Winning silverware is topmost in the priority list of all club managers – or at least should well be.
However, oddly, or perhaps out of a need to defend himself, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered a controversial opinion on Old Trafford’s lack of silverware and persistent near misses over the last two seasons – a view thankfully not shared by the club’s talisman, Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes looks to be at odds with his manager after appearing to disagree with the latter’s quaint and questionable philosophy on the acquisition of trophies.
So far the once highly-revered Manchester club have fallen dismally short in the silverware stakes even since before Fernandes’ arrival, suffering elimination at the semi-final stage of competitions three times already.
Solskjaer, probably in self-denial, was noticeably a bit too quick off the bat in being too keen to play down the importance of winning silverware last month when he suggested “sometimes it’s more of an ego thing from other managers and clubs to finally win something.”
However that view appears directly contrary to Fernandes’ opinion that winning trophies is paramount to a club’s ambition.
“We can’t think of anything else at this club. United is made for trophies and the whole mood is around that,” the Portuguese midfielder told FourFourTwo.
“We reached the semis [of the League Cup] and lost to City, but that’s not enough. That wasn’t our time – we need to be in finals, and to win them.”
United were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by Leicester a fortnight ago – a match where Solskjaer opted to rest Fernandes by starting him on the bench.
The Red Devils’ boss had previously affirmed his belief that collecting silverware did not neccesarily equate progress, stating:
“Sometimes a cup competition can hide the fact you’re still struggling a little bit.”
Nevertheless, despite his perverted views, a trophy would definitely go down well with the fans, and certainly keep at bay the many doubters of Solskjaer’s capability as a manager, particularly if he can break his United jinx by landing the Europa League this season.
Winning a trophy would also be a feather in the cap for Fernandes too, who is eager to have something to show for his invaluable contribution to United thus far.
But while he doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with Solskjaer on the trophy front, he does credit his boss for providing the perfect platform for him to showcase his talent.
“He simply told me to be myself. To enjoy it, to play my own game,” Fernandes added.
“He said that he’d watched me for Sporting and that he wanted the same Bruno here – someone who tried to lead the team.
“It was important that the club trusted me to be me.”
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia