Ten Hag ‘worried’ about fan backlash as he’s told to bench Rashford over three Man Utd attackers

·3-min read
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag watches Marcus Rashford play Credit: Alamy
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag watches Marcus Rashford play Credit: Alamy

Erik ten Hag is “worried” about benching Marcus Rashford in case there is a backlash from Man Utd fans, according to former defender Paul Parker.

The Red Devils have hit a poor run of form at the wrong time with arch-rivals Liverpool putting pressure on them in the race for a top-four finish.

Man Utd have lost their last two Premier League matches to West Ham and Brighton without scoring a goal, while Liverpool have won six games on the bounce to close the gap to just one point on the fourth-placed Red Devils.

Rashford has contributed 29 goals and nine assists in all competitions this term but, after scoring just one goal in their last nine matches, Parker reckons his Man Utd team-mates must be questioning why the England international isn’t getting benched.

Former Man Utd defender Parker told BonusCodeBets: “It’s time to talk about whether Marcus Rashford deserves to be in the starting lineup. We can no longer avoid that conversation. His goals have dried up and scoring goals is his biggest strength.

“Is he really looking like a player who is going to score a goal? I think we have to say no. Is he creating anything? No. Is he really affecting other teams? I think the answer is no to be perfectly honest. He wasn’t there against Brighton or West Ham.

“He has strengths but he doesn’t want to use them. His strength is to run in behind and take on players, beat opponents and he is not doing that. He can’t play in the middle and the manager knows that.

“He needs to interact more with his teammates. He is not making them better and all the other players like Antony, Sancho and Weghorst must think inside of themselves: Why is Rashford staying on when he in fact should be the one subbed off?”

Parker added: “Erik ten Hag can’t afford to sub him off. Especially not if Man United are chasing a goal. He is worried that he will get a crazy bounce back from the fans if he takes him off. That’s why he also might think he needs to play him in the starting lineup.

“But I think every fan will look at him right now and think: Does he look like he is going to score a goal? No. Everything that happens with him is coincidental and instinctive. He doesn’t interact or integrate with the team at all.”

Parker continued: “He gives away the ball quite cheaply and then he walks back. He doesn’t give enough to the team. But he is a big player because of the goals he has scored and Man United need their big players to perform.

“The problem is that they can’t continue to rely on a player that doesn’t perform or makes his teammates look better.

“He has been a part of a front three that has led the club down and is so far away from what a front three should be at Man United with the standard the fans have been used to.”

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