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Alan Shearer’s team of the season divides fans with Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes in XI despite joining in January

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alan shearers team of the season divides fans with man utd star bruno fernandes in xi despite joining in january

ALAN SHEARER has divided opinion by naming Bruno Fernandes in his team of the season – with the Manchester United star only signing in January.

Fernandes has played every game of the Red Devils’ league campaign since he signed and the club are top of the form charts for that period.

SPORT PREVIEW shearers LINE UP

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With 14 appearances under his belt in the Premier League, the playmaker has eight goals and seven assists.

In addition, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are unbeaten with 32 points in that spell – a performance no side can match.

Whether that is enough for Fernandes to qualify for a spot in the team of the season was hotly debated on Twitter after Shearer named his top XI.

The Newcastle and England legend explained his pick, writing: “[He] changed the fortunes of Manchester United when he arrived. They were predictable, but he has added star quality. Thanks to him they finished in the top four.”

Featuring in less than half of United’s games, the Portuguese international, 25, scored half of his goals via the penalty spot.

One Twitter user commented: “Okay seriously though, Bruno Penandes??? He just had to put a manc there. Foolish.”

Andy added: “I don’t get all the Fernandes hype, he has come in had a few decent performances scored a few penalties and he’s in people’s team of the year.

Bruno Fernandes was instrumental in United's rise to third place - but does he merit a place in the team of the season?

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Bruno Fernandes was instrumental in United’s rise to third place – but does he merit a place in the team of the season?Credit: PA:Press Association

“He looks good and I think over the next few years he will be one of the top performers but the hype from this season is ridiculous.”

Jowellyn commented: “Fernandes? What a strange choice. Kovacic was so much better.”

John simply wrote: “Bruno Fernandes lol.”

And Alex replied: “Sorry Alan love ya and all but Bruno should be nowhere near that team.”

Meanwhile, another fan stated: “I recall Sterling being cack for parts, Basham is just trying to be edgy, and Fernandes and Henderson just fit every media luvvie XI.”

While Carl added: “Henderson seriously, not a hope lads sorry. What about Chelsea players, let’s face it they’re going to win the league next season.”


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Also in Shearer’s XI were Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy and five members of Liverpool’s title-winning team plus coach Jurgen Klopp.

Nick Pope of Burnley got the nod despite narrowly missing out on the Golden Glove, with Chris Basham representing Sheffield United after the newly-promoted side’s excellent performances.

On Basham, Shearer wrote: “Played every league match and has been a rock for Sheffield United. I could easily have picked his team-mate John Egan instead. Both have been brilliant.”

While he called Henderson a “great leader and a huge driving force in [Liverpool’s] midfield”.

VP MAN U STATS 28 JULY

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Michail Antonio and Man Utd ace Bruno Fernandes joke about Paul Pogba handball in front of fuming Frenchman

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FA and Gareth Southgate FURIOUS at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Mason Greenwood call-up claims

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fa and gareth southgate furious at ole gunnar solskjaers mason greenwood call up claims

England manager Gareth Southgate and the FA are furious over Manchester United’s claim that Mason Greenwood was called up for his senior debut and exposed to the media glare against the club’s wishes.

Greenwood was sent home in disgrace from Iceland along with Manchester City’s Phil Foden earlier this month after they were caught inviting girls into England’s team hotel in Reykjavik.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday that United had asked for Greenwood to be left out of the squad so he could rest following his breakthrough season at Old Trafford. Solskjaer is also upset that Greenwood was immediately put up in front of the media by the FA even though United have been careful to keep the 18-year-old out of the spotlight because of his age.

The FA and England manager Gareth Southgate are furious at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's recent claims that Manchester United asked them to not call Mason Greenwood up to senior squad

The FA and England manager Gareth Southgate are furious at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's recent claims that Manchester United asked them to not call Mason Greenwood up to senior squad

The FA and England manager Gareth Southgate are furious at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recent claims that Manchester United asked them to not call Mason Greenwood up to senior squad

The United boss says the striker needs 'managing' and wanted Greenwood left out of squad

The United boss says the striker needs 'managing' and wanted Greenwood left out of squad

The United boss says the striker needs ‘managing’ and wanted Greenwood left out of squad

‘The club secretary put a request into the FA,’ said Solskjaer. ‘Maybe I should have got hold of Gareth’s number.

‘He’s not called me after either so next time I speak to him we’ll discuss it.

‘He’s an 18-year-old who needs managing. The kid had a fantastic season and we asked specifically he should have had a rest. He needs it mentally and physically.

‘The first thing that happens is, one, he’s called up and, two, he’s right there in the press. OK, you call him up but you don’t have to put him in front of the world’s cameras. We’ve done what we can to protect him. We had a plan with him throughout the season and it worked really well. This is where he feels at home.’

Asked if the FA need to look more carefully at how they handle young players, Solskjaer added: ‘One hundred per cent. I’m not saying it (the hotel incident) is their fault.

