Manchester United legend Lou Macari has hailed Marcus Rashford’s revival this season, praising the strides the forward has made in his game. Speaking to the Betfred Football Show ahead of United’s game with table-toppers Arsenal on Sunday, the former Scotland international also took aim at those treating the Red Devils like a one man team when it comes to Casemiro.
“Rashford has done remarkably compared to the way he was playing. The run he’s gone on, he's got a lot of pace in his game now as well, which I'd never seen before.” the ex-midfielder purred, before adding, “I’d never seen him run the length of the pitch and outstrip people in terms of running, but he's managed to do it.“
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Macari warned that such form rarely lasts forever, though. “But that won't go on and on and on. Everybody hits a spell where you can't score. And there's no need to have a big inquest like we do nowadays. It just happens.”
The phrase “it happens to the best of us” is a bit of a cliche, but in Macari’s experience it can be taken literally in this case. “It has happened in football throughout the years. When I first came to Manchester United, believe it or not. I played one week with George Best in the team and George was pretty poor. That's George Best, the best player I've ever seen. But even he had a couple of off days.”
There is a temptation in football now to over-analyse everything. With more games broadcast than ever before and the internet providing a bottomless pit of statistics, fans have become armchair pundits. But Macari sees the fluctuations of form as a far simpler proposition.
“So when Rashford has an off day, people will start to sort of dissect it and say, ‘Right, what's the reason for that? Is it the system? Is it the formation?’ No, it's just because every footballer, no matter what level you play, has an off period. You have a few bad days at work and it doesn't come off for you. There's no need for a big inquest.”
Much of the narrative surrounding Sunday’s meeting with the Gunners derives from Casemiro’s suspension. The Brazil midfielder has been one of the signings of the summer and a vital part of manager Erik ten Hag’s plans. But Macari thinks too much is being made of his absence, which has come about after he was booked against Crystal Palace.
“It's another test for the team. If I was in that team, I'd be getting annoyed at the publicity that’s all about Casemiro. Sunday comes and I'd be determined to get my team a victory, to be part of it and to prove to the manager there’s a lot of other good players in his team.I don't for one minute think that one player is the difference between Manchester United winning or losing on Sunday. Whoever that player may be, it’s about the team.”
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