“I believe that in each season you see no one is all the time taking part in brilliantly,” Ten Hag stated. “He performed such a excessive degree however some video games with suspension his rhythm was damaged and he needed to get again. In the present day it was the Case we’ve seen all season. He brings a lot organisation, composure, willpower and his management is so essential. Others go together with him.”
Fernandes is principal amongst them. The Portugal midfielder’s relentlessness and starvation was encapsulated in that second when he beat Alexandre Moreno to the ball to comb residence his one hundredth profession league objective from a good angle after Emiliano Martínez had pushed away Rashford’s shot. Earlier than then, Villa followers had given Fernandes canine’s abuse so he gave the impression to be making a really deliberate level when he raced to the nook flag and stood proudly in entrance of the opposition supporters for what felt like an age, eye-balling each one in every of them.
“Clearly, they most likely don’t prefer to play in opposition to me, however it’s what it’s,” stated Fernandes, who has seven objectives and eight appearances in opposition to Villa. “It’s soccer, I’m okay with that. They’ll benefit from the recreation in the best way they need. I would favor them to return and help their gamers, as an alternative of specializing in me, but when they assume it’s higher to be targeted on me than their very own gamers then I don’t thoughts that in any respect.”
Eight weeks have handed since Fernandes confronted calls to be stripped of the captaincy he has held for a lot of the season within the absence of the official membership skipper, Harry Maguire, after essentially the most petulant of shows in that 7-0 capitulation at Liverpool.
However his response since then has underlined not solely Fernandes’ significance to Ten Hag however his energy of character and urge for food to play. Most gamers would have come off after struggling the primary half ankle damage that Fernandes sustained within the FA Cup semi-final win over Brighton per week in the past. His foot needed to be positioned in a protecting wrap and he was on crutches however he was again taking part in in opposition to Spurs in midweek and omnipresent once more right here.
“He’s so robust,” Ten Hag stated. “A few weeks in the past there have been questions on his captaincy. It’s loopy. He’s such a giant chief. He offers a lot power to the workforce. His willpower, ardour, resilience – we’d like such gamers if you wish to win video games and make trophies.”
In opposition to a Villa workforce that had taken 26 factors from the earlier 30 within the league and an offended backdrop of fan protests calling for the Glazers to promote up, United produced their greatest 90 minute show for months. Fernandes and Casemiro had been imperious however this was one other encouraging show from Lindelof and Shaw within the absence of the injured Raphaël Varane and Lisandro Martínez. Lindelof has not all the time regarded the bravest of defenders for United however he was robustness personified right here, making a sequence of important clearing headers, whereas Shaw once more regarded like he had spent a lot of his profession taking part in at centre-half.
If United are to complete the job within the league, and overcome Manchester Metropolis within the FA Cup last to assert a second trophy this time period, the type of these two can be as essential as Casemiro and Fernandes persevering with to hit the heights.