Manchester United’s # 19, Marcus Rashford, saw a dip in form this season. But slump won’t last.
Many Manchester United fans are not questioning his work ethic or talent.
Since Rashford’s appearance under Louis Van Gaal, his performance progressed towards the better.
But the slump was long coming. United Manager Jose Mourinho alluded to this stage of football players’ evolution last season and again this season. The phase is marked with lack of goals and many shots bouncing off posts. Rashford has been suffering from a luckless run where his finishing just did not boot the scoresheet.
Under Jose, Rashford made significant changes to his game. Both Mourinho and Marcus are responsible for the evolution thus far. Mourinho has been relentless in showering confidence on the youngster and shielding Marcus from criticism. Likewise Rashford pounced on the opportunity and made a hell of a run of it.
It is worth noting Rashford was handed the #19 shirt at the start of the 2016-2017 campaign, down from #39.
As a 19 year-old Rashford appeared repeatedly in the Red Devils’ Starting XI during the 2016-2017 campaign. He played phenomenally during the Premier League and the Europa League at a time when United players still suffered remnant effects of Louis Van Gaal’s lethargic “philosophy.”
In his first full season as a professional player, Marcus did not goof around social media or make headlines partying and drinking. Signs of a mature player!
This year Mourinho played Rashford on both left and right flanks covering the channel box to box.
We witnessed Rashford take initiave on free kicks and corners. Tried out different techniques over several matches. He produced knuckleballs, curves, and low shots. He missed many of them, scored, and continues to improve.
The academy product strengthened his physique increasing muscle mass and displaying physical prowess against opposition defenders.
Rashford has come under harsh criticism this season by pundits and some fans who believe he didn’t continue on last year’s progress, or that Martial is playing better.
Neither of these criticisms is warranted. Mourinho cautioned the slump will come sooner or later and we are witnessing it.
The psychological impacts of a slump are tremendous, especially on a young professional footballer under a global spotlight. Marcus Rashford could depress, slump, and at worse get relegated to the reserves as happened to former midfielder Bastian Schweinsteigger. Nothing of the sort happened, yet. And most likely won’t!
Rashford is surrounded by Zlatan, Lukaku, Pogba, Matic, Mata, Valencia, all players with experience to guide him through this stage and a manager who believes in him unquestionably.
So despair not.
England’s Maverick will come back, stronger than ever!