Manchester United duo Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford have been urged to work harder and run more.
Pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has highlighted running statistics for three of United’s players, and the disparity between them.
Edinson Cavani runs an average of 11.7 km per game in the Premier League this season, the second highest among forwards in the Premier League this season behind only Roberto Firmino.
By comparison Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood rank 44th and 46th, running 9.9km and 9.8km per game.
Carragher told The Telegraph: “It is staggering that, at 34, Edinson Cavani is doing so much more than his younger, attacking team-mates. The numbers are damning in demonstrating the underlying issue Rangnick is dealing with at United.
“Those who you would have imagined to embrace a high energy game – such as Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood – are doing nowhere near enough. They are young lads who should be leaving everything on the pitch.”
Are the figures a fair reflection?
You could make a case the figures may be a little skewed. Edinson Cavani has played only eight Premier League games this season, while Greenwood has played 15 and Rashford 11.
Greenwood has also often been substituted early, denying him the opportunity to run further over a 90 minute period.
But at the same time, the figures are reflective of what us fans see on a game to game basis. Cavani chases down every ball, while as we saw against Aston Villa, Marcus Rashford does not.
Greenwood and Rashford often play on the wing, positions where they should have to cover more ground than Cavani who is simply a striker, and so for that reason, the data is somewhat alarming.
Time to buckle up
Cavani will leave the club at the end of the current season when his current contract expires. He is doing everything he can to set a good example, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, and the younger players need to buy in.
Greenwood and Rashford should be exerting themselves more and contributing to the team more, on and off the ball.
That’s not easy when they are demoralised or lacking confidence, and also when the team lacks shape and consistency, with United using six different formations during his seven games in charge.
All the players need to kick on, and Rangnick wants them to work harder. United will have the data on the players’ running, more detailed too, and increasing the work rate among the entire team has to improve, as it is key to implementing the manager’s pressing system.
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