Fernandes wasted a chance for Manchester United to earn a draw against Aston Villa on Saturday when he hit his injury-time penalty over the crossbar, ensuring Villa closed out a 1-0 win.
The Portuguese posted a message on Saturday evening saying: “No excuse for my penalty miss today. I’m my biggest critic but as always I’ll use it to drive me forward ... today I failed ... I will come back stronger.”
The sight of players apologising online for mistakes on the field has become more commonplace in recent months – Fernandes’s teammate Jesse Lingard posted a similar message after his mistake led to United conceding a late goal in the Champions League earlier this month.
But Neville believes there is no need for players to take responsibility publicly, and blames the people footballers employ to handle their public relations.
“It’s embarrassing!” the Sky Sports pundit tweeted, responding to a question during an impromptu Q&A session on his Twitter account on Monday. “They need to sack their PR people, speak with some authenticity and get on with it. I’m going to go big on this in the next few weeks. They’ve all got these comms managers, that are creating personalities that don’t exist!”
He later added: “The apology culture that’s engulfing football would be ok if it came from a genuine place. However more often than not it’s a smokescreen and diversion tactic designed to mask a crap performance by experts!! Lose a game = crisis comms meet! How do we spin this one our way?”
Neville also named his preferred United starting XI when all players are fit. He omitted Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, choosing a front three of Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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