Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been the centre of more criticism regarding his usage of Marcus Rashford. In an interview on Talksport, ex-Chelsea man Tony Cascarino made sure his opinion was heard on the fact that a majority of the young Englishman’s playing time under Mourinho has been on the wing.
Similarly to former Arsenal man, Ian Wright, Cascarino believes that United’s Portuguese boss has handled Rashford and his involvement in an inappropriate manner. The 54-year-old is a strong believer that the young attacker must be playing more central or not at all.
“I don’t like the way he’s handled Marcus Rashford. I just thought – start of the season, you bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic in, but whatever you do get the kid in alongside him. Just give him a chance to show how good he can be.”
Cascarino, who represented the Republic of Ireland has suggested that he has seen Rashford take a couple of steps backwards so far in this campaign and that is simply down to his bosses decision-making.
“I’ve seen Rashford deteriorate quite a lot this year, and there is no other reason because he has been taken out of the firing line. Last year he was absolutely sensational at the end of the season for United and now I am looking at a young lad that has been given a new deal, but been taken out of the firing line, not playing much football now.”
The Wythenshawe-born striker has made 14 appearances for the Red Devils in total this season, assisting once and scoring four goals, he also still remains involved in the England set up, but the former Aston Villa man is less than impressed with the youngster.
“He came on for a sub yesterday (for England against Spain), albeit not for a long time but he looked completely out of sorts.”
Personally, I believe that Jose Mourinho has felt he has had no choice but to play the Englishman out-wide, due to his lack of belief in Memphis Depay, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan enduring a rigid time with injuries and Juan Mata portraying he performs better more centrally accompanied by Wayne Rooney’s poor form. Furthermore, with the 53-year-old’s preference of a 4-2-3-1 formation, playing with two strikers like Cascarino suggests is not possible, therefore it is one or the other. However, in an ideal world, Rashford performing in a more advanced striker’s role is something you would see pretty much every time he pull’s on a Manchester United shirt.
Due to his age, it would be unrealistic to ask the attacker to produce the good’s week in week out, despite his incredible burst onto last season. In fact, a fluctuated run of games was more than expected by most United fans this season. Although, by no means has the man who turned 19 just last month stuck out like a sore thumb as a poor performer, unlike some of his teammates, in fact he has arguably performed his role respectively and nothing more, nothing less.
To somewhat, I am in total agreement with both Wright and Cascarino that the forward should be playing as the number nine, leading the line. But you have to assess the situation and realise why it has been rare that we have witnessed that so far this season.