Okay, this kid is obviously something special in the sense that nothing jostles his cool. Scoring on his debuts EVERY time? Including his debut for England – granted, a friendly, but still.
Interestingly, while everyone I’ve seen and heard talking about the match has said nothing but glowing things about Rashford, when my dad sat down to watch part of the match with me (and he’s not seen Rashford play before, so he’s looking at it with a blank slate and fresh eyes), he wasn’t impressed with Rashford at all, and pointed out multiple mistakes he made in a short span of time.
Now, fully disclosure, my dad is a naturally negative person and likes to point out issues with things I like and am excited by, so he may have been especially harsh for this reason, but it did get me thinking.
Is Rashford excellent because he’s actually excellent, or because I’ve seen him do a few cool things and everyone keeps saying he’s excellent?
I mean, the parallel people keep drawing between him and Rooney is cool and I’m sure exciting for Man U fans, but is it accurate? I mean, some of the stuff they pull out of the hat to generate interest and excitement is just silly (Rooney apparently made his international debut against Australia as well, the television team told me while I was sitting down to watch the match, as if such things matter).
Rashford is the kind of player you want on your team, someone who could do big things in the future. But he’s not the finished article.
And by that, I don’t just mean he’s 18.
Sure, he’s capable of playing well at a high level, and he doesn’t really buckle (or…Spurs it?) when the pressure’s on HIM. But the same could be said of Ronaldo, and he spent the vast majority of that Champion’s League final doing a dash more than nothing, and arguably let in that goal by not doing his job, which is the reason he had to be the big hero at the end.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m happy he’s getting a new contract. I’m happy it looks like Jose is going to give the kid a chance (not that the supporters wouldn’t mutiny if he didn’t), but I’m not ready to hold my hand up and say this kid is the next England superstar, the next Wayne Rooney, the next Sir Bobby.
He’s an 18-year-old kid with talent and a remarkably cool head. But all that means is there’s as much team for him to prove us wrong as prove us right. So cross your fingers. Knock every wooden bit of furniture in your house. Pray. Offer slaughtered animals on your backyard pyre. Whatever.
But, you know, I’ll not hold my breath.