Jamie Carragher has strongly condemned the performances of Marcus Rashford for Manchester United this season and believes the form of the England forward draws unwelcome comparisons to one of the club’s biggest recent flops.
Rashford was on fire during his first season under Erik ten Hag, with the Dutchman inspiring the 26-year-old to easily the best season of his career with 30 goals in 56 games for the Red Devils. That raised hopes that Rashford was now set to consistently deliver top-class displays for Manchester United, that had been present before, but all too rare, especially over the previous two campaigns.
However, this season has, unfortunately, seen the 59-times capped England man revert to his old ways. And the player has struggled badly this season, scoring just twice – one of which was a penalty – in 18 games so far.
His poor form has coincided with that of United too. In their 20 games played in all competitions so far, United have lost an unhealthy 10 of them, with that 50% loss record putting pressure on Ten Hag and raising claims that he could face the sack if there’s not an immediate improvement.
Ten Hag, for his part, is determined to battle on and has no intentions of walking away from the club.
But they do face a tall order to not only finish in the Premier League’s top four, where they are currently five points adrift, but also in reaching the next phase of the Champions League, whereby they need to beat Bayern Munich and hope the other game between FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray ends in a draw.
Jamie Carragher tears into Marcus Rashford
To help United reach their goals, Ten Hag knows he needs to get a tune from his best players. To that end, the United boss is reportedly planning one-to-one discussions with Rashford to help him improve.
One man who won’t be sad to see United struggling is former Liverpool hero Carragher.
However, in his role as a Sky Sports pundit, he has strongly condemned the form of Rashford and believes his performances so far this season compare to those of Anthony Martial, who at £56.7m, is one of the club’s more disappointing signings in recent seasons.
Martial himself only has 11 goals in 47 matches since Ten Hag took charge and looks destined to leave the Red Devils in the coming months with his contract due to expire.
But Carragher is convinced Rashford needs to buck his ideas up so as not to go down the same route as Martial and even hinting that the England man needs to show more care.
“It looks like big problems [at Man United]. I can’t actually believe where Man United are in the table,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “Watching Marcus Rashford [Saturday] night that was an unacceptable performance for a few reasons.
“That lad didn’t play midweek in the Champions League, but I have been a local player and it’s not easy especially when the team is not doing well.
“For Rashford and myself and Gerrard at Liverpool it’s your job to fix it and drag others up with you,’ he added. “Watching Rashford he reminds me of Martial and that is worst possible thing you can say about him. Foreign player comes in and doesn’t really care. Rashford is now looing like Martial.
“As a local player your job to drag others up. You do not stop running for that badge and your supporters as you are supposedly one of them.”
Steve Bruce also makes Man Utd demand on Rashford
Carragher isn’t the only man hoping to see Rashford awake from his slumbers, with former United defender Steve Bruce also hoping to see an urgent improvement from him.
“The body language of some of the players doesn’t look right,” Bruce told Stadium Astro.
“We’ve been talking now and the first one you look at is why all of a sudden Marcus Rashford, after how good he was, how good he played for England a few weeks ago, [has gone] to what you see now.
“Is he not happy playing on the right, what is wrong? We aren’t going to know what has happened behind the scenes if anything has happened.
“When he comes off, he shows that petulance, he is not happy. I think he needs to have a look at himself, to start with.”
While Rashford does boast three assists this season, taking his goal contributions to five, he is clearly playing nowhere near the levels he was last season.
Currently averaging 2.8 shots per game in the Premier League this season, it is not like he’s not trying to score. But the accuracy has clearly now crept in and getting Rashford firing again will be key if United are to enjoy an upturn in form.
Rashford’s next chances to add to this season’s tally come in Wednesday’s home clash against Chelsea, before they also welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford on Saturday.