clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Staff Takeaways: Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal

Takeaway from the win over Arsenal…

Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Colin- There is something there with Marcus Rashford at CF

So much of Marcus Rashford’s career has been hindered by uncertainty and inconsistency in his development. He’s swapped largely between the left wing and striker, sometimes playing on the right, and while he’s had really good stretches of form he hasn’t really left us with clear answers about where he can contribute best on a consistent basis.

Erik ten Hag however has been determined to get him firing again, and that faith could be paying off.

The decisive goal against Liverpool, an assist against Leicester, and a brace and an assist against Arsenal has seen Rashford shake the criticisms of his play up top, and offer United an unexpected answer to their striker woes. With Anthony Martial out injured and Cristiano Ronaldo looking his age in his cameos, ten Hag was left without a pressing forward who fit his system. He likely won’t make a perfect one out of Rashford, but his tactical setup allows United to take advantage of the strengths of its available personnel despite limited options. This was especially the case against Arsenal.

When United get the ball with a chance to break, Rashford is a player you can expect to try and get on the end of a chance. That thought process made the Arsenal defense bite, and allowed Rashford to play in Antony unmarked for a debut goal. His first was a typical Rashford goal, splitting a defense before they could react to him and finishing past a charging keeper.

He isn’t the perfect centre forward, and he doesn’t offer as much work off the ball and out of possession as ten Hag would like, but he is adjusting to the role and more importantly shaking the bad performances from last season. He is an excellent player for when the opposition opens themselves up, and while it hasn’t always been pretty United are playing in a way that utilizes that well. This setup likely wasn’t plan A for ten Hag, but it’s a credit to both manager and the squad that they’ve adjusted to the quick collapse of Plan A.

Colin- Put Christian Eriksen in a Barca tank

He's too important to this side. Don’t let him get hurt and make sure he’s not overworked.