a midfielder I think thats an issue especially in a scheme that wants control.
 
I think the problem is… If he’s not scoring or assisting then he’s not doing much else. As a midfielder I think thats an issue especially in a scheme that wants control.

Think that's very harsh on him and to be fair that is sort of his job as the attacking midfielder.

He creates loads of chances but he also works incredibly hard off the ball to win it back and make sure we press from the front as a unit rather than just as individuals.

Feels to me like he's lost a bit of confidence in his shooting he used to be lethal with his finishing now he isn't.

It's easy to point the finger at Bruno when it comes to our lack of control in games but it's really the entire front 4 if you include him as part of that unit. They all want to get to goal quickly and be direct none of them are really interested in just pinning a team in their own half with possession they are all always looking to head for goal.

I don't see a huge problem with that but we have to be a lot more clinical with our finishing and properly finish a team off by stretching 2 goal leads into 3 or 4.
 
You can never fault his work rate but he for me he is lacking a bit of confidence especially in front of goal. That was one he screwed wide would have nestled in the net in previous years.

I do like Bruno and he has produced great numbers here but he’s one of those players that if he left I wouldn’t be gutted.
 
It’s part of his job but it’s also playing with control and making the right decisions.

Is it?

We don't really know what ETH is telling to do, from what we see watching week to week it looks to me like ETH wants them to be pushing constantly for another goal and if he wasn't getting what he wanted from Bruno he'd be either subbed or benched.
 
Is it?

We don't really know what ETH is telling to do, from what we see watching week to week it looks to me like ETH wants them to be pushing constantly for another goal and if he wasn't getting what he wanted from Bruno he'd be either subbed or benched.
He’s the captain and I think ETH has shown favouritism towards some players (as all managers do so that’s not a criticism of him). Bruno looks to be doing what Bruno does. The difference? No end product.
 
You can never fault his work rate but he for me he is lacking a bit of confidence especially in front of goal. That was one he screwed wide would have nestled in the net in previous years.

I do like Bruno and he has produced great numbers here but he’s one of those players that if he left I wouldn’t be gutted.
I've felt for quite a while that he wastes more than he creates. I agree that if we got a decent summer offer I would sell him.
 
It is a tough call as he is not a player who plays possession based football. He is ideal in a counter attacking team. Look at the Rasmey walls thru our midfield. Rashford and Garnacho needs to put in a shift with the defence too at least in their space. Bruno tries too hard I think and something is off the boil with him now.
I agree that he needs to use his brain a bit more. The last minute attempt on goal instead of holding possession.
 
He’s still 4th in big chances created whilst playing for a team that doesn’t create many chances and top for chances created.

Is he having a great season? No.

Is he near bottom of the pile to move on. Clearly.
 
He’s still 4th in big chances created whilst playing for a team that doesn’t create many chances and top for chances created.

Is he having a great season? No.

Is he near bottom of the pile to move on. Clearly.

Are we really that low for chances created? That doesn't seem to be a massive problem for this team it's converting them. We've taken the 7th most shots in the league similar number to Villa and Brighton who are the two teams above us. We're taking around 15 shots per game Liverpool average about 19. We miss a lot of very good chances and Bruno is one of the culprits for that.

On the second point when was his last great season? I really like Bruno but this is his 3rd season where you have to think he's been pretty average. I don't think we'll ever see the best version of Bruno again.

He's such an influential player in the team but if he's not at his very best regularly it does become a problem. We never really know what life without him is like we get the odd game in the season that he misses but we've never had to go without him for 5-10 games due to injury. I actually think the manager needs to be strong enough to sub him when he's having a bad game and trust either Eriksen or Mount (if he ever gets fit) to play that position.
 
Are we really that low for chances created?

We are 6th on 65 for big chances with 12 of the big chances created attributed to Bruno. The 2nd Manchester United player on the list is Rashford on 5.
 
We are 6th on 65 for big chances with 12 of the big chances created attributed to Bruno. The 2nd Manchester United player on the list is Rashford on 5.

How many of the big chances from Bruno are from set pieces? I'm always a bit wary with these stats as they normally massively skew towards set piece takers.

I don't see creating chances as a massive problem for this team it's finishing we are very poor at finishing chances we are actually below the average in the league for shot conversion and we are also under performing against Xg. Top players should be performing above average and above Xg.

Bruno has had 61 shots this season in the league that resulted in 3 goals I know he takes quite a few from outside the box but that's roughly 1 goal for every 20 shots he takes it's really poor. Odegaard as a direct comparison is 5 goals from 48 shots so he's roughly 1 goal in every 10 shots.

