The Search for Leadership: Assessing Manchester United’s Captaincy Situation

As Manchester United struggles to find a consistent leader on the pitch, the spotlight falls on Bruno Fernandes and the team’s perceived lack of leadership.

In a heartwarming encounter, Andy Mitten, a journalist, visits the bagpiper who played at his father’s funeral, only to discover a remarkable footballing legacy. Bill McKay, the bagpiper, reveals that his father, also named Bill McKay, captained Manchester United in the 1930s. Inspired by this unexpected connection, Mitten takes to Twitter to share the story, sparking a conversation about leadership within the club. This article delves into Manchester United’s captaincy situation, focusing on the recent controversy surrounding Bruno Fernandes and the team’s perceived lack of leadership.

The Importance of Captains in Football History

Football history has shown that the best captains are often linked to the greatest triumphs, rather than mere survival. Manchester United’s rich legacy includes iconic captains such as Charlie Roberts, Johnny Carey, and Roy Keane, who led their teams to unparalleled success. However, in recent years, the club has struggled to find a consistent leader, with eight captains in the past six years.

The Controversy Surrounding Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes, a key player for Manchester United, was appointed captain at the start of this season, replacing Harry Maguire. While some praise Fernandes for his engaging personality and professionalism, others question his suitability for the role. Former United captain Roy Keane criticized Fernandes for his constant complaints and lack of composure on the pitch. Amidst this controversy, The Athletic investigates the club’s perceived lack of leadership.

Assessing Bruno Fernandes’ Leadership Qualities

Despite the criticism, many within the club appreciate Fernandes’ contributions both on and off the pitch. He plays almost every game, a crucial factor in his appointment as captain. Sources reveal that Fernandes is highly engaged with the team, outspoken, and connected to the club’s values and history. Furthermore, his multilingual skills and media commitments make him a suitable candidate for leading the team.

The Need for Multiple Leaders

While Fernandes is considered a strong leader, Manchester United acknowledges the importance of having multiple leaders within the team. Scott McTominay is seen as a player with leadership qualities, leading by example in his professionalism and having a voice in the dressing room. However, his sporadic appearances hinder his ability to connect with the team consistently. Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford, Casemiro, and Raphael Varane are also respected for their achievements and leadership potential.

The Fluidity of Leadership at Manchester United

Manchester United adopts a fluid approach to leadership, with a core group of players forming the leadership group. This group includes Fernandes, Casemiro, Varane, Maguire, Rashford, Shaw, and Martinez, with their opinions sought on team matters. However, opinions vary among players and staff, with Fernandes emerging as a top choice due to his consistent commitment and dedication.


As Manchester United searches for a reliable captain, the controversy surrounding Bruno Fernandes highlights the team’s perceived lack of leadership. While Fernandes faces criticism for his on-pitch behavior, many within the club appreciate his contributions and believe he is the right man for the job. However, the need for multiple leaders is evident, with Scott McTominay and other experienced players also playing crucial roles. As the team strives for success, finding the perfect balance of leadership on and off the pitch remains a priority for Manchester United.






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