Carrick's comments on Fernandes show United need a stern manager like Rangnick

After Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Arsenal, caretaker manager Michael Carrick suggested Bruno Fernandes was still not happy about being left out against Villarreal.

Bruno was almost undroppable under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but in Carrick’s first game in charge, he left Fernandes out in place of Donny van de Beek.

Carrick also made a big call on Cristiano Ronaldo for the trip to Stamford Bridge, leaving him on the bench as United earned a 1-1 draw.

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

As per the club’s official website, Carrick said of Bruno: “Bruno was still moaning I didn’t play him last week! I know he wasn’t happy at all but he came on [at Chelsea] and changed the game for us and made the difference for us.


“I know that I’ve only been in this role for quite a short time but I always understand what players are like. Listen, I’ve worked with the players closely for so long now.

“We’ve got great respect for each other. I’m almost one of them, we’re in it together and there have been some good times and tougher times. It’s life I suppose. That’s football.”

Carrick made his comments with a smile, making it clear there was no fallout between himself and Fernandes, who paid tribute to him after he decided to step away from the club.

But Carrick’s comments underline why United need a stern manager like Ralf Rangnick, who will take charge of his first game against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Fernandes was a Solskjaer favourite, who stayed in the team for almost every game pretty much regardless of his form.

Rangnick, like Carrick was, will be much more decisive and willing to drop underperforming players. That is exactly what United need right now.

There are too many talented players in the squad and too much competition for places for some to be almost guaranteed a place in the squad.

It takes a strong boss to keep an array of talent like United have happy and playing often enough, but Rangnick should prove more than capable.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.