Mour­inho blasts pun­dits with bar­rage of Rash­ford statis­tics

Tehran Times - - WORLD SPORTS -

Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho blasted his crit­ics with a bar­rage of statis­tics on Fri­day to de­fend the amount of play­ing time given to Eng­land striker Marcus Rash­ford over the past two years.

Some pun­dits have ex­pressed con­cern that the 20-year-old, who has scored twice for his coun­try in the last two in­ter­na­tion­als, is not start­ing in the Premier League with Romelu Lukaku United’s reg­u­lar tar­get man.

The young­ster has played 122 min­utes in the top flight so far this season, with one start, and is banned for Satur­day’s game at Wat­ford af­ter be­ing sent off in the last game at Burn­ley. Mour­inho said he wanted to set the record straight even if ‘ob­sessed’ peo­ple, who had “a prob­lem with some com­pul­sive lies”, would crit­i­cise him any­way.

“I can imag­ine on Sun­day I am go­ing to be crit­i­cised for not play­ing Marcus but is not my fault, he’s sus­pended,” said the Por­tuguese, be­fore em­bark­ing on an ex­tended mono­logue to set out the numbers for those who were “a bit con­fused”.

“In 2016-17: Marcus Rash­ford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches, in­clud­ing the fi­nal, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches, in­clud­ing the fi­nal, and the Com­mu­nity Shield,” he said.

“He had 53 ap­pear­ances, but if you want to take the min­utes of play, he played 3,068 min­utes and if you want to di­vide that by 90 min­utes of the matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 min­utes in ‘16-17.

“In 2017-18, he played 35 matches in the Premier League, eight in the Cham­pi­ons League, five in the FA Cup in­clud­ing the fi­nal, three League Cup matches and the Euro­pean Su­per Cup fi­nal. “He played a to­tal of 52 matches with 2,676 min­utes, if you di­vide that by 90 it gives 29.7 matches. So with me, in two sea­sons, he had 105 ap­pear­ances, 5,744 min­utes, 63.7 matches of 90 min­utes, in­clud­ing five fi­nals.”

Mour­inho said Rash­ford could not be com­pared to other young Eng­land play­ers like Liver­pool’s Do­minic Solanke, Chelsea’s Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek and Ever­ton’s Do­minic Calvert-Lewin when it came to min­utes played.

Rash­ford, he said, had played “an in­cred­i­ble num­ber of ap­pear­ances and min­utes” at the high­est level in the best pos­si­ble com­pe­ti­tions.

“Since I was here, he was never one day out of se­lec­tion be­cause of my de­ci­sion, only if in­jured or sus­pended.” he added.

“(It) is very im­por­tant Manch­ester United sup­port­ers know the truth, that’s why I’m go­ing so spe­cific about th­ese numbers.”

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