Goldbridge thought he was “awful”: Man Utd star who lost the ball 17x must be axed – opinion

This was not how Manchester United’s 2023–24 campaign or the first installment of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s tenure at Old Trafford were supposed to unfold.

United had a foundation after winning the Carabao Cup and Champions League football the previous season, and they ought to have expanded on it in Erik ten Hag’s second year in charge.

The Red Devils are still in the FA Cup semifinals, but after losing their past four games and being eliminated from Europe during the group stages, they are now ten points behind Aston Villa in fourth place in the standings.

Ten Hag has found himself under pressure for huge parts of the season and his tenure at the club now feels like a ticking time bomb. How long will it be before Ratcliffe gives him the boot? Surely not very.

The Dutchman found himself storming out of a press conference following their 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday evening. Questioned by his players too, notably Alejandro Garnacho, it doesn’t bode well for a bright future at United.

What happened with Ten Hag and Garnacho 

Throughout the current campaign, the Argentine has been among the most effective players. Who anybody forget last year’s absurd overhead at Goodison Park? Few.

His play has only become better as he has scored nine goals and provided four assists. That’s not too awful for an attacker who is still only 19 years old, in case you forgot.

That was as good as it got. His most recent assist came for Bruno Fernandes’ equalizer in the first half at the Vitality on Saturday. But did he really deserve Amad Diallo’s substitution at halftime? Possibly not.

Manchester Evening News journalist, Samuel Luckhurst, gave the winger a dismal 3/10 match rating in his post-game thoughts, noting of the youngster’s performance that ‘the workload took its toll’ and he ‘had no joy in the first half.’

Ten Hag criticised his performance in his post-match presser, saying: “I think we had to repair over the right side. We didn’t play well, the spaces were there. In possession, we had to bring a sub there. Garnacho was during the week not training.”

Well, in a display akin to Jadon Sancho, the Argentine took to social media in the aftermath to like a number of posts defending him.

Despite a game that put the young winger in the headlines, he wasn’t the only one in a United jersey attracting criticism.

Why Man Utd must now bench Rashford 

Garnacho’s return to the starting lineup the following weekend would be fortunate for him, but in all honesty, he shouldn’t be benched.

Marcus Rashford is a significant underperformer, in reality. The Englishman scored 30 goals in the previous season and was in form this year, but he has only managed to score eight.

The academy product’s low work rate has also been detrimental; he is sometimes seen hardly even jogging to assist his teammates defensively and track back.

However, as any good forward should be, they are largely judged for their output in the final third. Sadly, that has been sorely lacking this season and indeed, it was lacking again on the south coast on Saturday.

In a performance that Man United personality Mark Goldbridge labelled as “awful”, the Red Devil lost possession of the ball 17x and was lamented by the aforementioned Luckhurst for being ‘wasteful’, subsequently handed a 5/10 match rating.

That is the story of Rashford’s season with the 26-year-old only fashioning one goalscoring opportunity and failing with each of his two dribble attempts against Bournemouth.

Not only that, but he only won one of his nine duels. As Luckhurst said, wasteful stuff indeed.

For once, the wide man may not be the headline maker from their draw to the Cherries, but his performance must be put under the microscope. Ten Hag will likely now drop Garnacho, but he should be looking over at Rashford too. Neither of them are undroppable now.

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