Marcus Rashford looked isolated during Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Feyenoord, in arguably his only underwhelming performance for the club so far. As Mourinho’s honeymoon period at United is ending, everyone seems to be delving deep into the training ground to begin to produce real tactical and technical football. Andy Cole, though, believes Rashford simply needs to relax and enjoy his football, because he is so young and has so much promise.
“Enjoy it, man. That’s what he’s doing. He’s got in the team and it looks like he’s really enjoying it. As a kid, he’s under no pressure so he should go and enjoy his football and he’s doing that. He scored the goal at Hull and also a hat-trick in the England U21’s recently.”
Cole doesn’t seem to believe that Rashford’s rise to prominence is much of a surprise, stating that people showed a lot of interest in his hat-trick for the England U21’s when that quality of football is expected of him at that level of play. Cole believes Rashford’s physical and technical abilities of pace and dribbling will always cause the opposition problems, and he just needs to continue to be himself and enjoy his football. Perhaps the greatest compliment the former United star gave him is that he would want to do what Rashford is doing if he was at that age.
“I don’t think he knows any better, to be brutally honest. He got in the team last season due to injuries but what a whirlwind start to his Manchester United career and he’s carried that on. He was left out of the senior squad but has gone to the Under-21s, got on with it and scored goals. Everyone is saying: ‘Wow’ but what do you expect?’
“The boy is enjoying his football. If I was his age, I’d want to do the same thing as well. Enjoy it. He’s really not under any pressure so he can go and enjoy football and that’s what he is doing. With that pace, he’s got speed and movement and is always going to cause problems. He proved that last season with his goal against Manchester City in the derby. With his pace, he’s an asset starting or coming off the bench. Opponents are going to be worried about him because he can change a game.”
Rashford’s turn of pace and tricky dribbling ability make him a threat to the best of opposition on his day, but United needs to make sure he doesn’t get isolated up top if he is to play there. Nicky Butt stated that he believes Rashford’s best position is on the left-wing, where he can cut inside and curl an effort into the right side of the goal. While I disagree and think he is best up front, I think he would benefit from the presence of a target-man in the mould of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who can bring him into play and allow balls over the top for Rashford to run towards.
Regardless, though, Cole is one of many other former United players who seems to think Rashford is of the utmost quality, and that is tough to question- in just 17 appearances, Rashford has eight goals and two assists for United, in addition to his four goals for the various levels of England’s national team. He seems ready to set the world alight in the near future; could it be this season?