“Sometimes less is more.”
Meulensteen believes that the big teams have done their “homework” on Fernandes and have figured out that stifling the midfielder’s efforts will end up hampering his side’s creativity.
As a result of the added pressure from the opposition, Fernandes ends up working “too hard”, which according to Meulensteen, is why “things don’t work” for the ex-Sporting Lisbon man.
Man United vs Crystal Palace.
The Red Devils travelled to Selhurst Park to face off against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men struggled to break down Roy Hodgson’s team, landing just a single shot on target. Both sides ended up sharing the spoils following a goalless draw on the night.
Fernandes himself endured a poor outing by his lofty standards. The Portugal international failed to contribute any goals or assists and didn’t manage a single shot at the goal.
Additionally, the ex-Novara man gave away the ball more times than any other United player in the first half against Palace.
0 – Last night was the 24th time Bruno Fernandes has completed 90 minutes in a Premier League match for Manchester United but the first time he hasn't attempted a shot at goal. Reliance. pic.twitter.com/pjkHxFb4Uc
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 4, 2021
Meulensteen on Fernandes.
“When he influences games, he’s on the ball a lot,” the 56-year-old said.
“He drifts everywhere, players are more than happy to give him the ball and he’s established a link with the front players like (Marcus) Rashford.
“They know that if you can stop Fernandes getting on the ball or into danger areas and stop the passing lines he’s looking for, you basically stop Manchester United from creating anything.”
Rene also outlined that Bruno needs to be a “little calmer” in such situations to help United.
“He’s trying too hard maybe at times and that’s why things don’t work,” the Dutchman added.
“Sometimes less is more. Be a little calmer, make sure you influence the game and keep it ticking over.
“That’s what I feel is missing to give United a real rhythm of play.”