Gary Neville, a former Manchester United captain, was perplexed by interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s choice to play Marcus Rashford in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City at Old Trafford.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence due to illness and Edinson Cavani’s absence due to injury, the German chose to use Bruno Fernandes as a false-nine instead of starting Rashford. The England international was the only senior striker available, and he was snubbed for the second time in as many months.
United were insipid in the first half and lacked an attacking threat, earning a share of the spoils thanks to Fred’s fourth goal of the season. Ronaldo had scored a hat-trick in United’s previous Premier League match, so his absence was notable.
Despite the fact that Rashford appeared to be the natural replacement for the Portuguese star, Rangnick chose Fernandes as his most advanced attacker. After the game, the German stated that Paul Pogba was brought in to replace Ronaldo, forcing him to make a tactical change rather than simply bringing in Rashford.
However, Neville was baffled by the decision, claiming that leaving Rashford on the bench had “killed” the academy graduate.
According to Neville, who spoke to Sky Sports, “If they keep playing like this, these Manchester United players and Manchester United fans will have a tough two months ahead of them. It was a very bad day out there today, and I had no idea what they were attempting to accomplish.
“I was having some trouble with it before the game because I didn’t have a centre-forward. Marcus Rashford has died today as a result of not being able to play in that team.
“I understand he’s been out of form and lacking confidence, but for Cristiano Ronaldo to pull out this morning and then for Paul Pogba to come in and change the system of play and the way the game has been approached, rather than just putting Rashford in as a straight swap when he’s been training for ten days… I simply believe that there are far too many things at this club that are questionable at this time.”
In the second half, Rashford came off the bench to replace Scott McTominay.