Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick thinks manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now likely to change his penalty taker after Bruno Fernandes’ stoppage time miss in the weekend defeat against Aston Villa.
The Red Devils had the perfect chance to equalise against Villa, but Fernandes couldn’t maintain his usually strong penalty record as he blazed his effort well over the bar and into the Stretford End.
Chadwick admits he was surprised to see a player of Fernandes’ quality messing up such a great chance, and he now thinks Solskjaer will surely place his trust in Ronaldo instead.
“I think now Ronaldo will be first choice on penalties,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “I wasn’t hugely surprised to see Fernandes taking it, he’s got a fantastic record. They’re both big characters, no one kicked up a fuss, it was probably a decision made beforehand.
“What surprised me was how poor the penalty was – someone with his technical ability shouldn’t be smashing it over the bar. I think now if Ronaldo is on the pitch he’ll take the penalties. It might be bit harsh on Fernandes, but Ronaldo was born to score goals, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’ll be the main penalty taker now.”
Chadwick did add, however, that he thought it was unnecessary for Fernandes, who has been such a top performer and hard worker for Man Utd, to take to social media after the game to apologise for the miss.
The Portugal international posted a heartfelt message to the club’s fans, and Chadwick believes it’s not the kind of thing that players would’ve felt like doing when he first started playing.
“It’s the way of the world now, when I was playing for the club some 20 odd years ago I can’t imagine anything like that happening,” Chadwick said.
“It’s a completely different place now. Social media gives the opportunity to connect with the fans, and obviously Bruno’s a hugely popular player at Old Trafford. But I don’t think he needed to post that message, you can see how much he cares anyway from the way he plays the game. He’s desperate to do well, for the team to win, and to score goals.
“It’s very different from when I was playing but obviously the world’s changed a lot and social media plays a big part.”