Rashford: It was ‘difficult’ to play at Man Utd under Mourinho

Cameron Smith
Rashford: It was ‘difficult’ to play at Man Utd under Mourinho

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has revealed that he found hit difficult to play under Jose Mourinho for his boyhood club.

Rashford won three trophies with Mourinho at the helm, but the Portuguese manager’s defensive style of football didn’t suit the flying forward and he’s admitted that he struggled under his guidance.

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Mourinho was Man Utd boss between 2016 and 2018, and took over the job just after Rashford had burst onto the scene under previous manager Louis van Gaal.

Whilst the style of play wasn’t a hugely drastic change, as United fans would tell you, Mourinho’s appointment restricted Rashford’s freedom in the final third.

The 23-year-old told BT Sport: “Under Jose I would say everything was a bit ‘you play there, you play there, you play there’.

“And yeah, you can do a job, but it was difficult for me to play my best football.”

In his 81 Premier League appearances for the Old Trafford side under Mourinho, Rashford scored only 15 goals, and he was criticised for his lack of composure in front of goal.

Mourinho’s ‘park the bus’ tactics didn’t play into Rashford’s hands, but he’s now enjoying a fruitful spell under the more expansive Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Rashford under Solskjaer

Unlike when Mourinho was in charge, Rashford has been given complete creative freedom under Solskjaer, and hence, his attacking numbers have drastically improved.

Last season he scored over 20 goals in all competitions for the first time in his senior career and he’s hit 20 already this term. Furthermore, this season, he’s notched nine Premier League assists, a tally only five players can better.

In Mourinho’s first year Rashford was taking 1.7 shots per 90 in the league; last year that tally was at 3.2, showing how Solskjaer has changed the philosophy at the club and allowed the attacking players to do their thing.

It’s no surprise that they’ve scored the second-most goals in the league this season, something unfathomable under Mourinho.

He’s also become a regular in the side, and although this may be due to him maturing, he’s started over 30 Premier League games for two consecutive seasons now; he never reached 20 during Mourinho’s time in the dugout.