Marcus Rashford MBE is proving just as much a hero off the pitch over the past 12 months as he is on it.
The England international stepped up his fight to feed poor UK schoolchildren this week after becoming alerted and outraged at the state of ‘free school meals’ being delivered to those in need.
Rashford spoke to Boris Johnson this week to address the issue.
Unfortunately Rashford’s campaigning make him a target for the press too. At least for some.
The Telegraph chose to nitpick Rashford’s performance in Manchester United’s win over Burnley, a happy occasion for the club which took the team to the top of the league, and then criticise the forward and ask if his game was off because of him potentially being distracted.
It was a pretty crass, pathetic swipe. They know they can’t criticise Rashford for his off field work, so they are trying to call him out for the slightest reason on the pitch.
Except there’s one problem with taking on his performance against Burnley: Rashford provided the match winning assist for Paul Pogba’s goal with an exquisitely delivered cross.
To also insinuate Rashford ‘frequently gave the ball away’ is misleading and incorrect.
Rashford completed 89.6 per cent of his passes, 43 out of 48 in total. Only Edinson Cavani (93.8 per cent) and Nemanja Matic (92.8 per cent) recorded higher pass completion rates.
But even if Rashford had been less efficient, there should be some leeway. He was starting out on the right, a role in which he is less familiar.
United are reinventing the attack on the fly, attempting to integrate Edinson Cavani in alongside Rashford and Anthony Martial in games which matter, not in pre-season or Europa League dead rubbers. The players have to figure it out as they go, and there will be some adjustment along the way.
The Telegraph‘s criticism is just a cheap dig at a player who has 14 goals and six assist this season. Rashford is United’s most reliable forward.
Our message to Marcus is keep on doing what you are doing. On and off the pitch.
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