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New Manchester United culture favours Marcus Rashford

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Rashford Form
Manchester United winger Marcus Rashford celebrates a goal against Everton in the FA Cup. | PHOTO: Marca |
  • Manchester United has been in great form after the 2022 FIFA World Cup
  • One particular player, Marcus Rashford, has enjoyed excellent form, scoring almost for fun for United
  • Here is how Manchester United new culture under Ten Hag has favoured the winger 

After a tedious and lackluster 2021/22 season, Manchester United supporters could have been forgiven for wondering if they would ever see the old Marcus Rashford again.

The national hero for his labor off the field, the homegrown great, was no longer scoring goals there. Even after recovering from surgery carried out in the summer of 2021, the spark that had once made him unique was lost. A long-standing shoulder problem didn’t help.

This player had over 20 goals in each of the seasons between 2019 and 2021, but only five goals in the previous campaign. That was his lowest total ever, even falling short of the eight goals he scored in just 11 games as a back end player when he was just 18 years old.

Rashford is currently a completely different person from that past self.

He was the deciding factor in United’s victory against Everton in the FA Cup on Friday night at Old Trafford. He helped set up the game’s first goal, forced the eventual game-winning own goal, and then sealed the victory with a goal of his own from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

Manchester United 3-1 Everton: Rashford

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring the third against Everton in the FA Cup clash at Old Trafford on Friday, January 6 2023. | PHOTO: SportsMax |

His brisk pace and direct running as he drove in from the left were too much for Everton to handle. But he also produced the goods and exuded composure when, late in the game, he waited for Jordan Pickford to make the first move before firing the ball from 12 yards into the open net on the other side.

Since the World Cup, Rashford has continued to score in every game; he currently has five goals and counting. With his stoppage time goal against the Toffees, he also became the first United player to score in seven straight home games in all competitions in more than a decade and a half. Wayne Rooney accomplished that accomplishment most recently in the first three months of 2012.

The 25-year-old is deserving of high acclaim for the mental toughness he displayed in returning to his best—and perhaps even surpassing it by reaching new levels. Erik ten Hag, whose faith and man-management skills appear to have had a significant impact, deserves a lot of the praise as well.

Early in his tenure, Ten Hag earned the respect of the United team by directing extra practice the next day following a demoralizing loss to Brentford. In order to make a point about motivation and effort, he forced his players run for about 14 km. He also participated to show his support.

He is receiving more support from this United team than any previous group of players has in the prior ten seasons at Old Trafford. Ten Hag has given Rashford, in particular, the confidence he needs to become the game-changing electric spark he has the potential to be.

Ten Hag only recently asserted that Rashford is currently the second-best wide forward in the world, behind Kylian Mbappe. Consider the impact that belief could have on a player who is already performing well.

“From the first moment I recognised huge potential. When Marcus’ positioning is on the back of the defending line, there is almost no better player in the world. There is [only] Mbappe in this moment,” the United boss said at the time.

Discipline is also strong. Rashford unintentionally slept in last week, missing a squad meeting before United’s game against Wolves. As a result of the misconduct, he was removed from the starting lineup, although he came off the bench to seal the victory. Rashford did not pout; instead, he promptly moved on after admitting his error.

It is a sign of a well-functioning system where trust and respect are paramount. Without that culture, Rashford would never have regained his form, but he has embraced it and run with it.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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