The Regression of Rash or Genius Management?

So maybe just maybe, if you take into account recent results, Jose Mourinho seems to be getting somewhere with his Manchester United team, though after a 140m+ summer spend I think that is the least you would expect. But anyways things are looking up for the red half of Manchester, but one player who is most definitely not on the up is last seasons breakthrough star at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford.


Last season he more than took his opportunity when he was called upon, due to an injury to Anthony Martial during the second leg match against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League with two goals. Three days later he announced himself with another double in a 3-2 win over Arsenal. He continued to lead the line for the Red Devils – his goal against West Ham in the FA Cup Quarter Final replay was a highlight – and he ended the season by starting in a FA Cup Final victory, scoring on his England debut and going to the Euros in France. He scored 8 goals in 18 Manchester United appearances.


This season however has not been so good to him. Understandably in my opinion he began on the bench, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic having been brought in and he showed what he can do with the late winner against Hull in August. However since that day the goals have dried up (he has scored 4 goals this season, the last being at the end of September) and so have the appearances. He has most definitely regressed under the new manager.


Jose Mourinho has recently criticised the youngster, wanting him to  ‘sort his act out’ but my thoughts in relation to that are the youngster has hardly ever been played in his best position this season, with the Portuguese manager preferring to play Rashford on the flanks when it is blatantly obvious you do not get the best of him when he is playing wide. It is acceptable he is on the bench when Zlatan Ibrahimovic is your number one striker, but then he needs to be afforded an opportunity to play in his best position when he does get game time as he looks lost and devoid of confidence out on the wings.


One thing to say is that should we really be surprised by what we seem to be seeing as Mourinho does not really have any track record of developing youngsters in his managerial career. Rashford proved how good a player he can be when played centrally, the new manager now needs to utilise the youngster properly or the stories of him being unable to integrate and develop youngsters into his squad will have yet more credence. Maybe this smacks of Jose’s strange treatment of Henrikh Mkhitaryan who is now flying (Mourinho is more than happy to take the credit for this) and performing superbly for the club. As with the Armenian time will tell for Marcus Rashford.

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One Thought to “The Regression of Rash or Genius Management?”

  1. Matt

    Nice article. I’d definitely have liked to see Rashers play more, but you’re absolutely right that Zlatan was brought in as first choice and has to start. The issue for me has been a reluctance to bring Zlatan off at any point. When the game is already won, or even when United are holding on to a lead and the game is stretched and they’re playing on the counter, these would be the perfect times to bring Zlatan off and let Rashers have a go in his best position. Seems to be a better alternative to playing him out wide where, as you rightly say, he is less effective and will therefore lose confidence.

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