I don't really have a problem with his creativity he's very good at that and his numbers have stayed high but his finishing I think has got worse season after season for the last 3 years and that's a problem when you a number 10. Yes you need to create but you also need to score and he's missing big chances in games.
 

I know generally we don't use 365 but it had an article today on chances created per 90 played. Bruno tops the list and it's not like we take more set pieces than other sides or there aren't other players taking set pieces. He also led it last year. Brunos shooting is wasteful this season but he doesn't seem to be as further up the pitch this season so isn't having as many chances inside the box as he did in previous seasons where he was pretty much playing as a second striker. Odegaards chances are also a lot better put Bruno in that Arsenal side and he'd have more goals too.

Brunos main job is to create chances for that front 3. He's doing it. As you said our being below our XG is the problem.
 

I know generally we don't use 365 but it had an article today on chances created per 90 played. Bruno tops the list and it's not like we take more set pieces than other sides or there aren't other players taking set pieces. He also led it last year. Brunos shooting is wasteful this season but he doesn't seem to be as further up the pitch this season so isn't having as many chances inside the box as he did in previous seasons where he was pretty much playing as a second striker. Odegaards chances are also a lot better put Bruno in that Arsenal side and he'd have more goals too.

Brunos main job is to create chances for that front 3. He's doing it. As you said our being below our XG is the problem.

I get that but when you have a player like him who's seems to absorb so much responsibility you have to think does this work for everyone or does it only work for Bruno? If top sides find ways of shutting Bruno out of games (and they do) does the rest of the team suffer. I think the team needs to find a way of sharing that responsibility amongst the rest of the team.

It's one of those things that we really won't know how important he is until we have a period where we don't actually have him and he barely misses any matches which is a credit to him and his conditioning. He's never injured gets the odd suspension but think he's missed 1 or 2 games through illness since joining the club so you can never really see how the team copes over a run of games without him.

To me the expectation on a player like Bruno is goals and creating you need to contribute both and I think he's failing on one side of that he has to be more clinical with the chances that he either creates for himself or for others. Just feels to me like with his shooting that the confidence has gone a bit in the last few years.


I've found a site that suggests he has an Xg of 6 goals this season and has scored 3. Odegaard has an Xg of 4 and has scored 5 so he's slightly ahead. Yes Odegaard maybe does get better chances they certainly look for him a lot on those cut backs but Bruno is also getting good chances and not taking them which is a problem.
 
I don't need to read 365, I can see with my eyes how much possession he gives away.
 
I get that but when you have a player like him who's seems to absorb so much responsibility you have to think does this work for everyone or does it only work for Bruno? If top sides find ways of shutting Bruno out of games (and they do) does the rest of the team suffer. I think the team needs to find a way of sharing that responsibility amongst the rest of the team.

It's one of those things that we really won't know how important he is until we have a period where we don't actually have him and he barely misses any matches which is a credit to him and his conditioning. He's never injured gets the odd suspension but think he's missed 1 or 2 games through illness since joining the club so you can never really see how the team copes over a run of games without him.

To me the expectation on a player like Bruno is goals and creating you need to contribute both and I think he's failing on one side of that he has to be more clinical with the chances that he either creates for himself or for others. Just feels to me like with his shooting that the confidence has gone a bit in the last few years.


I've found a site that suggests he has an Xg of 6 goals this season and has scored 3. Odegaard has an Xg of 4 and has scored 5 so he's slightly ahead. Yes Odegaard maybe does get better chances they certainly look for him a lot on those cut backs but Bruno is also getting good chances and not taking them which is a problem.

We can't say Bruno isn't playing well because the rest of the team fail to work without him. Messi has all the responsibility at Barca it didn't mean Iniesta and Xavi could go and hide. As you said it's then their responsibility to step up. If teams are taking him out of the game there should be space for others to use. But none of the rest of the team can pick a pass. Bruno has to try the outrageous to create chances as rarely is the front 3 coming in to him they are running behind and he's got to make something happen when he's on the ball. His pass completion has always been around where it is and players that are playing that killer ball every time will give the ball away more. If he played in a possession based side obviously his completiton percentages will be higher.

The manager obviously wants Bruno to be taking the balls on as often as possible otherwise he'd have him off and would be dropped but he's the only with this ability to turn defence in to counters with a great pass of the ball. We know he's doing what the manager wants because we've seen how the manager treats players that aren't performing as he wants them to do.

If we had someone who could play his role as well as him then Bruno would be dropped. But you're talking about one of the very best in the world at it. De Bruyne recently said Bruno is the best creative midfielder in the league above Odegaard and Maddison.
 