Solskjaer claimed 18-year-old should have been kept out of the spotlight because of his age

Solskjaer claimed 18-year-old should have been kept out of the spotlight because of his age

Solskjaer claimed 18-year-old should have been kept out of the spotlight because of his age

‘I’m saying that sometimes you need to take a step back and look at what’s best for the players and I tried.

‘Of course, he’s made some mistakes but it’s us, the grown-ups — we need to make decisions that benefit him.’

Solskjaer’s comments were met with surprise and anger at the FA. Sources say the issue of leaving Greenwood out was discussed as part of the usual dialogue between club and country over a player’s welfare, but they saw no problem with having him in the squad.

The teenager was sent home from England duty in shame after he and Phil Foden broke strict coronavirus protocols to invite Icelandic girls back to their hotel after their senior debuts

The teenager was sent home from England duty in shame after he and Phil Foden broke strict coronavirus protocols to invite Icelandic girls back to their hotel after their senior debuts

The teenager was sent home from England duty in shame after he and Phil Foden broke strict coronavirus protocols to invite Icelandic girls back to their hotel after their senior debuts

They also claimed United were informed out of courtesy of the intention to put Greenwood up for interview and no objections were raised at the time — while there is amazement at the FA that Solskjaer does not have Southgate’s number.

The England manager is also unhappy over the accusations, particularly after he went out of his way to defend United captain Harry Maguire following his arrest in Mykonos last month.

Southgate picked Maguire in his squad for the games against Iceland and Denmark on the day of his trial in Greece because he wanted to show support, before being forced to drop the player when he was found guilty.

Maguire’s conviction was later nullified pending a retrial.

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Gareth Bale ‘will have to wait a month for his second Tottenham debut after knee injury with Wales

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gareth bale will have to wait a month for his second tottenham debut after knee injury with wales

Tottenham have reportedly received some bad news about Gareth Bale just as the Welshman is about to make his long-awaited return to the club.

The 31-year-old, along with full-back Sergio Reguilon, have both been at Tottenham’s training ground on Friday as they finalise a move to the Premier League club.

Bale however has been suffering from the effects of a minor knee problem he picked up on international duty with Wales earlier this month.

Gareth Bale arrived at Tottenham's training ground on Friday as he is set to return to the club

Gareth Bale arrived at Tottenham's training ground on Friday as he is set to return to the club

Gareth Bale arrived at Tottenham’s training ground on Friday as he is set to return to the club

And Marca have now reported that Spurs fans ‘will have to wait a month’ to see Bale make his return in the Tottenham shirt.

It would mean that Bale would miss an intense run of fixtures for Jose Mourinho’s side over the coming weeks.

Bale will be put on an intensive personalised fitness programme to get him up to speed due to the injury and his lack of recent matches, having played just 215 minutes of football for club and country since February.

Spurs fans might have to wait for his second debut due to an injury he received with Wales

Spurs fans might have to wait for his second debut due to an injury he received with Wales

Spurs fans might have to wait for his second debut due to an injury he received with Wales

The winger had long fallen out of favour at Real Madrid with manager Zinedine Zidane and was often left on the bench. 

Spurs will prepare a meticulous schedule to get him 100 per cent fit as soon as possible.

Bale, who underwent medical tests in Madrid, arrived to a hero’s welcome from jubilant supporters when he arrived at the club’s training ground, seven years after leaving to join Real Madrid in a then world record £86 million transfer.

 The Wales international, 31, agreed a season-long loan earlier this week, with Real Madrid subsidising at least half of his £500,000 per-week wages.

The deal, which as revealed by Sportsmail will cost Spurs £13m in wages, does not include an option or obligation for Spurs to buy Bale though they will have an option extend the loan for a second year.

Jose Mourinho's side are set to bring Bale and full-back Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho's side are set to bring Bale and full-back Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho’s side are set to bring Bale and full-back Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is keen to retain an option to bring Bale back to the Bernabeu next summer, despite the player’s fall-out with manager Zinedine Zidane.

Spurs have also finalised the capture of Real left back Sergio Reguilon. The club have agreed a £27.5 m deal with a further £4.5 m due in add-ons.

He has signed a five-year deal, with Spurs agreeing to Madrid’s demand for a £36.5 m buyback clause — a demand Manchester United refused in their pursuit of the player — which can be activated in the next two years. Neither deal was completed in time for the pair to be involved in their trip to Southampton.

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Rory McIlroy is on the slide as Winged Foot kicks back

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rory mcilroy is on the slide as winged foot kicks back

All the familiar criticisms surrounding Rory McIlroy and his allegedly one-dimensional game surfaced once more on a day when Winged Foot exacted a most terrible revenge.

It should be said the Northern Irishman was in good company in failing to live up to the promise of his opening 67 in the US Open with a disappointing 76.

But it inevitably led to trenchant commentators such as Sir Nick Faldo and Paul McGinley lamenting McIlroy’s palpable lack of a Plan B when the going gets tough.

