Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has pinned the blame on five players after Manchester United’s underwhelming start to the season. The Scot has labelled three of Erik ten Hag’s stars as “ordinary” in a damning assessment.
United have picked up three points from their opening two games of the season. They beat Wolves 1-0 on the opening day but the visitors were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty late on at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils then suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham. Ten Hag has since criticised his players for not doing the basics in north London.
Now Souness has taken his turn to launch into five members of Ten Hag’s side. Bruno Fernandes has taken the brunt of the criticism, with Souness questioning the decision to give him the armband.
He wrote in the Mail: “I’m mystified by the decision to make Bruno Fernandes captain. I saw him at Anfield last year and he totally gave up at the home of their biggest rivals when it became clear United would get nothing from the game.
“He’s a talented boy, but there are big question marks that come with him. He shows disrespect to his team-mates on a regular basis by shrugging his shoulders and pulling faces, holding his palms outwards to the sky when they fail to pick him out with a pass. He is just not captain material.”
Casemiro has also received flak for his early-season performances and Souness has also thrown doubt over his long-term position in United’s side. He added: “Last year I was criticised for saying that Casemiro is a steady Eddie in midfield, but I stick by that.
“He’s a year older and a year wiser in terms of English football so let’s see if he’s better this season. He will be the anchor in midfield but beyond that Ten Hag has a technically gifted group of midfield players – Fernandes, Mason Mount and Christian Eriksen, who all very good in possession.
“My concern is that out of possession against the better teams, that four will find life difficult. Can they play Mount, Fernandes and Eriksen in the same team with Casemiro as the holding player? Ten Hag has to come up with a blend that works.”
Finally, Souness has also questioned the quality of United’s wide players. Antony and Alejandro Garnacho have started the first two games, with Jadon Sancho coming off the bench.
Souness has labelled the trio as “ordinary” and does not think they are at the level required to play for United. He said: “On the wings, you look at Jadon Sancho, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho.
“I don’t think any of them are good enough to be United players long-term and take the club where they want to go as a giant of world football. They’re ordinary.”