We can't say Bruno isn't playing well because the rest of the team fail to work without him. Messi has all the responsibility at Barca it didn't mean Iniesta and Xavi could go and hide. As you said it's then their responsibility to step up. If teams are taking him out of the game there should be space for others to use. But none of the rest of the team can pick a pass. Bruno has to try the outrageous to create chances as rarely is the front 3 coming in to him they are running behind and he's got to make something happen when he's on the ball. His pass completion has always been around where it is and players that are playing that killer ball every time will give the ball away more. If he played in a possession based side obviously his completiton percentages will be higher.

The manager obviously wants Bruno to be taking the balls on as often as possible otherwise he'd have him off and would be dropped but he's the only with this ability to turn defence in to counters with a great pass of the ball. We know he's doing what the manager wants because we've seen how the manager treats players that aren't performing as he wants them to do.

If we had someone who could play his role as well as him then Bruno would be dropped. But you're talking about one of the very best in the world at it. De Bruyne recently said Bruno is the best creative midfielder in the league above Odegaard and Maddison.

Messi had his parts of the pitch where he was responsible and others like Xavi/Iniesta/Busquets had there's so I don't think it was ever on Messi to run absolutely everything. He was an incredible player in an incredible team. I don't think we know if Bruno is an incredible player and he certainly hasn't been in an incredible team.

I agree the tactics currently are to be very direct and get it forward quickly that means he's got to release the ball early into space which suits our current front 3 but those balls are very hard to play and his pass completion stats really don't bother me.

I don't think we'll ever be a possession team with Bruno I don't think that's in his nature he wants to go for the kill with every pass that is fine but it does come at a cost. Sunday did my head in when he took that shot in the 93rd minute that ball should not be going into their box under any circumstances just keep it in the bloody corner! What he did was take a stupid reckless risk and we almost paid a huge price for it as 30 seconds later they hit the bar off a corner.

My point was more about his goals he needs to be doing more he's part of a front 4 and everyone is rightly criticising the attackers for being wasteful with chance but Bruno is also part of that and he is doing just as poorly as they are and like them we know they can do better as we've seen it from him before.
 
Messi had his parts of the pitch where he was responsible and others like Xavi/Iniesta/Busquets had there's so I don't think it was ever on Messi to run absolutely everything. He was an incredible player in an incredible team. I don't think we know if Bruno is an incredible player and he certainly hasn't been in an incredible team.

I agree the tactics currently are to be very direct and get it forward quickly that means he's got to release the ball early into space which suits our current front 3 but those balls are very hard to play and his pass completion stats really don't bother me.

I don't think we'll ever be a possession team with Bruno I don't think that's in his nature he wants to go for the kill with every pass that is fine but it does come at a cost. Sunday did my head in when he took that shot in the 93rd minute that ball should not be going into their box under any circumstances just keep it in the bloody corner! What he did was take a stupid reckless risk and we almost paid a huge price for it as 30 seconds later they hit the bar off a corner.

My point was more about his goals he needs to be doing more he's part of a front 4 and everyone is rightly criticising the attackers for being wasteful with chance but Bruno is also part of that and he is doing just as poorly as they are and like them we know they can do better as we've seen it from him before.

Would you have gone Ape if it had flown in the top corner, that'll be a yeah then, as long as his team-mates are switched on to what he will probably do, and they bloody should be by now, it shouldn't have been an issue.
 
Would you have gone Ape if it had flown in the top corner, that'll be a yeah then, as long as his team-mates are switched on to what he will probably do, and they bloody should be by now, it shouldn't have been an issue.

Probably yes but I expect top players to know better and just keep the ball down their end of the pitch in the last minute and we'd actually done the right thing and taken the corner short but he then got a bounce of the ball and it opened up and he couldn't help himself.

Your captain should know better it was a stupid thing to do and if they'd scored from that corner I'd have wanted my senior players pinning him up against the wall in the dressing room.

Mad thing is when we get a corner it feels like we're more likely to concede than score.
 
Probably yes but I expect top players to know better and just keep the ball down their end of the pitch in the last minute and we'd actually done the right thing and taken the corner short but he then got a bounce of the ball and it opened up and he couldn't help himself.

Your captain should know better it was a stupid thing to do and if they'd scored from that corner I'd have wanted my senior players pinning him up against the wall in the dressing room.

Mad thing is when we get a corner it feels like we're more likely to concede than score.

I hear what you are saying, I screamed kinnell Bruno at the TV when he did it, but that's just Bruno, I accept that, it's %'s with him, he scores yey, or he forces the keeper to turn it away for a corner and it's a lot easier to run down the clock taking a corner than just trying to keep possession going back the way, just one miss-placed/under-hit pass and you're in big trouble.

