This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Confidence is massive in football.
When it’s low, a player may often feel like they can’t do anything right.
In Marcus Rashford’s case, that statement could be applicable to him.
The Manchester United forward hasn’t scored a Premier League goal from open play since the 4-0 win over Chelsea on the opening day of the campaign, with just two penalties contributing to his tally of three league goals this term.
To put it bluntly, he needs a reset.
He needs some time out of the side to think, to go back to basics.
With every passing game, the England international looks like he’s trying to do too much to force the issue, rather than the basics that allow you to do the extra bits afterwards.
Rashford, who is valued at £72m by Transfermarkt, isn’t moving towards the ball in the box, he isn’t making clever runs, and he isn’t able to lead the line effectively right now.
It isn’t entirely down to the 21-year-old.
Who is to blame for United’s decline?
It would help if he had more creative options behind him rather than Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata, but while he doesn’t have Kevin De Bruyne-esque players slotting him in, he has to ensure he does the basics when chances are coming his way.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t have many options after selling Romelu Lukaku and allowing Alexis Sanchez to leave, but the pressure will continue to mount on Rashford’s shoulders with every passing game that he fails to deliver in.
Some time on the sidelines would presumably do him a lot of good, as it has been a while since this young player has been allowed any time out of the limelight – since his debut as a 18-year-old, he has always been involved quite heavily in the first-team.
Solskjaer may have to place some trust in Mason Greenwood or Anthony Martial when the Frenchman is back fit in order to do this, but he is surely damaging Rashford’s confidence more and more by playing him in every game where the academy graduate doesn’t look on top form.