The Red devils have a Marcus Rashford problem that only his teammates can solve
Manchester United is dealing with a Marcus Rashford issue that only his teammates can solve.
Man United are depending on Marcus Rashford this season, but when the forward isn’t at his best, others must step up.
Marcus Rashford seemed like he was set to continue his hot streak at Selhurst Park, when the ball came to him in promising situations late in the game and Manchester United could have breathed a little easier.
Rashford is in top form and has scored in seven straight games, but he may have tried too much against Crystal Palace. In the final 10 minutes, he had a couple of half-chances, but he couldn’t convert them, but on both occasions, a pass was the better option when he tried to go himself. Both times he was shut out by the Palace defence.
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You can’t really blame Rashford for having complete faith in his own game at the moment, but this appeared to be a player making marginally incorrect decisions. He would have expected to convert the opportunities, given his current form, but he didn’t, which is part of Erik ten Hag’s problem.
Rashford has been in fantastic form this season. It has recently been classified as world-class. However, he will not be at that level every game. He simply cannot be. When Rashford isn’t performing at his peak, others must step up.
Bruno Fernandes is regaining his goal threat, but Rashford’s teammates need to contribute more. Of the 18 goals United have scored since the World Cup, Rashford and Fernandes have 10 of them and another was an own goal.
Rashford (eight goals) is the only United player to have scored more than three league goals this season. Crystal Palace, West Ham, and Everton are the only clubs without at least two players who have scored four or more Premier League goals.
Some of the teams in the bottom of the league may only have a few of players with four or five goals, but that is not the standard to which United aspires. Tottenham and Brighton each have four players with four or more goals. Brentford and Liverpool each have three. Newcastle and Manchester City both have two.
United is not far away. They have Fernandes, Antony, and Anthony Martial on three, but considering their superiority, they should have more. hey have exerted over the opposition at times at least one of them should be above that number. Rashford can’t carry the burden on his own.
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Antony’s effect has been difficult to assess. He has five goals, but a streak of uneven performances and an on-field spat with Fernandes at Selhurst Park may be the time the 22-year-contribution old’s is scrutinized more closely. Although he is still young, more should be expected of an £85 million winger.
Martial showed potential as No.9 in the first half of the season despite a slew of injuries, but he has failed to build on that since the season resumed. He’s now dealing with another ailment, but he’s shown sluggish throughout the last month.
Maybe Wout Weghorst will relieve Martial of the strain of playing every week by scoring goals of his own. He didn’t have much time at Selhurst Park in 70 minutes a true sight of goal, but he showed enough in his all-round game to suggest there is more to come and he can play a part.
And then there’s Fernandes. He has now scored in successive Premier League games and has mastered Ten Hag’s method. He has looked more complete as a midfielder in the last two months than at any other point in his United career. He may easily rediscover his scoring ability.
But what matters most to United is that someone does. Rashford has been exceptional this season, but he cannot make the difference every game, as the disheartening draw at Selhurst Park demonstrated.