World news – « He’s so passionate about winning » – Solskjaer talks about Bruno Fernandes’ first year at Manchester United






Simon Peach

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Bruno Fernandes after making such an outstanding impression in his first year at Manchester United.

Saturday marks the first anniversary of the Portuguese playmaker’s arrival in Old Trafford, where he has clearly exceeded expectations since moving from Sporting back home.

Nobody has scored more for a Premier League club than Fernandes since his debut. He scored 28 goals in all competitions and supported 17 more.

The form of the 26-year-old shows few signs of deterioration and Solskjaer couldn’t have asked the highly competitive playmaker anymore.

« Brilliant, » he said United boss on Fernandes’ influence. « From day one he came in and wanted to influence the environment, the gaming environment and the staff. He was a great addition.

 » He’s such a humble person who works hard and I think everyone saw what he did on the pitch.

« Very happy with his first year and may it be a long time. The higher the league, the more pressure there is on us and him.

« He has his opinion, he’s a winner. He’s not going to just let a game go by and talk about it afterwards. He wants it there and then influence.

« He’s so passionate about winning and he knows his football, he knows his stuff. He watches every single game on TV, especially the big games.

« And if you ask him, » Did you see that last night? « He’s always seen the game so he’ll make the most of his career, that’s for sure. »

Fernandes is bloody in his pursuit of success at Old Trafford, where his transformative impact has been compared to that of Eric Cantona was.


Bruno Fernandes fired Manchester United to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend (Martin Rickett / PA)

He was so impressive that some have suggested the team will struggle if he doesn’t shoot .

« Bruno came in and undoubtedly helped the team, » Solskjaer replied to such a conversation.

« He came at a time when we needed his player type, and Bruno joined a team, that brings his qualities and skills to bear. « 

 » He has come to a team that suits him and he fits the team, that goes hand in hand. « 

 » When the players don’t run, Bruno can’t play his passes. If Bruno doesn’t play his passes, the players can’t run.

« He’s part of a chain here and I’m sure Bruno will say that he also appreciates his teammates and that they help him with games. « 

According to Solskjaer, Fernandes and his teammates are ready it for Saturday night’s clash with the improvement of Arsenal, who beat United at Old Trafford on November 1st.

This was their last Premier League loss until they lost 2-1 to Sheffield United on Wednesday, which led to Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial being horribly racially abused on social media.


Solskjaer spoke to the couple to check on them after the pathogenic bile sent their way and thought they were okay. The United boss urged social media platforms to do more to stop these all-too-common attacks.

Martial saw a hard-ruled goal against the Blades in the first half, and the Norwegian one or two Knowing things about the goal for the club has no doubt that the French striker will be back on a regular basis soon.

« Keep working, keep working, » said Solskjaer. « He’s improved his fitness, he’s probably improved 10-15 percent since I came – his running distance, his sprint distance. Keep using that.

 » Like everyone else, we’ve improved and his talent becomes him always get through. I have no doubt about that at all.

He’s such a humble person who works hard and I think everyone saw what they did on the pitch. Very happy with his first year and may Bruno Fernandes continue it on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for a long time

« Don’t be frustrated, I was there myself and went through patches where you don’t really score goals and suddenly (you do).

« He keeps training so we know how good he is and we know he will be good. »


We’re at a time when top players take on some of the top coaching jobs in football when they’re not ready. Frank Lampard’s stint at Chelsea is the most recent example. There is a lot more.

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As a manager, how can you make 31 ego-driven, testosterone-fueled millionaire soccer players happy at the same time? The answer, according to Mikel Arteta, is that you can’t. « It’s impossible, » he said last month.


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