South African fans say that Benni McCarthy is the reason why Marcus Rashford’s luck has changed for the better, but what has he done?
After Manchester United beat Manchester City in the derby on Saturday, Manchester United fans in South Africa were quick to praise Benni McCarthy.
Marcus Rashford was a big part of United’s exciting comeback in the second half. They overcame Jack Grealish’s goal to get what could be Erik ten Hag’s biggest win so far.
The England striker was important to the win. He scored the game-winning goal and had a key role in Bruno Fernandes’ controversial equalizer for the home team.
The star showing was the latest outstanding display from Rashford as he continues to silence those many voices who questioned whether he’d ever truly be good enough for the Red Devils.
As far as South African supporters on social media are concerned, McCarthy has been one of the key reasons why Rashford has turned things around, with the striker’s improvement coinciding directly with the arrival of Bafana Bafana’s all-time top scorer at Old Trafford during the summer.
McCarthy was appointed by United in July, brought in from the wilderness of South African football as the arriving Ten Hag sought coaching expertise to improve his players’ striking output.
Things didn’t go as planned with Cristiano Ronaldo, but part of that is because Rashford has gotten better over the past few months.
When he scored against City on Saturday, the England striker became the first United player to score in seven straight games since Ronaldo in April 2008.
It’s not only the best run of the player’s career, but also the best run of any United player in the last 15 years. During that run, Rashford scored eight goals.
He has been especially dangerous at Old Trafford, where Rashford used to have confidence issues in front of his own fans. This season, those issues have gone away.
No player has scored in nine straight games at Old Trafford since Teddy Sheringham in November 2000, and Rashford hasn’t been this good since before McCarthy moved to the North West.
This week, former United left back Patrice Evra directly mentioned McCarthy when talking about Rashford’s recent success.
Evra told Betfair, “We need to give Benni McCarthy credit. He’s in charge of all the forward players, and you can see he’s doing a good job.” “He might be telling Marcus that he needs to score more goals and be more of a killer.
“So, I think United is doing a good job with Marcus because I see someone happy. This is important. The biggest change I can see in Marcus is that he is now smiling.
“Before, you could tell he was angry and upset when he scored a goal, but now he is happy. Marcus Rashford is a threat when he is happy. He’s really cool.”
Rashford has said that the ex-Blackburn Rovers striker helped him finally prove people wrong who didn’t think he could be United’s top player.
Rashford told Sky Sports in November, “He’s helped me a lot for sure.” “It means a lot to us forward players that we have coaches who like to attack as part of the team. Every day, we just think about scoring goals instead of the other parts of the game, which are also important.
“We always have him there talking to us.”
McCarthy, who is now 45, is a hero in South Africa because he scored goals for both the national team and the top club in the country, Orlando Pirates.
He also scored a lot of goals for Ajax and FC Porto, the latter of which won the Champions League, before he moved to the English game.
In fact, McCarthy’s 18 goals for Blackburn Rovers in 2006-07 were more than Rashford has ever scored in a Premier League season.
It would be too much to say that the Bafana legend has “saved” Rashford’s career, but it is worth noting that Rashford has already scored eight league goals this season, which is already more than he scored all of last season.
Based on his recent play, Rashford should easily score 10 goals in the league for only the fourth time in his career. He should also show that he can be the one to lead United’s revolution under Ten Hag.