Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: There's no excuse for Marcus Rashford's poor discipline

Betfair ambassador Marcus Rashford
Berba is disappointed by Rashford's behaviour

Betfair ambassador and former-Man Utd striker Dimitar Berbatov slams Marcus Rashford for his indiscipline, says teammates need to cross to Rasmus Hojlund and thinks Xabi Alonso could be the perfect next Liverpool manager....

  • Berba blasts Rashford for clubbing instead of training

  • Sympathy for Hojlund over bad service

  • Alonso is perfect for the Liverpool manager's job


There is no excuse for Marcus Rashford's indiscipline. I'd like to find an excuse because I'll always try to defend the players because I've been there. I know how it is, what it sometimes takes from you being a professional under pressure. You want to relax - and you can do it - but only if you don't skip training the next day.

From what I understand, he was not sick. It sounds like he didn't feel confident and fit enough to go to training, which doesn't look good for him in a professional way.

First and foremost, as a professional and a United player, you're a footballer and the team is your number one priority. If you're fit and don't have family problems, you need to be at training.

If a player goes partying and doesn't go to training the next day, then I can't defend his behaviour.

From what I saw from Ten Hag, you could see on his face that he was angry about the whole situation.

History suggests Rashford won't play this week

I don't think we'll see Marcus play for the club this week, not if we are comparing this to similar situations at United under Ten Hag.

When Rashford was late for a team meeting in 2022, he didn't start the next game, which was at Wolves where United go on Thursday evening. Ten Hag is very strict on things like this and I don't think he'll pick Rashford this week.

According to reports, Rashford was fined for this misbehaviour. That was a way to draw a line under the indicident but I don't think Rashford will play this week.

United must help Rashford

What are the reasons for Rashford's behaviour? How do you fix it? Obviously, I'll never stop saying Rashford is a big talent, but if he doesn't correct his behaviour then he won't fulfil his potential.

When someone isn't famous for disciplinary issues or different antics outside of the football pitch and they start acting in an unprofessional way, it's always surprising.

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There must be a reason for the change in Rashford's behaviour. If United don't tackle the root cause then this behaviour will continue. If United find the answer to why he's behaving like this and help him, then hopefully he'll continue to play and be more focused and concentrated.

His form on the pitch has been up and down and, as mentioned, he's been late to the team meeting before. So something is not right and until United fix it, I think his behaviour will continue like this.

Antony was entitled to celebrate his goal

I saw people talking about Antony's celebrations after his goal against Newport. You can ask: "Why is he celebrating when he has scored his first goal of the season against weak opposition?" But he's an emotional guy. We've seen him be frustrated on the pitch for a number of weeks.

I guess Antony wanted to show he's glad he scored his first goal of the season. Of course, he wasn't playing in a final and it's only his first goal of the season, so he didn't need to celebrate, because everyone expects more from him, but it is what it is and could be the start of better things.

Different people express their emotions differently. For Antony, that was a very important goal for him.He needs to follow it up now.

I sympathise with Hojlund

Antony and Alejandro Garnacho are not providing enough service for Rasmus Hojlund and I saw frustration in the Dane in the last United match.

Hojlund was making runs and the ball was not coming to him. This is how football is sometimes. If this was Karim Benzema, Garnacho and Antony would know that, when they get the ball, they need to cross it straight away.

That's how the authority and reputation of a player can influence teammates. Hojlund is not yet there and, because of this, sometimes he doesn't get the service he needs because his reputation is not that big.

The wingers will try to make themselves look good rather than cross the ball to Hojlund to score. That's sometimes okay, but most of the time, when your teammate is in a better scoring position than you, it doesn't matter who he is, you need to cross the ball.

You make him look good because the whole team will benefit, especially if he's a striker because strikers' egos and moods depend on the goals they're scoring.

Give Hojlund the 'f*****g ball'

When you're a winger, one of your most important jobs is to beat people and cross the ball for your strikers. If I were in the middle I would be thinking: "Give me the f*****g ball!"

Hojlund must be angry. He needs to be angry. Don't be shy. On the pitch, scream, yell, swear, show aggression towards your teammates when you demand the ball.

When you step on to the pitch you respect your teammates for the runs they make, for the effort they put in, so if they're a striker you need to give him the ball.

He's going to make runs, but if you don't give him the ball, eventually he is going to think: "I'm not going to run any more because the ball isn't coming."

This is also down to the manager and coaches - they need to step up. When they do the video analysis after the game, show the players: "Hojlund is doing great movement, you need to give him the ball more."

Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool as a legend

It was a shocking and unexpected announcement from Jurgen Klopp last week. When you listened to him explaining his reasons for leaving, it shows how tough and demanding the position of a manager is today.

Yes, football has changed, but are we going to see individuals like Sir Alex and Arsene Wenger staying in their jobs for over 20 years?

Imagine what kind of human being you have to be to stay in such a stressful position for that long? It shows that to be a manager you need to have something different than the rest. I don't know what it is, only the managers can tell you. But it's something that separates you from the rest so you can withstand everything they face 24/7, 365 days a year.

Of course, Klopp will be missed. Liverpool supporters will be crying. But he's done unbelievably well for Liverpool. He's leaving the club as a legend.

Alonso is perfect for Liverpool

Xabi Alonso is perfect for Liverpool, he'd doing an amazing job at my old club, Bayer Leverkusen. They're still the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga.

If they win the title, it's going to be a fairytale ending for Leverkusen, compensating for all those years when, even when I was there, we came close to winning the Bundesliga. Now to do it, it'll be great for everyone who supports the club. If they do it unbeaten then, oh my god, no other German club has done that.

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Alonso will be the number one candidate for the Liverpool job. I bet Alonso has started thinking about the Liverpool job already. Maybe someone has contacted him already? Let's wait and see. The only name that popped straight into my mind for the job when it was announced that Klopp was leaving was Alonso.

Alonso will suit the Premier League

Alonso is no stranger to Liverpool or the Premier League. But if he makes Leverkusen champions, is the Liverpool job the best next step for his development? Could it be a bit too soon? This is the delicate part. You never know.

Some coaches go to big jobs too soon and they're not successful, but there are others who rise to the challenge. It depends on who you are and how you see football.

Alonso is showing so far that he can handle everything. Going to Liverpool, it'll be even more challenging for him, but he'll have the confidence he can do it based on what he's doing right now.

Going to Liverpool, he'll bring that style of play. It'll fit Liverpool because there's not much difference in the way they play to Leverkusen. The German team press high when they need to press, they control the ball, play from the back and hit brave passes.

Alonso has a great eye for talent. Nobody had ever heard of some of the players in Leverkusen's squad before Alonso arrived. Alonso has developed them. So obviously, he has that potential to see the talent and develop them and make them play good football.

The main thing he has changed is the mentality of the players. The biggest club in the Bundesliga is Bayern Munich. Of course, you have Dortmund as well. Leverkusen was always up there but the big two were ahead of them.

When Alonso came to the club, I was struck by the way the team played and how they carried themselves. You can see the change in their body language, they're believing that they're playing for a really big club.

They're playing with confidence and no fear. They believe they can beat teams like Bayern Munich,. They're not afraid to make mistakes because they know they're good enough to correct them. They play bravely and that's what I like to see.

Many managers will say they're perfect for different teams, but it doesn't always work out like that. Alonso is a major candidate for the Liverpool job.


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