The Portuguese enjoyed one his best performances of the season as United beat Everton 3-0 courtesy of Alexandro Garnacho’s wonder goal, but Ince remains far from impressed.
‘I don’t know what I see in Fernandes as he is not a leader by the way he plays,’ the former Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder told talkSPORT on Monday.
‘I feel at the moment he’s not playing to the best of his ability.’
Erik ten Hag handed the captaincy to Fernandes on a temporary basis after dropping Harry Maguire last season, before making the switch permanent in the summer.
Paul Ince believes Bruno Fernandes he’s not playing his best football and should not be wearing the armband at Manchester United
Ince said Fernandes was not the right candidate for the role as he did improve his teammates
Your browser does not support iframes.
Your browser does not support iframes.
But Ince maintained Fernandes was not the right candidate role, suggesting his shortcomings as captain were evident as United endured a dismal start to the season with five defeats in their first 10 Premier League games.
‘As a leader, you do it by organisation,’ he explained.
‘My main thing as a captain was if I’m not playing well, make sure the people around you are playing well. It shows how bad you’re playing.
‘That’s your purpose as a captain, look around you and get others playing well. I look at Fernandes and it’s all about him and I think if he’s not playing well, then, you can see it in his body language.’
Fernandes’ perceived lack of leadership and his body language came under intense scrutiny last month after United were trounced 3-0 at home by Manchester City.
Former United captain Roy Keane singled out Fernandes after the defeat, arguing the Portugal midfielder’s body language was the ‘opposite to what you want in a captain’.
‘The first thing I would do is take the captaincy off him. I know it’s a big decision but Fernandes is not captain material,’ he said on Sky Sports.
‘He’s a talented player, but what I saw today, he’s whingeing, he’s moaning, he’s throwing his arms up in the air constantly.
The Portuguese’s attitude has come under scrutiny this season as United have struggled
Roy Keane said Fernandes’ body language was the ‘opposite to what you want in a captain’ after United were beaten 3-0 at home by Manchester City last month
‘It really isn’t acceptable. When you’re talking about where do they make changes – board level, managers – I’d start with that because the manager is capable of doing that.
‘Fernandes is a brilliant footballer but he’s the opposite to what you want in a captain.’
Speaking on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off! podcast with Ian Ladyman, Chris Sutton described Fernandes as ‘petulant’ and not the right fit to captain United.
‘You look at the great Manchester United captains of the past. [Roy] Keane, [Bryan] Robson, [Steve] Bruce, [Nemanja] Vidic and [Gary] Neville.
‘They’re captains with a bit of clout, a bit of authority. [They are] somebody you want to follow out of the tunnel where you feel you’d run through a wall with him.
‘I never felt the same about Bruno Fernandes. I think he’s petulant.’
But the Portugal international showed plenty of leadership on Sunday, when he handed penalty responsibilities over to Marcus Rashford in the win against Everton.
Fernandes is United’s designated penalty-taker, but he felt Rashford needed a confidence-booster after scoring just once this season.
Fernandes handed penalty responsibilities over to Marcus Rashford in the win against Everton
‘[I did it] because I felt Marcus [Rashford] needed a little bit of confidence, he needed his goal,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘Marcus is an excellent penalty taker too, I am 100 percent sure he could score that penalty. It is not about who takes it, it is about scoring and Marcus did it perfectly.’
The win at Goodison moved United back up to sixth place, four points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa and six off league leaders Arsenal.
Ten Hag’s men face Galatasaray in Istanbul on Wednesday in a crucial Champions League tie they must win to keep their hopes of qualifications alive and then travel to Newcastle on Saturday evening.