When I look at the way Marcus Rashford’s career is crashing, I can’t help thinking back to the Liverpool dressing room I was a part of and what we would have had to say about a team-mate behaving like this.
I assure you that we simply would not have allowed anyone to conduct himself in such a way. The other pros in our dressing room would have slaughtered him. He would have been called ‘the idiot.’ ‘The village idiot.’ He would have been hounded. Ridiculed. Ours wasn’t a dressing room of saints but we had a night out at the right time.
I believe it would have been the same response in Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United dressing room. Rashford wouldn’t have got away with this behaviour at that club in the past because the senior players would have pointed out to him that it’s not the way to act. Fergie would certainly not have tolerated it, either.
It shouldn’t even be the senior players having to tell him the home truths. His brothers are his agents. These are the guys who should be stopping him doing the idiotic things and telling him that he’s making a fool of himself. Embarrassing himself. But they appear to be enjoying the lifestyle that their brother’s giving them - getting on board the private jets, flying around the world. They ought to be looking after him and giving him the advice he really needs.
If he’s not listening to them, then they should be walking away and saying, ‘I think you should get someone else to look after you.’ Because you don’t want to be part of his management when, in five or six years’ time, he looks back and finds that he has wasted it all.
Rashford was seen entering Belfast night club Thompsons Garage last week on a 'tequila bender'
Mail Sport columnist Graeme Souness believes Rashford needs to consider who he listens to
Souness feels Rashford would not have got away with his behaviour at Man United in the past
I’ve thought for some time that Rashford doesn’t look very happy on the field. As if playing football is a problem for him and a burden. Well, I can assure him that these years will be gone all too soon – because for a footballer it’s such a short life. He is a talented young man in the prime of his life, who should be approaching his best years. He’s playing for a glamorous club. He’s playing for England. He’s got Euros and World Cups to look forward to. You think it will last forever. It won’t. These are years he’ll never get back.
Rashford needs to re-set and reconsider who he’s listening to. He needs someone to sit him down and help him to make the right moves and actually enjoy this time. Instead, all he seems to have around him are people filling his head with, ‘yeh we can do this, we can do that.’ You would have to say he is not getting the right advice.
While he continues to act like a 19-year-old who’s got too much money in his pocket, the jury is still out on him as a player. I pose this question: Are we seriously saying he is a ‘top player’ when he has had only one very good season after bursting onto the scene as an 18-year-old in 2016? I would strongly suggest not. I define a ‘top player’ as someone who is at it every game, with a minimum seven out of ten performance. Right now, Rashford is too much of a hit-and-miss player.
Manchester United at this time need the best version of Rashford, whereas they are getting the worst – someone who is misbehaving off the field and has scored only five goals in this Premier League season. He is simply not giving himself the best chance to do his job properly on the pitch.
The latest night out is not a first offence and Erik ten Hag will be under pressure from above to discipline him, but at the same time to keep him onside, so he can use him. Fergie would have had Rashford out of the door by now. His last chance saloon moment would have been and gone. Fergie’s squad was such that he could afford to park up David Beckham a few times when he was unhappy with him. But Ten Hag is not in a position to sell Rashford, with his own position under scrutiny and United’s squad a shadow of those in Fergie’s time in charge. Rashford is putting Ten Hag under all sorts of pressure.
Rashford's latest night out has put Man United boss Erik ten Hag under even more pressure
Should Rashford's behaviour carry on, he risks undermining the team and coaching staff
If Rashford's career ended this weekend, the forward would be remembered as a nearly man
Make no mistake, though - if this carries on, he will damage that dressing room and Manchester United won’t be successful. It might sound a bit harsh to say it but he is the bad apple - undermining the management and the team. He will have pals in that dressing room, but even they will be looking at him and asking, ‘do we want someone like that with us?’
As a manager, I didn’t have a repeat offender of this kind. If you had a guy doing this kind of thing who was also pulling up trees on the pitch, you would be saying, ‘I’ve got to get through to him.’ The problem is that everything is so public today. You can’t get away with anything. There are cameras everywhere. You can’t keep anything secret.
This is a classic case of a young man getting too much too soon and thinking he’s a bigger and better player than he is. Because if Rashford’s career ended this weekend, he would be remembered as a nearly-man. It’s certainly still not too late for him, though. He still has the potential and time to be a fabulous player. There’s been talk this week about United getting some help for him but I would suggest that Rashford starts by giving his head a good shake and surrounding himself by the right kind of people. People who are looking out for him and not themselves.
Chelsea provide a masterclass in how not to recruit
I watched Chelsea’s game at Anfield on Wednesday night, looking at some of the players they’ve spend a fortune on and thinking: ‘Come on then. Let’s see what you’ve got.’
I was particularly interested in what World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo had to offer. I’m still waiting. What a terribly disappointing performance from both of them.
No Premier League club has lost more games away from home than Chelsea, in the 18 months since the spending of the Todd Boehly era began. That club really is a master-class in how not to recruit.
Moises Caicedo produced a terribly disappointing performance in Chelsea's defeat at Anfield
World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez also underwhelmed as Chelsea suffered another away loss
No reason for Liverpool exodus when Klopp leaves
I don’t believe there is need for concern about the commitment of players like Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool, now that Jurgen Klopp has announced this is his last season. You don’t need to be at Liverpool very long to get what playing for that club means. At Anfield, it’s always about the club and not the employee.
Jurgen is very important. Of course he is. He has created the modern Liverpool. But I would be amazed if any player was thinking: ‘Because the manager is going, I want to leave.’ I could see Van Dijk playing for another ten years, never mind leaving at the end of the season.
Klopp will leave behind a group of young players who will only get better, with no need to spend hundreds of millions to challenge for trophies. As well as the established players, as witnessed this week they have plenty of young talents in the ranks, like Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Conor Bradley. The new manager’s first team talk will be: ‘Don’t change anything. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing.’
The commitment of Virgil van Dijk should not be questioned ahead of Jurgen Klopp's exit
Klopp will leave behind young players like Conor Bradley who are only set to get better
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