Marcus Rashford has found himself in the spotlight ever since he burst onto the scene with a brace on his debut against FC Midtjylland and this international break has seen that in its most obvious form to date.
Rashford played for England’s U20s against Canada in a 2-1 loss and in an article from the Daily Mail’s Oliver Todd on the match, you’d have thought it was just Marcus lining up on the field against Canada on his own.
The first ten paragraphs were all devoted to Rashford and his performance. There was an incredible amount of scrutiny of everything he did and bear in mind this is on an 18-year-old making his debut for England’s U20s.
It’s an embarrassing article from Oliver Todd and entirely indicative of the treatment Rashford is going to have to get used to dealing with from the British press. If you play for United, the magnifying glass comes out with an increased intensity.
Rashford actually assisted England’s only goal against Canada’s U20s but that wasn’t mentioned until the fifth paragraph: “Rashford set up Chelsea’s Kasey Palmer to bring England back into contention but the standards expected of the youngster are now so high that even that highlight was a little low key,” Todd wrote.
That attitude, the overbearing weight onto young, pliable shoulders is a hinderance to England’s promising youth and has been for years. Conversely, the British press seems to be a hurdle towards talent progressing rather than the other way around, especially if you play for United.
For United fans, we’ll be nothing but patient with Rashford. If an 18-year-old breakthrough star grabs an assist in a game, that’s excellent news – not indicative of a dip in an early season rise which has seen him score five goals in eight games. We don’t share that mentality with the press.
It’s up to Rashford how he manages to deal with it but the more he focuses on his own game and tries to ignore the wider conversation around him, the better off he’ll be.