Anthony Elanga gives Manchester United the ‘backtrack’ Marcus Rashford can’t – Casey Evans


When Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Southampton side drew 1-1 with Manchester United on Saturday, the Austrian manager was very clear when explaining how his side managed to get a result.

“It’s no big secret that when they lose the ball, the running backs aren’t everyone’s best,” he said in a post-match press conference.

Ralf Rangnick has echoed the thoughts of his former RB Leipzig colleague.

“As I said, we have technical players. They like to play technical football, but in the Premier League whichever team you play against – and especially in games like Southampton – you can’t win. matches only in a technical way. You also have to show some physicality.”

One of the biggest culprits in this regard for many United The fans were Marcus Rashford, who never came back enough despite being deployed on both wings in the Southampton game. He also often lost the ball to put pressure on his teammates.

Anthony Elanga was preferred over the England international in Rangnick’s XI to face Brighton and the difference was quite obvious.

According to Sofascore, Rashford had 42 touches against Southampton and Elanga also had 40 on Tuesday. But there is a clear difference when comparing the number of times they have lost the ball, with Rashford losing the ball 21 times to Elanga’s 10.

Rashford tried to cross the ball four times (with zero completed) compared to Elanga, who didn’t try to cross at all, preferring to enter the box, but that still doesn’t reflect well on Marcus overall.

When you compare their heatmaps, it’s clear that Elanga has the “reverse speeds” that Hassenhuttl implied Rashford lacked.




Some of that could be attributed to Rangnick’s overall change in tactics, who deployed a middle block (aka. McFred’s return) against Brighton, but Elanga’s work rate still seems to be playing him into the plans of the club. German.

According to FBrefRashford’s defensive actions are also usurped by Elanga.

Rashford registered 22 pressure attempts against Southampton, while Elanga managed just 14 against Brighton. Again, the larger tactical framework could be the cause.


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But while Rashford didn’t register any defensive action, Elanga made two tackles, an interception and a block – a great outing for a forward.

To help achieve the overall team contribution to both defense and attack that Rangnick has asked of his players, Elanga should keep his place and relegate Rashford, at least for now, to a substitute role. impact.

However, Marcus’ lack of influence when he came on against Brighton is concerning. He looked out of rhythm and ineffective as the team searched for a second goal.

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His dip in form has already seen him quit his favorite left wing in favor of Jadon Sancho, but could he drop even further?

Hopefully it’s just a blow and he can get back to his best soon, but there needs to be a serious recovery if Rashford is to play a significant role in United’s quest for a top-four spot.

Who would be your favorite starting three for Manchester United going forward? Follow our editor United On My Mind Casey Evans on Twitter and get involved in the discussion in the comments section below.

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