Manchester United legend Gary Neville says interim manager Ralf Rangnick ‘killed’ Marcus Rashford with Leicester City snub
Speaking to Sky Sports after his former side’s 1-1 draw against Leicester City (h/t Metro), Manchester United legend Gary Neville blamed interim manager Ralf Rangnick for killing forward Marcus Rashford after not starting him in the game.
Old Trafford played host to a drab 1-1 draw, as United and Leicester both looked lacklustre and struggled to create chances against each other. After a disappointing first half, things looked to be heading the same way until Kelechi Iheanacho struck first blood for the Foxes with a diving header.
Fred then thumped home the equaliser, after the opposition keeper spilt Bruno Fernandes’ shot straight into his path for the Brazilian midfielder to finish into the roof of the net. Unfortunately for Fred and Co., a winner was not to be found in the remaining minutes of the game.
Interestingly, Rangnick chose to play Fernandes as a false nine in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo in the matchday squad, with the attacking midfielder leading the line for the team instead of deploying an actual striker.
“That’s killed Marcus Rashford today”
With Edinson Cavani ruled out of the game through injury, Rashford was available for selection. However, his German boss snubbed him from the starting XI, relegating the academy product to the bench.
Neville, who was previously captain of United, said that he was struggling with the decision not to play without a centre-forward, and claimed that Rangnick’s decision to not play Rashford in the team would have killed the player.
“I was struggling a little bit with it before the game without the centre forward. That’s killed Marcus Rashford today… not playing in that team.”
When the news about Ronaldo missing the game broke out, many expected Rangnick to deploy Rashford as the striker to lead the line for us, having played in the position in the past. After all, he burst onto the scene and was introduced to the fans as an exciting forward from the youth team.
Despite this, the German manager’s decision to drop Rangnick and play without a centre-forward was certainly baffling. The team struggled with the system as well, with Fernandes unable to lead the line effectively as he kept dropping back into midfield as the side screamed out for a target man.
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In Rangnick’s defence, when Rashford came on eventually in the second half to play as a striker, the 24-year-old was unable to make any impact on proceedings. He had a dubious penalty shout towards the end of the game, but aside from that, he was a ghost on the field.
The Carrington graduate’s dip in form is certainly alarming, and United fans will agree that this is probably the worst we have ever seen Rashford perform. If he is unable to shake this off, he is likely to continue warming the bench until the end of the season and miss out on a chance to shine when given the opportunity.