Manchester United great Gary Neville has reiterated fans’ hopes that Marcus Rashford will kick on and continue to improve following a poor spell of form.
Ralf Rangnick demoted the talented Englishman to the bench after realising he was out of form but the player has since put in brilliant displays as a substitute.
According to Sky Sports, Neville said: “There was a lot of questions being asked of Marcus Rashford.
“I’m not quite sure it’s fair to suggest that he’s distracted by off-field events as soon as he has a difficult patch. That’s the easy thing to say because no one knows why he’s having a difficult patch.
“It could be for a number of reasons: injury, loss of form, confidence, the team not playing well.
“But it’s the easy thing to do, to point towards the off-field stuff. It was a big thing for him. The thing for me about Marcus Rashford is, yesterday when I saw him celebrate that goal, it brought joy to him and I think that’s the most important thing when you are a football player.
“Passion and joy. I’m not saying you have to walk around with a smile on your face because I was as miserable as sin when I was playing football and, to be fair, quite often cantankerous and argumentative! I want to see joy or passion or fire; I don’t want to see that face of nothing.
“I think Marcus, in the last couple of months or so, has just looked drained in his face of any energy or spirit and that can’t happen. You can have fire, you can have anger, you can have joy – all of those different emotions, but we need emotion, we can’t have lack of emotion.
“It was a big moment for him and hopefully that now gives him the confidence to rise against, puff his chest out and do the things that he does because he is an excellent striker, an excellent forward.”
The Peoples Person previously covered how Rangnick challenged Rashford to continue his good form and show consistency in order to claim a starting XI spot.
This came after the academy graduate’s performance vs West Ham, in which he netted the match-winner at the death, to help United climb into a top-four spot.
Rashford also scored the Red Devils’ third goal in the 3-1 win over Brentford, helping ensure the team would walk out with all three points.
It’s not difficult to understand why he was out of form in the first place given everything that has been going on in his personal and professional life.
Rashford’s had to play through painful injuries for a long period of time as he delayed treatment in order to feature for club and country.
He lost the Europa League final, which many of United’s players failed to mentally recover from, as well as the European Championship with England.
Rashford was also racially abused because of his footballing failures as well as his charity work as he aimed to ensure the UK’s most vulnerable children didn’t go hungry.
It makes sense he needed time to recover mentally and physically and it looks like he’s now on his way to being back to his best.