Premier League

Dubious performance, Marcus Rashford and his performance with Ten Hag

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has questioned the impact of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.

By Hector Garcia

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has questioned the impact of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has questioned the impact of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.
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Ten Hag came in at the start of the 2022/23 season, replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent Man Utd manager via an interim spell in charge for Ralf Rangnick. In his first season in charge, Ten Hag led Man Utd to glory in the EFL Cup and reached the FA Cup final, as well as securing a return to the Champions League.

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This season was supposed to be the time for Ten Hag’s Man Utd to step up, but they haven’t done that at all. The Red Devils finished bottom of their Champions League group, even failing to qualify for the Europa League, were knocked out of the EFL Cup in the fourth round and sit seventh in the Premier League. They’ve won just 10 of their 21 league matches, losing nine, including some humiliating defeats.

A lot of their stars are underperforming, and Wright believes Ten Hag has to take some blame for that. Wright then singled out Marcus Rashford as a player who looks completely different this season, far from the star he was destined to be just a few years ago. This season, Rashford has been directly involved in nine goals in 26 games across all competitions, scoring four and providing five assists. All four of those goals have come in the Premier League, including two in his past two – ending a six-game drought in the Premier League. There was another seven-game drought between his strike against Arsenal in September and goal vs Everton in November, showing that something is up this season.

But is it a Ten Hag problem? Last season Rashford was directly involved in 22 goals for Man Utd in the Premier League, scoring and providing five assists. Only seven players in the Premier League were directly involved in more goals last season, while Rashford was six clear of his closest teammate. Across all competitions, he had his best scoring campaign, netting 30 goals in total. You can’t even point to a change in role this season, as Rashford has played predominantly on the left wing since Ten Hag took charge.

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He has kept his knack for scoring in big games too, netting in wins over Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea, and had a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham last season. This season it’s a goal in the defeat vs Arsenal, and goal against Tottenham at the weekend. When he first came through under Louis van Gaal, Rashford’s calling card became scoring in big games at key moments, and it’s something that has followed him throughout his career.

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