Paul Scholes identifies Bruno Fernandes problem after Manchester United draw with Southampton

Bruno Fernandes during Man United's 1-1 draw with Southampton
(Image credit: Getty)

Paul Scholes identified Bruno Fernandes as a potential problem for Manchester United after they drew 1-1 at home to Southampton on Saturday.

Fernandes helped set up Jadon Sancho's opening goal at Old Trafford with a peach of a pass deep in midfield into Marcus Rashford.

But for the third game in a row, United let slip a 1-0 lead at half-time and ended up drawing.

And Scholes believes Bruno's chaotic positioning in the game made it harder for United to organise themselves against Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

"I think Fernandes could be a little bit of a problem," Scholes said on BT Sport.

"As much as he’s such a talented lad and when he first came to the club he scored so many great goals and got so many assists, he’s all over the football pitch. 

"From a defensive point of view how can you set up in a shape when you have no idea where the start of it is? How can you set traps for teams when you don't know where some of your players are going to be?"

"[Paul] Pogba tends to wander about, you see Fernandes sometimes he’s at left-back sometimes he’s playing right back, at the end of the game he’s playing behind [Diogo] Dalot for five minutes. They’re either not taking the instructions on or they don't want to."

Scholes said he felt sorry for United coach Ralf Rangnick and his fellow pundit Glenn Hoddle also felt the interim manager was not to blame for United's poor run of form.

"It’s got to be the players, I can’t believe he’s not working on the training ground on how he wants to set the team up," Hoddle said. 

"They all want the ball, I see them come alive when someone’s in possession, they’re prepared to run and make angles. When they haven't got the ball I don't see a theme."

Hoddle also criticised Fernandes and Pogba for not mucking in with the defensive work.

"They could be like [Frank] Lampard and [Steven] Gerrard for England, who everybody said couldn't play together," added the former England coach. 

"These two are wonderful footballers but they need to get them to chip in, just put them in areas where they make people play backwards and they’re part of that closing down"

But Scholes was most scathing of the attitude of United's players, who remain outside the top-four after a third draw in their last five Premier League games.

"From what I saw i don't think the players were working hard enough to stop another team play football," said the former United midfielder.

"We know you look at the team sheet there’s a lot of talent in that team a lot of very good players in that team you could name everyone of them but with talent you have to work hard as well.

"And this team, for one reason or another, and i feel sorry for the manager because he’s clearly trying his best to set his team up to play against this type of team, and they’re either not listening or can't do it or they don't want to do it."

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Richard Martin is an experienced football writer, editor and social media producer. Before returning to London, he spent 10 years in Spain as a football correspondent and has attended over 600 games across 16 countries, his favourite being Argentina. He has also worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Times and AS.