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“He is our biggest problem right now, and until we get rid of Him, we can’t explore”—Marcus Rashford lashes out at his Manchester United teammate

Marcus Rashford was going to the halfway line, gently shaking his head, as Serge Gnabry’s left-footed finish disturbed Andre Onana’s net to put Bayern two goals ahead.

Maybe he was wondering how Manchester United’s defense could have fallen apart so drastically. Or maybe he was wondering why he had agreed to that enormously lengthy deal back in the summer.

Of course, the money is fantastic, but this is a Manchester United team that is not progressing and that appears to be ready to crumble at the first sign of difficulty. Furthermore, Rashford is contributing to the issue, so it is useless for him to shake his head disapprovingly.

He was an afterthought in the miserable defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford and in the Allianz Arena. This was not the Rashford who everyone saw at Hampden Park recently wearing an England jersey; instead, this was a Rashford who appeared bored much too frequently.

And maybe this match provided some insight into why Gareth Southgate still does not consider Rashford to be close to a lock to start.

Too frequently, his approach to his defensive responsibilities—responsibilities that ALL players in the modern game must take seriously—looks token.

Rashford’s lack of desire to put in hard defensive yards allowed players like Leroy Sane and Konrad Laimer to have more freedom down United’s left flank. Rashford also let Sane pass without much trouble when he did finally come back with a semblance of passion.

It was, of course, not his fault that Onana made a monumental howler but, throughout the contest, Rashford was partly culpable for United’s alarming vulnerability. He did offer some attacking threat but, certainly in the first half, his touch deserted him and he took too many wrong options.

But that is what happens when your approach to a challenge does not appear to be spot-on. Rashford’s contribution in the second half was much better and he provided the assist for the Rasmus Hojlund goal that gave United brief hope early in the second half.

But Rashford should be a talisman for this United side and a talisman needs to put in more than half a shift. Half a shift, though, is what you are getting from most United players right now. And those who should be shaking their heads are the ones paying to watch those players.

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