20 Jan 2022 | 02:36 | Football
Fernandes’ good performance against Brentford in the 17th round of the Premier League at dawn on January 20 (Hanoi time) explains why the Manchester United manager has had to change the team’s scheme and play recently.
4-2-2-2 is Coach Rangnick’s favorite scheme, but it doesn’t really fit the existing “Red Devils”. Especially in the position of Fernandes. When the Portuguese midfielder was used in the familiar 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 diagram like under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, MU had better results.
Confessions of Coach Rangnick
The Manchester United captain himself, after the match against Brentford, admitted that Fernandes is more suited to a 4-3-3 system than having to play in a 4-2-2-2. “Instead of being fixed in the number 10 role, Bruno (Fernandes) played better when he was kicked wide in the 4-3-3 formation,” admitted coach Rangnick.
The last 3 matches Fernandes kicked for MU, the “Red Devils” played with a 4-3-3 (two matches against Aston Villa and Brentford) or 4-2-3-1 (against Aston Villa in the FA Cup). After a period of often sitting on the bench under the German strategist, everything changed with the former Sporting Lisbon star.
“Red Devils” won 2, drew 1 when the Portuguese midfielder was named in the starting lineup. With 2 goals and 2 assists from Fernandes in the last 2 matches, coach Rangnick affirmed that the 27-year-old player is returning to his best form in a Manchester United shirt.
Before Brentford, Fernandes had 2 assists, 4 times created opportunities for teammates. His passing accuracy rate is up to 81%. In a game where Man United were overwhelmed by the home team most of the time, the Portuguese midfielder’s decisive passes and handling made the difference.
Thomas Frank, head coach of Brentford, after the match said his team “destroyed” MU after the first half: “They didn’t have a clear chance. We had three good chances and should be the winner of the match. fight”.
However, the 3-1 result in favor of MU showed the difference in class between the two teams. The Manchester City representative did not play better than Brentford, but knew how to take advantage of opportunities thanks to the excellence of each individual. Fernandes is one of them.
When having the opportunity to face the opponent’s goalkeeper, the 27-year-old midfielder did not immediately finish but passed to Mason Greenwood to score in a favorable position. Fernandes’ calm and team-based handling is completely different from Brentford’s missed situations.
Coach Frank and his students can only blame themselves, when the home team squandered many delicious opportunities. Brentford really overwhelmed MU in the first half and several stages in the second half. However, when the Man United players well exploited the spaces left open by the home team, they scored 3 goals into the opponent’s net.
Fernandes will still be the key
Better personnel quality helps MU finish Brentford in specific situations. Fernandes’ clearing pass for Marcus Rashford to score continues to show the best qualities of the Portuguese player. He moves wide, ready to press and back to support the defense, but is always present to exploit the spaces in the opponent’s field.
Fernandes is not a “number 10” midfielder who plays too skillfully or technically. He is not really comfortable when he has to narrow the field of play in the 4-2-2-2 formation. The fact that coach Rangnick began to use the midfielder in 1994 and changed the way MU played brought many glimmers of hope.
Fernandes made up to 25 passes towards the bottom third of Brentford’s field. That number partly reflects the away team’s approach to the match.
The Portuguese player starts in the central midfield position, often playing deep to support the MU defense when Brentford applies pressure. However, when needed, Fernandes is ready to rush to exploit the gaps revealed by the opponent.
The phase to come down to face goalkeeper Brentford and then pass it to Greenwood is just one of many situations where Fernandes is involved in attack this match. Before that, when facing Aston Villa at Villa Park, Fernandes had a double in the role of a left-sided midfielder of the 4-3-3 formation.
Being kicked wide helps Fernandes to develop his full energy and sense of space. In the context of “Red Devils” playing poorly in the first period of the new year, the goals and assists of the Portuguese midfielder helped the team a lot.
After two years of playing in the Premier League, Fernandes marked 58 goals for MU in 71 appearances (33 goals and 25 assists). Statistics are enough to show the importance of the star wearing the number 18 shirt at Old Trafford.
The practical goal with the red half of Manchester United this season is probably a place in the top 4 and deep in the Champions League. To do that, coach Rangnick needs to create conditions for Fernandes to develop his abilities. A good coach is someone who always knows how to make the best use of the people the team has available.