Yeah for a team set-up to counter-attack we do get sucker-punched more than is healthy, football, bloody hell.
 
Yeah for a team set-up to counter-attack we do get sucker-punched more than is healthy, football, bloody hell.

I also don't think we are actually very good at counter attacking either.

We mess it up a lot more than we get it right.

Basically we get so many chances that eventually we get a few right but we are so inefficient.
 
I also don't think we are actually very good at counter attacking either.

We mess it up a lot more than we get it right.

Basically we get so many chances that eventually we get a few right but we are so inefficient.

Dunno, we're getting there, we just need the front-three to be less selfish, and in Bruno we have got one of the best at playing the undefendable defence splitting pass. It's coming!
 
Dunno, we're getting there, we just need the front-three to be less selfish, and in Bruno we have got one of the best at playing the undefendable defence splitting pass. It's coming!

Oh it's definitely getting better and a settled front 4 I think is helping massively as they're learning to play with each other.
 
It hasn’t really been a front 4. It’s a front 3 with Bruno being asked to play 30 yard passes. If it was a front 4 Bruno wouldn’t be covering more ground than every midfielder in the league.
 
Dunno, we're getting there, we just need the front-three to be less selfish, and in Bruno we have got one of the best at playing the undefendable defence splitting pass. It's coming!
Long or short? I do not think he is that good in the short passing. His long range? yes he is very good most of the time. I have always said that he is not an ideal player in a possession based team and the Dutch way is to play a possession based game.
Yes with Rashford and Garnacho we cannot hold the ball at all. Today all the eleven players have to put in an effort and unless they do that jointly it is difficult to win trophies. When you add Bruno there we have 3 players who cannot keep possession.
I really wonder why ETH never uses the pace of Rasmus?
 
Long or short? I do not think he is that good in the short passing. His long range? yes he is very good most of the time. I have always said that he is not an ideal player in a possession based team and the Dutch way is to play a possession based game.
Yes with Rashford and Garnacho we cannot hold the ball at all. Today all the eleven players have to put in an effort and unless they do that jointly it is difficult to win trophies. When you add Bruno there we have 3 players who cannot keep possession.
I really wonder why ETH never uses the pace of Rasmus?

You can get a toe-poked 5 yarder in the middle of the pitch that takes the defence out, but most undefendable defence splitting passes are 30+ yards in distance, and usually between the CB and FB and Bruno excels at that.

Why the fascination with a possession based team? van Gaal tried it and he was hounded out of town!

The team that eventually break City's domination will almost certainly be a team that is happy to only have 30% possession, almost you have the ball but when you make mistakes, and you will, we will be ready - it's pointless trying to out do City basically.
 
Why the fascination with a possession based team? van Gaal tried it and he was hounded out of town!

How many teams win titles averaging 50% of the ball? It's the basic principal of if we've got the ball they can't score. I don't think we quite need to go to the extreme that City do with possession but I think to challenge for titles you need to control the ball a lot more than we currently do.

City currently average 65% of the ball in games, Arsenal are 60% and Liverpool 60%, Tottenham 60%, Villa 55%, Utd 51%.

The current Utd tactics seem to be just stand and trade blows with the opponent and hope we come out on top, it can be fun to watch but you can see in the result you'll lose as many as you win playing that way. You need to be a bit more in control of the game.
 
How many teams win titles averaging 50% of the ball? It's the basic principal of if we've got the ball they can't score. I don't think we quite need to go to the extreme that City do with possession but I think to challenge for titles you need to control the ball a lot more than we currently do.

City currently average 65% of the ball in games, Arsenal are 60% and Liverpool 60%, Tottenham 60%, Villa 55%, Utd 51%.

The current Utd tactics seem to be just stand and trade blows with the opponent and hope we come out on top, it can be fun to watch but you can see in the result you'll lose as many as you win playing that way. You need to be a bit more in control of the game.

The times they are a changing.
 
Fernandes has been a top player for United but is now becoming a hindrance. He can’t play as an 8 or as a second striker, he has to play as a 10 meaning United have to play 4-2-3-1. United won’t progress as team with Fernades as a key player. He is another who I would let go in the summer.
 
A player like Fernandes needs players around him who keep the ball and give it to him to do the damage. It's as simple as that. There is no super tactic required to unlock his potential, yet ETH persists playing him and not even understanding why he's being wasted in this team. If you don't want a possession based team style you can't have a 100% functioning 10. It just won't work. Like most I'm obviously not impressed with him recently but I put this down to way the manager is handling him.

I see all the threads come up to the top with moaning about players - yet not a lot said about the manager and his tactics by the same people. You're all still blind to the fact ETH is not good enough for our club and never will be. It's not the players.
 

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