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14th Dec 2017

Marcus Rashford must be so jealous of Raheem Sterling

What could Guardiola do with Rashford?


What could Pep Guardiola do with Marcus Rashford?

Nobody is going to sit here and say that Rashford is struggling. He’s doing rather well for a 20-year-old but it does bear wondering whether or not he’d have progressed further under a manager with a more adventurous philosophy.

Jose Mourinho’s tactics are well documented and while it would be unfair to suggest that the Manchester United boss always parks the bus against top opposition, he has been known to set his side up at times to frustrate opponents and rely on counter-attacking after soaking up pressure.

On this week’s episode of the Defending in Numbers podcast, it was suggested that both Rashford and Anthony Martial would be developing far more quickly under the guidance of someone like Pep Guardiola than he currently is under Mourinho.

Defending In Numbers is a new Deezer Originals football podcast. Listen to the latest episode and subscribe to the podcast on Deezer and iTunes.

“If Pep Guardiola had inherited those two, can you imagine what they’d be doing as part of a front three?” guest Jake Entwistle pondered.

“He would be playing both of them at the same time and I feel sorry for Rashford and Martial. I rate them very highly but, at the moment, it’s just Jose Mourinho’s style. He can’t say ‘don’t play that way’. He’s won trophies, it’s not about that.

“For a player like Marcus Rashford, you must look across [at City] and think: ‘What would it be like to have 60 per cent possession every game and I get to take players on and get a few shots at goal?’

“Rashford showed he was clinical and punished the one mistake by Delph, who isn’t a left back, but United didn’t really have any other shots apart from that.”

One need look no further than Raheem Sterling for the perfect example of Guardiola getting the absolute best out of a young, creative player.

The Manchester City manager encourages forward-thinking, positivity and fearless attacking among his players and he’s been handsomely rewarded with Sterling’s 13 goals and four assists this season in all competitions.

After a shaky start to Premier League life last term, Guardiola is showing in this campaign why so many fans consider him the greatest manager currently working.

“Pep Guardiola inherited a side with a woeful defence,” Entwistle added. “It still kind of is.

“But he fixed some problem areas, though, like the full backs. They have become so key and the fact that Fabian Delph has been used in the left back role, he’s not even the main guy, but he’s been doing so well.”

Guardiola’s passionate post-match discussion with Southampton’s Nathan Redmond went viral two weeks ago as the Spaniard berated Redmond for failing to show off his attacking flair against City.

We can only imagine what kind of conversation Guardiola would have with Rashford if he ever got his hands on him…