Paul Scholes has implored Marcus Rashford to stop searching for a ‘magical’ moment in a bid to rediscover his form after the Manchester United star endured another passive display against Atletico Madrid.
Rashford, 24, was unable to make an impact at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday night and was withdrawn for youngster Anthony Elanga in the 75th minute by Ralf Rangnick.
The Swede went on to score the all-important leveller to leave the last-16 clash wide open heading into the second leg at Old Trafford next month.
Paul Scholes has implored Marcus Rashford to stop looking for ‘magical’ moments for United
Rashford has failed to shirk subdued performances for most of the season, with the England international scoring five goals in all competitions, and Scholes has urged the United star to go back to basics.
‘He looks too anxious for me, he looks like he is trying almost too hard,’ Scholes said on BT Sport. ‘Every time the ball comes to him it almost feels like he is trying to do something magical. It is probably the worst thing you can do.
‘I always remember when going through a tough time the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] said keep it simple. Just work your way back into the game. He doesn’t seem to be able to do that. He is always thinking he has got to produce something.
‘He has just got to calm himself down, work himself into the game and the form will come back.’
The England international put in another subdued performance against Atletico Madrid
Meanwhile, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes Rashford should be dropped by United’s interim manager Rangnick – as his performances of late mean he should be starting on the bench.
He told CBS Sports: ‘Rashford’s been in this team since he was a kid, he’s come on and burst onto the scene. He’s got goals and always threatened to go onto that next level that top players get to – and he’s not there yet.
‘And I think we’re at the stage now where he shouldn’t be in Manchester United’s (starting) eleven. I think his performances this season don’t warrant him being in the team.
‘More often than not, he is in the team. They always find a position for him. He doesn’t suit playing on the right, not at all. It has to be through the left or through the centre.’
Trying to find a solution for the England international, Rio Ferdinand suggested that focusing on his off-the-ball work may help inspire Rashford at the other end of the pitch.
Scholes said that Rashford appears ‘anxious’ and needs to go back to basics to find his form
‘Sometimes if it is not working with the ball, actually without the ball I’m going to make an impact in the game and make it difficult for my opponent,’ he said. ‘Sometimes you just need telling that, all of a sudden the natural things will come back in because the confidence builds from another facet of his game.’
Scholes also called on Rashford’s senior team-mates to provide the leadership necessary to help the Englishman through this tricky period.
‘If he has players next to him, we have said for a long time there is a lack of leadership in that team, Harry Maguire doesn’t really do it, these young players need telling all the time until they’re blue in the face and they actually start doing it.
‘I remember coming into the team with Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Roy Keane, they are onto you every time until you do it without being told. Remember us playing with Nani, we screamed at him and eventually he was brilliant defensively.’
Rio Ferdinand said that focusing on his off-the-ball work could help give him confidence
United interim boss Rangnick admitted that he was ‘very disappointed’ in United’s first half performance, and demanded his players look to the example set by Elanga to help rediscover their joy for the game.
Rangnick said of Elanga: ‘He is playing as if for him a dream has come true, it is just joy and fun to watch him play and I wish a few other players would take him as an example, almost role model I would say.
‘Not because he is doing everything right but he is just enjoying himself on the pitch. Football is an important sport but it is still a ball game and you have to enjoy yourself on the pitch and this is what I would wish us to do in the future when we play them again in a couple of weeks.’
Rashford was replaced by Anthony Elanga who went on to score the all-important equaliser
United interim boss Ralf Rangnick urged his stars to take inspiration from Elanga’s energy
Owen Hargreaves compared Elanga’s impact to that of Rashford at the beginning of his United career, and opined that the 24-year-old is ‘thinking’ too much about his game.
‘Marcus burst onto the scene just like Elanga,’ he said. ‘He played with that urgency, no fear and blew everyone away. When you have had a blip and you’re struggling you get a bit more careful.
‘Elanga plays with absolutely no fear, remember when Wazza [Wayne Rooney] burst onto the scene he was a tornado he was unplayable. Then you start to learn and understand the circumstances.
‘Rashford is thinking the game a little bit more than initially but everybody struggled offensively for United.’