Rory McIlroy was criticised for the lack of a Plan B when the going gets tough for him

Rory McIlroy was criticised for the lack of a Plan B when the going gets tough for him

Rory McIlroy was criticised for the lack of a Plan B when the going gets tough for him 

And boy, was it tough. We knew there would be a price to pay for the USGA getting the set-up horribly wrong on day one and making it far too easy. It duly arrived, as Winged Foot well and truly put the boot in.

First round leader Justin Thomas fared eight shots worse than his opening 65 with a 73. Just as he did at the same venue in 2006, Tiger Woods missed the halfway cut, tumbling out following rounds of 73, 77. Lee Westwood was another victim, like McIlroy reversing the figures of his opening 67 with a 76. The list went on.

Imagine what it is going to be like over the weekend? Almost inevitably, it will get tougher still. It might not be to the taste of everyone but no one can deny that a proper US Open has broken out. The reputation of this magnificent monster of a venue has been restored. Bring on the misery.

Whatever happened to the sublime McIlroy who stroked one beautiful shot after another on day one? He was there on his opening hole, with a majestic birdie. He was barely seen again. McIlroy dropped no fewer than six shots over the next seven holes. He will start the third round seven behind.

The Northern Irishman was not the only one to struggle on the second day at Winged Foot

The Northern Irishman was not the only one to struggle on the second day at Winged Foot

The Northern Irishman was not the only one to struggle on the second day at Winged Foot

When Bryson DeChambeau declared on the eve of the event that he was going to bludgeon Winged Foot into submission, it is fair to say that gales of laughter broke out once that rather broad back was turned.

Who bullies this venue, for heaven’s sake? Well, on this compelling second day, one of the few still standing at the end was the scientist who might not be quite so mad after all.

On his final hole, the par-five ninth on the course, the fascinating 27-year-old American flexed those enormous muscles for a 365-yard drive and a lofted iron next to the flag for an eagle three and a wonderful 68.

It left him in second place on three under, one shot off the halfway lead held by former Masters champion Patrick Reed, and set the scene for a seismic battle of wills this weekend between the game’s macho man and a course with a DNA designed to repel such wanton aggression. Who’s your money on?

‘It’s all about hitting fairways and if I can do that I can continue to score well,’ insisted DeChambeau, who, following his first round 69, had opened with consecutive rounds under par for the first time in a major.

Whatever you think of his bulked-up frame and determination to bulldoze the game’s accepted wisdom, one thing you can’t question is his dedication. He was out there practising late on Thursday night because he had heard the weather would be cooler on Friday morning and wanted to hit shots in similar temperatures. He got his reward all right.

Bryson DeChambeau hit an impressive eagle to help secure a 36-hole score of three under par

Bryson DeChambeau hit an impressive eagle to help secure a 36-hole score of three under par

Bryson DeChambeau hit an impressive eagle to help secure a 36-hole score of three under par

Reed was out in the tougher afternoon conditions and was one of the few whose body language suggested he was enjoying the grind. Consistent American Harris English, Thomas and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello are two behind.

World No 2 John Rahm is five shots adrift following a 72 and No 1 Dustin Johnson is seven behind after a 70.

What a contrast with day one. All it took was a little wind, a slight firming of the greens and tougher flag positions for the slippery slopes on this forbidding venue to do their diabolical work. Who wants a birdie-fest at this major?

Day two at Winged Foot Golf Course saw casualties for many big-name players in US Open

Day two at Winged Foot Golf Course saw casualties for many big-name players in US Open

Day two at Winged Foot Golf Course saw casualties for many big-name players in US Open

Spaniard John Rahm started strongly but regressed to finish give shots behind DeChambeau

Spaniard John Rahm started strongly but regressed to finish give shots behind DeChambeau

Spaniard John Rahm started strongly but regressed to finish give shots behind DeChambeau

Gifted Belgian Thomas Pieters got to six under for the event but had fallen back to level par by the finish. He was gutted signing his scorecard but sensible enough to know that his halfway total will look an awful lot healthier this morning.

Bubba Watson showed the craft and imagination that saw him win two Masters titles to stand at three under for his round playing the 18th hole. Just under 500 yards from sanctuary but what a third of a mile in front of him.

The maverick lefty saw one chip to the viciously sloping green come back to his feet as he became yet another casualty of this brutal closing hole — yet another to run up a double bogey.

Tiger might have been the biggest name but there were plenty more high-profile players who will not be around this weekend, including poor Jordan Spieth, who had 11 bogeys and no birdies in a wretched 81.

The culling of the 13-strong English contingent included the likes of Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton, fancied by many in the build-up to claim a first major win. Justin Rose and Ian Poulter also missed out. 

World number one Dustin Johnson slipped further adrift from the top after scoring a 70

World number one Dustin Johnson slipped further adrift from the top after scoring a 70

World number one Dustin Johnson slipped further adrift from the top after scoring a 70

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