Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes says he isn’t that concerned about pundits criticising his antics during matches.
The Portuguese international has been accused of being overly critical of his teammates and officials, and it has often been cited when he hasn’t performed well in a game.
However, Fernandes says he felt the discussions about him were not about his talent or ability to adapt to English football, which is in stark contrast to Arsenal‘s record signing Nicolas Pepe, who moved to the Premier League at around the same time as him:
“He (Pepe) had some bad games and everyone was saying, ‘He still has to adapt’, but when Bruno was having a bad game, it was just because he was moaning or not focused on the game. For me, that was good, because it meant that I was ready and that’s why they were demanding so much from me.”
It is certainly true that pundits never questioned his ability, merely his application, and the 28-year-old seems to take it as a badge of honour that football analysts have focused more on what he does off the ball than on it.
Whether that is actually an accurate assessment of his critics, though, it is questionable. Fernandes’s form over the past fourteen months or so has dropped markedly and there are legitimate questions to ask about why his performances have dipped to such an extent.