CHRIS SUTTON: Marcus Rashford is being crippled by his fear of failure

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CHRIS SUTTON: Marcus Rashford is being crippled by his fear of failure… the Manchester United star is at risk of missing out on Qatar 2022 and Ralf Rangnick MUST help the out-of-form attacker get back to his brilliant best

  • Marcus Rashford has not fallen out of love with the game, but his game 
  • The Man United star’s performance against Aston Villa was one full of fear 
  • At this rate, the 24-year-old risks missing out on England’s squad for Qatar 2022
  • It is Ralf Rangnick’s job to help Rashford get back to his brilliant best for United 


Can a footballer really fall out of love with football? It’s a cliche which crops up when a player is in pitiful form and his body language makes him look uninterested.

Marcus Rashford fits that description right now but I don’t think he has fallen out of love with football — I think he has fallen out of love with the way he has been playing.

I’ve been there myself. You don’t lose your love of the game but of your game.

Naturally that leaves you frustrated. You’re down in the dumps and can momentarily lose your mojo.

Marcus Rashford has not fallen out of love with the game, but he has lost the love for his game

Marcus Rashford has not fallen out of love with the game, but he has lost the love for his game

Rashford is 24 now. He has enjoyed a rapid rise and is allowed to go through a slump.

He isn’t alone either — a few of his Manchester United team-mates have looked off it too, such as Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho.

But Rashford will lose his place in the England squad ahead of this winter’s World Cup if he cannot snap himself out of this downward spiral. The last time he started a competitive game for Gareth Southgate was in 2020. The England boss is a loyal coach but if Rashford continues to play so poorly, he will do well to even be on the bench in Qatar.

The Manchester United star was a shadow of his former self in their win over Aston Villa

The Manchester United star was a shadow of his former self in their win over Aston Villa

At this rate, the 24-year-old risks missing out on Gareth Southgate's squad for Qatar 2022

At this rate, the 24-year-old risks missing out on Gareth Southgate’s squad for Qatar 2022

When nothing is going your way, you need to get back to basics. Like in the 74th minute against Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Monday night at Old Trafford, when Rashford didn’t even attempt to reach a rebound from Greenwood’s shot.

It is such an easy way for forwards to get goals, but the fact he didn’t even try makes me think it was fear that was stopping him.

He is at such a low ebb and it doesn’t get much worse than being frightened of missing.

The performance of 19-year-old Anthony Elanga, who replaced Rashford late on, was fearless and full of energy. He got bums off seats. Rashford needs to remember that he used to do that, too.

Former United manager Jose Mourinho once said Rashford looked ‘completely lost’ on the right wing. His best position is on the left when he is running at defenders.

It is part of interim United boss Ralf Rangnick’s job to help him return to those days. We all want to see Rashford back to his brilliant best.

It is Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick's job to help rediscover Rashford's form

It is Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick’s job to help rediscover Rashford’s form

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