Andreas Pereira is in the midst of a poor moment at Manchester United, but that does not mean fans should kick him while he is down.
Pereira was left out of the matchday squad against Watford after a disappointing performance against Club Brugge.
Bruno Fernandes’ excellent performances have highlighted the gulf in quality between him and Jesse Lingard, and many supporters have run out of patience with the pair.
Expressing frustration is fine. We all get exasperated with players’ performances. Abusing them directly on social media is when it can cross the line.
Pereira is obviously struggling with this at the moment. To his credit he has an active Facebook page with 490,000 total likes, which he still interacts with.
Yesterday he responded to criticism directed his way, including one message telling him to leave the club.
He fired back and said he will fight and his place is at Manchester United.
It has to be tough
To be fair to Andreas, this fighting spirit is what we should expect from a Manchester United player.
That’s rarely been a criticism of him, instead the question is one of talent. Is he good enough to be a United regular?
If being generous, the jury is still out, while many have already made up their minds on the 24-year-old.
He’s had plenty of chances this season, and has proven a useful squad player, but may find it a lot tougher next year with the club expected to strengthen further in the summer window.
We should also remember that Pereira is a player who has been talked up for a long time, and is bearing the frustration of fans who are dealing with one of the most difficult seasons in recent memory, with only 11 wins in 25 league games.
The MEN reported just 23 days ago that Pereira has seen a hypnotherapist to deal with sleep issues amid his hurt and frustration at results.
From now until the end of the season when his future can be re-assessed, like all Manchester United players, he deserves support.
While some may say, ‘well he earns a lot of money, it comes with the territory’, but we should consider the effect of the kind of abuse Pereira receives. Is it going to help him play better?
It might be smart for the midfielder to come off social media, yet it shouldn’t have to come to that.
Amid a societal push to ‘be kind’, let’s lay off the personal abuse directed at a player who is trying his best to be the player we want him to be.
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