‘Petulant’ Bruno Fernandes should be ‘banned and stripped of Manchester United captaincy’, says Chris Sutton

 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Chris Sutton has called for Bruno Fernandes to be suspended and stripped of the Manchester United team captaincy after his antics in Sunday’s dismal mauling by Liverpool.

The significant momentum built up by the rapidly improving Red Devils under Erik ten Hag came to a shuddering halt at Anfield as they were hit for seven in a record-breaking loss to their fiercest rivals, just a week after ending their six-year trophy drought with Carabao Cup success over Newcastle at Wembley.

United trailed only 1-0 at half-time on Merseyside after Cody Gakpo’s opener two minutes before the break, but completely and utterly capitulated thereafter as a brace apiece from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah plus Gakpo’s second and a late effort from Roberto Firmino secured an historic result and vital boost for Jurgen Klopp’s inconsistent Liverpool.

Pundits, players past and present and fans alike were all queuing up to tear United’s dreadul surrender to shreds after the full-time whistle, with Fernandes’ display in particular the subject of much ire.

The Portuguese could not hide his frustration as the situation rapidly deteriorated in the second half, with Gary Neville calling some of his behaviour “a disgrace” and labelling him an “embarrassment” for allegedly feigning injury, trying to win a penalty and repeatedly throwing his arms up in the air, even seeming to question why it was not him coming off when Anthony Elanga replaced Marcus Rashford in the final minutes of the game. He also appeared to push referee’s assistant Paul Adcock during a terrible second half.

Bruno Fernandes lost his head during a second-half capitulation from Manchester United (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Bruno Fernandes lost his head during a second-half capitulation from Manchester United (Manchester United via Getty Images)

Former striker-turned-pundit Sutton has now taken that criticism one step further, calling for Fernandes to have the United captaincy removed - he is the vice-skipper and wears the armband when club captain Harry Maguire does not play - after such a petulant performance and face a potential lengthy suspension akin to the one that Paolo Di Canio received for shoving referee Paul Alcock while playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal back in 1998.

“The Incredible Sulk racked up quite the rap sheet at Anfield. There was nothing professional about this behaviour. It was more befitting a petulant child, and the push on the assistant should result in a ban, no ifs and buts,” he wrote in the Daily Mail.

“Paolo Di Canio got 11 games in 1998, remember, and I wouldn’t disagree if Fernandes received the same punishment. This was shameful, embarrassing, disgraceful, whatever word you can conjure up.”

Sutton added: “Whatever you think of Harry Maguire, the club captain, you would not catch him behaving like this on the pitch. Ten Hag dealt with the Cristiano Ronaldo problem.

“Now he needs to deal with Fernandes, starting with deciding whether he deserves to wear the armband in Thursday’s Europa League clash with Real Betis. I don’t think he does. Liverpool were fantastic and United were foul, and nobody embodied their deplorable display more than Fernandes.”