As Manchester United continues to face criticism from the outside world, some have criticized Marcus Rashford for his lack of effort.
On February 2 (KST), United in Focus, a specialized Manchester United media outlet, reported that “soccer pundit Craig Burley has criticized Rashford, saying that he has become lazy.” “Since re-signing for Manchester United last summer, Rashford hasn’t had the same hunger he had last season,” Burley said, citing “not working hard enough” as evidence.
“There are signs that he’s loosened up since re-signing,” he said. “He should be playing with sweat on his feet, but he’s not. Last year he worked hard and got the results he deserved, but this season he’s not working hard or getting the results he deserves.” Rashford played the role of ‘boy wonder’ for United last season, scoring 17 goals in 35 league games. He was also the team’s top scorer. This season, however, he has been one of the reasons for United’s struggles, scoring just one goal in seven starts.
He also had a poor performance against Crystal Palace in the seventh round of the 2023/24 English Premier League on January 1, completing 79% of his passes and failing to record a shot on target.
Fans were also disappointed with Rashford’s performance and criticized him. “If Eric Dier wants to get rid of him as soon as possible, he should start Rashford every game,” wrote one fan, while another echoed Burley’s sentiments, saying, “There’s no desire in him.”
Rashford is the highest-paid player at United, according to a July report in The Sun. Originally earning £250,000 a week, he is now earning around £370,000 a week after re-signing last summer. “He seems to think he’s the king of Old Trafford,” Burley said, criticizing Rashford’s lack of activity by using the term “hanging around.
“Rashford isn’t the only one, but he’s the one that stands out the most,” he said. “Think about what he looked like last year. It’s not just that he doesn’t want to play hard. There’s no one in the locker room that can control him.”
“When you set such high standards last year and then suddenly plummet, you’re bound to be criticized,” United in Focus said in its report, adding, “If you showed effort, fans would defend you, but right now they’re more angry at Rashford than any football pundit in the world.” Fans’ anger is palpable.
Manchester United are currently on their worst run of form. After seven games in the league, they are in last place for the first time in 34 years, since the 1989/90 season.
Back then, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side finished 14th with two wins, one draw, and four defeats in seven games; today, the Red Devils are 10th with three wins and four defeats in seven games. Ferguson was also facing the worst crisis of his career at the time, and although he kept his job, United eventually finished the season in 13th place. Mourinho indirectly addressed a sense of laziness in the locker room after the last game against Crystal Palace, saying, “The players need to work harder”.
The Red Devils will host Turkiye giants Galatasaray in the second leg of their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage tie on Thursday. Playing at home at Old Trafford, the Red Devils will need to defeat Galatasaray if they are to have any hope of reaching the round of 16 and climbing out of their slump.