Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Daniel Orme

Gary Neville eases up on Bruno Fernandes as he names combined Man Utd and Man City XI

Gary Neville has surprisingly cut Bruno Fernandes some slack ahead of the FA Cup final despite his previous scathing criticism of the Manchester United star.

The Red Devils’ hero has regularly been a critic of the Portuguese playmaker and his attitude on the pitch despite being full of praise for his abilities. Fernandes will certainly be hoping to play a key role for United this weekend once again.

Erik ten Hag’s men take on near neighbours Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Ahead of that game, Neville was tasked with naming an all-time Manchester XI alongside Micah Richards, Roy Keane and Jill Scott.

A number of legendary figures including Paul Scholes and Peter Schmeichel were named, whilst Kevin De Bruyne also claimed a deserved spot. Debate however did break out on the midfield and specifically Fernandes.

Neville claimed that the former Sporting Portugal midfielder would have been good enough to claim in any era but stopped short of naming him in his XI.

Speaking to Sky Sports’ The Overlap, he said: "He is probably the only player in the last 10 years, since Sir Alex Ferguson left that has I think stepped up to a level, so he could play back then. We’d have to go Bruno and Scholesy, wouldn’t we [of the Man Utd options]?”

Gary Neville has regularly criticised Bruno Fernandes (Getty Images)

Who do you think will win the FA Cup? Share your predictions in the comments below

Former Man City defender Richards did not really agree with Neville’s claims and fired back. He replied: “Bruno can’t be in all the all-time. Yaya [Toure] is better than Fernandes.

“Yaya’s got to be pushed forwards. I know what you’re trying to do here, you’re conceding Yaya to Keane in the holding role but Yaya scored 20 goals in one season. I’m taking Yaya Toure over Fernandes - are we being serious?”

In coming up against Man City, Fernandes will most certainly be a pivotal figure - particularly if he captains the Red Devils at Wembley. Neville though will be keen for him to put a lid on the behaviour that he has criticised himself for in the past.

He said: "I don't talk to any United fan that likes the way Fernandes behaves particularly when the team are losing, when he throws his arms around.

"As a football player he's been fantastic for United, his goals and assists. He says he doesn't cause a problem when he throws his arms around, he does. I played with Roy who would hand out the odd rollicking. The last few years there's been players at United tutting which I think is a different type of criticism, it doesn't help young players.

"I called it out when Cristiano [Ronaldo] was doing it a couple of years ago, I don't like it. Direct criticism is fine. He is passionate, he is emotional, he gets involved with the referee. I've got no problem with that. Every United man I speak to feels the same thing, sometimes he goes over the top."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.