It may have been five months later than it should have been, but Manchester United’s purchase of Bruno Fernandes has been a revelation. The midfielder has played a vital role in our recent unbeaten run and the fans couldn’t be happier to have him, as evidenced by the chant he had sung for him from his first game.
Tottenham Hotspur, among other clubs, had shown interest in him during the summer, but Fernandes has said in an interview with Sky Sports that he didn’t have any doubts over making the move from Sporting Lisbon to United.
The decision was easy because when I had the chance to come, I didn’t think twice. I talked with Sporting, who had already had some discussions with Man United about my transfer and when they talk with me, I told them my first choice was Man United and it’s what I need for my career.
I see the same team from one month ago. I think we are the same and have a lot of hunger to win, to give a lot, to do better and better in every game. In the last month, we’ve had a lot of really good games and I think we can talk about a new start after Bruno, but it’s not about Bruno, it’s about the team.
The team needs the right focus, the right decisions at the time and I think also if Bruno doesn’t come, Man United would win the same because one player doesn’t change a team. A team changes when everyone pushes together for the same side. When I arrived, I saw the team pushing for the same side and to win games, get better and I’m another player to help.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been very complimentary of Fernandes and the midfielder has returned the compliment, claiming the manager has high expectations but is also there to talk with and help the players.
He’s always careful with the details and for me, that’s important because it is one of the things which changes football now is looking for the details. Now, every coach is really good, they look at each other and learn from each other and so the game is difficult. Now you have videos and most teams know what you will do, where you will place the ball, where they need to press so the game becomes harder and harder.
I think he’s really good on this and he was a footballer so he knows when he needs to talk to players, when he needs to give a good word or sometimes come and push you to give more. I think when you have a past in football, you understand these things more than when you don’t have [a past]. But sometimes you have coaches who never play football and they also know this too so it depends coach from coach but I think Ole is really careful with these kind of points. He wants perfection, which is impossible, but he tries to ask more and more from us.
I think the coach is always important for a new player when you come in. With me, it was really important because you need to feel confidence from the other side. When you need to change, and it’s a big change coming from another country to a big club with big players, you need to be ready. I think when I arrived here, the coach was really important but more than the coach was my team-mates because when you have the confidence of your team-mates, it’s much better and easier for you.
Some people have claimed that Fernandes’ signing means that Paul Pogba won’t be missed if he leaves in the summer, while others have argued that the two players will only compliment each other. Bruno reckons he isn’t like any player the club already has.
I think I’m a different player from the others. Everyone has a different mould to play, maybe I take more risks, maybe other players don’t take as many, maybe I shoot more, some players pass more, some of the players make more tackles, everyone is different in a club. Some players are similar but they’re never the same player.
I’m a player who normally likes to take the risk, give the last pass and try to give more assists to my team-mates so I need to take the risk. It doesn’t matter for me if someone off the field is not happy about my pass, I will respect it but I will keep trying.
Normally, everyone says the guys who are good on the ball are not good enough off the ball. I try to be better with the ball but also have in my mind these kinds of thing like the reaction when I lose it, being hungry when things don’t go wrong and hungry when you pass and it goes to your partner, but it’s not good enough and you need to do a little bit more.
I think I look at the details because if you want to be better and one of the best, you need to look at the details. It’s not about finishing the game and if you get an assist and have a good game, you don’t need to watch the game to see if you made some mistakes or not. And when you think ‘today I didn’t play really well so I need to watch everything and see where I did my mistakes’. Sometimes, when I feel like I played a bad game, I don’t watch [it back]. I have in my mind that I need to do better and I know what I did wrong because you know what is the wrong pass, the wrong shot, the wrong decision and when you do well, you have to look.
Maybe you have an assist but you need to look at if that assist can be better because sometimes, it be better but you can’t do better. It’s difficult to explain but think I need to look at the details to be better.