Rio Ferdinand has urged Marcus Rashford to get back to basics, using his pace to run in behind defenders, encouraged by seeing the Manchester United forward doing just that against Tottenham on Sunday.
It has been a poor season so far for the England international, scoring just four Premier League goals in 20 appearances, looking very unlikely to match the 17 he managed last season.
The 26-year-old has not scored in any cup competition and it has not just been his lack of goals but his limp performances that have contributed to a forgettable campaign to date.
However, he did find the back of the net in the 2-2 draw with Spurs, producing an excellent finish after a one-two with Rasmus Hojlund. He also looked threatening with his pace on the left flank for much of the contest.
Ferdinand liked what he saw from Rashford and feels that keeping things simple will help him going forward.
‘He looked like Marcus again yesterday,’ Ferdinand said on FIVE. ‘What I think about with Marcus. That running on the shoulder, running in behind, no defender wants it. I’d like to know if there’s someone in his ear before every game saying, “Run behind, run behind.” It’s hard for a defender to keep doing that through 90 minutes.
‘Through this period of time when he hasn’t scored, he’s complicating his game a bit, trying to dribble too much. I understand it when you’re trying to prove to people, get your form back, trying to take people on, it just ain’t been working for him, it ain’t been coming off.
‘The moment he simplified his game yesterday, he looked like Marcus again. Basic, run behind and be a threat in behind all the time and his goal comes from a one-two. Run in behind and one-twos are a defender’s nightmare, especially full-backs.’
Ferdinand reckons the one-two with Hojlund before Rashford’s goal could be the sign of things to come, but only if the United forwards get together and plot more of the link-up.
‘What he [Rashford] needs to do, and he’s experienced enough now, is to go to Hojlund: “When I get it, get over here, because I want you as a wall,”‘ Ferdinand continued.
‘If you’ve got someone to play and run with you become an absolute nightmare for any defender. He plays it and runs, he’s got the momentum, he can’t be stopped, he plays it inside and runs behind, he’s in nine and a half times out of 10.’
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