Bruno Fernandes during today's Manchester Derby. Alamy Stock Photo

Roy Keane says Bruno Fernandes should be stripped of Man United captaincy

‘Fernandes is not captaincy material. He’s the opposite to what I would want in a captain.’

ROY KEANE INSISTED Bruno Fernandes should be stripped of the Manchester United captaincy after they were outclassed by Manchester City in a one-sided derby at Old Trafford.

Erling Haaland struck from the penalty spot after 26 minutes and then headed home shortly after the interval before Phil Foden put an emphatic stamp on a 3-0 victory for Pep Guardiola’s visitors.

While City laid down a marker in their Premier League title defence, United’s defeat was their fifth in just 10 matches this season and left them 11 points adrift of leaders Tottenham.

Assessing what United can do immediately in an attempt to rectify their failings amid a turbulent time for the club both on and off the field, former skipper Keane suggested taking the armband off Fernandes, who assumed the role from out-of-favour defender Harry Maguire ahead of the campaign.

Keane, who captained United from 1997 to 2005 during one of the club’s most successful periods, told Sky Sports: “After today, having watched him again, I would definitely take the captaincy off him.

“One hundred per cent. I know it’s a big decision, they’ve changed the captaincy with Maguire. But Fernandes is not captaincy material.

“I think he’s talented player, no doubt about it, but what I saw today…his whinging, his moaning, his throwing his arms up in the air constantly, it really isn’t acceptable.

“What we saw today, I would take that off him. The manager is capable of doing that. He’s the opposite to what I would want in a captain.”

Erik ten Hag, meanwhile, insisted United were still “on the up” despite being comprehensively outplayed by City.

The result underlined City’s superiority over their neighbours – the gap between the sides now being nine points after 10 games – and emphatically ended any suggestion United might have turned a corner after winning their previous three matches.

Manager Ten Hag nevertheless put a on brave face on what proved a chastening afternoon for the club’s fans.

The Dutchman said: “The three games before we won and the spirit is very good. The fighting spirit is very good.

“I think we are on the way up. The start was difficult, but now we are on a way up.

“We have to be patient, but I’m happy some of our injuries are coming back and then our side will be stronger.”

Ten Hag felt United were competitive in the first half, which they ended trailing only 1-0 after Haaland’s 26th-minute penalty.

He said: “When you see first half, it’s toe-to-toe. Just the penalty changes the game.

“But even then we could have got back in the game, for instance with that shot of Scott McTominay just before half-time.

“So, I think from chances it was very toe-to-toe.”

Ten Hag did admit, however, the second half was “absolutely not” close.

He said: “We were losing and I decided to bring more offensive power in and we made a mistake that was not according to the game plan.”

Press Association
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