Benni McCarthy has received widespread acclaim for his contributions since rejoining Manchester United as a member of Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff last summer. Notably, Marcus Rashford greatly benefited from McCarthy’s guidance throughout the 2022/23 campaign. However, significant concerns are now emerging.
McCarthy played a pivotal role in Rashford achieving a career-best 30-goal tally last season, marking a successful first year for Ten Hag in Manchester.
During the summer, Rashford publicly praised the 45-year-old for his support, confirming their close collaboration to unlock his peak performance.
“I believe he has done an excellent job. It’s advantageous for us to have a dedicated coach focusing on our forward group,” Rashford commented in an interview with SuperSport.
“We’ve worked more cohesively as an attacking unit, resulting in more chances created and more goals scored.
“Nonetheless, it’s still early days, and Benni himself aspires to achieve even greater things than what we’ve accomplished so far. He consistently pushes us to improve and strives to elevate our performance.
“Benni has been a fantastic influence on me, as I’ve mentioned previously, and on all the forwards. It’s essential to remember that Benni is part of a comprehensive coaching system where each member plays a distinct role. Therefore, Benni is exceptionally aligned with our needs.
“Yes, my relationship with Benni is very positive. We engage in frequent discussions. We analyze games together, exploring ways for me to enhance my performance.
“We delve into the finer details that can help me generate more opportunities, score more goals, and potentially create space for other teammates. We’re putting in a lot of effort.”
However, Rashford’s form has taken a downturn as he enters Ten Hag’s second season, following the signing of a lucrative £400,000-per-week contract extension.
The United’s No. 10, who will turn 26 this month, has only scored one goal in the current season, which came as the opener in the 3-1 loss to Arsenal.
Rashford’s decision-making, in particular, has been a prominent source of frustration among fans.
In Tuesday’s match against Galatasaray at Old Trafford, with the score level at 1-1, Rashford displayed a lack of confidence in his shooting ability.
He had a clear path down the right side and ample time to execute his trademark low strike across the goal, a move frequently seen last season. However, he faltered at the crucial moment.
Rather than taking a shot, which is the expectation for a top-class forward earning a substantial salary, Rashford opted to look up and attempted to pass the ball to Bruno Fernandes.
Unfortunately, the pass was poorly executed and was intercepted by the scrambling defenders from the visiting team, much to the frustration of both fans and Ten Hag.