Bruno Fernandes has a chance to redeem himself by leading Manchester United to FA Cup glory this season.
I don’t like to criticise players or managers, but Fernandes has to appreciate what wearing the United captain’s armband means when the going gets tough.
This is one of the great football clubs in the world and too often, he has gone missing when the tide has turned against United.
Don’t get me wrong, Fernandes is a great player who can open up a game with a moment of magic or a brilliant goal when he is at his best.
Then we saw him at Anfield waving his arms in frustration and looking like he had given up when United got battered 7-0 by Liverpool earlier this month.
The video of him rolling around on the floor pretending he has been hit in the face in that game when, in reality, a stray arm had brushed off his shoulder was embarrassing.
How could he go home and look back at that on his TV without feeling shame?
A player in that position needs to set an example for those watching him lead Manchester United and instead, he disgraced himself in that incident.
Hopefully, Fernandes looks back on that and realises he can’t do that because if I was caught cheating in that way, I wouldn’t want to show my face in public for three weeks!
What we need to see from Fernandes is the class we know he can provide and he has a big role to play in today’s FA Cup quarter-final against Fulham.
This will be a tough game for United as Marco Silva has done a great hob at Fulham and they have been tough to beat this season.
You would have to fancy United to get the job done at Old Trafford, but you can’t always trust Erik ten Hag’s team.
They have bounced back well from that Liverpool humiliation, but what happens the next time a side goes a goal or two ahead of them? Do they have the stomach to fight back or will the memories of that horrible day at Anfield be revisited?
Ten Hag will be hoping he gets the right answers from his team today and if they can secure a top four finish and add the FA Cup to the Carabao Cup they have already won, this will have been a great season.
The Liverpool drubbing will never be forgotten, but Fernandes and his team will be remembered in a positive light if they can get back to Wembley and win another big trophy.
The modern mindset may be that only the Premier League or Champions League matters, but a lot of fans disagree with that.
Getting to Wembley and seeing your team lift the FA Cup is a special moment and I’m very proud to have collected a winners’ medal during my Manchester United days from this great competition.
The 1985 FA Cup final against Everton was a fantastic occasion and even though my central defensive pal Kevin Moran was sent off in that game, we won it with a very famous Norman Whiteside goal in extra-time.
Back then, winning the FA Cup was almost as prestigious as lifting the league title.
That might seem like a strange statement for youngsters reading this, but it’s true.
The FA Cup Final was watched by millions of people all over the world on TV and this was during a period when we didn’t have too many live matches on our screens.
The build-up to the final was a massive event every year and the trophy parades after were huge occasions.
Now, the big teams win the FA Cup and see it as a consolation prize if they have missed out on their first, second or third targets, which tend to be a top-four finish and Premier League and Champions League ambitions.
The way this season has gone for United, cup success is their most realistic ambition and after making progress in the Europa League, they have lots to play for in the final weeks of the season.
With some good teams left in the European competition, United’s best chance of adding to their trophy collection will come in the FA Cup.
I’m sure Ten Hag will appreciate how important today’s game is for this season as it would be a great step forward for this team to be double trophy winners.
There is no doubt that Ten Hag has made big progress from where United were last summer and I’m sure they will spend big again to push on next season.
Before that, there is some business to be resolved this season and the FA Cup is massively important for Manchester United.