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Marcus Rashford needs a Sir Alex to put an arm around him and say a few home truths… but it’s down to him to get a grip

DEAR Marcus,

How are you doing?

Marcus Rashford has gone from a goal-scoring machine to someone who 'can barely hit a barn-door from 20 yards'

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Marcus Rashford has gone from a goal-scoring machine to someone who ‘can barely hit a barn-door from 20 yards’Credit: Reuters
The striker poses with Sir Alex Ferguson after receiving an honorary doctorate in 2021 - and could desperately use his guidance now

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The striker poses with Sir Alex Ferguson after receiving an honorary doctorate in 2021 – and could desperately use his guidance nowCredit: Getty
Marcus is a great guy who’s gone off the rails and urgently needs help to get back on them, says Piers

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Marcus is a great guy who’s gone off the rails and urgently needs help to get back on them, says Piers

I mean, how are you REALLY doing?

It’s customary at such a turbulent stage of a Manchester United superstar’s career for them to sit down with me for a tell-all Uncensored interview, as Cristiano Ronaldo did 14 months ago.

If you did that, these are the first four questions I’d ask you:

  1. What’s going on?
  2. Why have you hit the self-destruct button?
  3. Who’s around you that’s enabling this crazy behaviour?
  4. Do you need help?


Watch Piers Morgan Uncensored weekdays on Sky 522, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 or on Fox Nation in the US and enjoy his explosive interviews here


Three years ago, you were the best sporting role model in the country.

You were lighting up the pitch with electrifying performances for United and England.

But more importantly, you were fighting a magnificent campaign for poverty-stricken kids to have free school meals, one that forced the Government into a humiliating U-turn and law change.

You were eloquent, polite, calm but as with a football at your feet in front of goal, lethally effective.

In fact, an Ipsos/MORI poll at the time revealed that the British public thought you (56%) and me (32%) were doing a better job of holding the Government to account during the pandemic than the actual leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer (29%) or anyone else.

I remember you coming on Good Morning Britain and commending you on putting your high profile to such good use rather than abusing it as some other footballers were doing.

You admitted it had been tough at the start of your career because people recorded everything you did when you went out. But you said: “You learn the dos and don’ts, and it makes you a better person, a better professional, more focused.”

I told you: “I’m enormously admiring of what you’ve achieved, for a young footballer to have had the impact you’ve had on such a crucial issue as child poverty is a remarkable thing and you should be very proud of yourself, and your mum Melanie should be very proud of you too.”

How proud do you feel of yourself today?

How proud is your mum?

My heart sank when I saw you splashed all over the front page of The Sun for going on a 12-hour tequila-fuelled bender in Belfast and ending up so drunk a waitress put you to bed fully clothed at 3am.

It sank even more when I discovered you had lied about it to United so you could miss training pretending to be sick (though having had a few tequila nights myself, I’m sure you did feel very sick, just not for the reasons you said).

You must have known your lies would unravel very quickly given that it seems like half of Belfast was following you around joining in the fun and taking pictures.

So, I’m curious: did you forget the dos and don’ts, or don’t you care anymore?

And if it’s the latter, WHY don’t you care?

You literally have the world at your feet.

But sadly, it seems that from the moment you signed your new United mega-deal last summer, it’s all gone horribly wrong.

You’re now earning £300,000 a week, which works out at £15.6 million a year and a staggering £78 million over the duration of your five-year contract if you stay at United.

‘Dreadfully destructive’

It’s enough to turn anyone’s head, and to fuel a self-love to Trump-like heights.

But the effect all that money’s head on your football, and on your personal behaviour, has been dreadfully destructive.

You’ve gone from being a thrilling, hungry goal-scoring machine last season to someone who can barely hit a barn-door from 20 yards.

But it’s your visible lack of work ethic, the failure to put a proper shift in, that’s dismayed even your biggest fans.

I don’t know what your large personal entourage, which includes several of your brothers and David Beckham’s former PR woman, are doing but if I were you, I’d sack them all today.

It’s obvious to me that they don’t have your best interests at heart, or they would stop you self-imploding like this.

What you need right now is strong, caring management both in your personal and professional life– people who will put an arm round you, not be afraid to tell you some cold, hard home truths, and guide you back to a better place.

It’s a great shame for you that Sir Alex Ferguson is no longer United’s manager.

He would have known exactly what to do, and how to do it.

The current manager Erik Ten Hag seems woefully incapable of doing anything but losing matches and publicly chucking his players under the bus.

Ronaldo, in my view the greatest player of all time, was incensed by the disrespectful way Ten Hag treated him, which is why he did the interview with me and left United.

But he was also very disappointed that so many of the club’s younger players strut around like world champions when their trophy cabinets are emptier than my cheese box if my wife orders the weekly shop, and by their refusal to listen to his advice despite him winning everything in the game.

‘It comes down to you’

Since Sir Alex retired, there seems to have developed a culture at United that’s encouraged players like you to sacrifice hard graft and humility for bling, binges, and brazen swagger.

I hope for your sake that the club’s new owners get rid of Ten Hag fast and bring in a Fergie-like figure who knows how to handle wayward talent.

In the end though Marcus, it comes down to you.

I look at you, and at another England superstar Jude Bellingham, and wonder why you’ve chosen to pursue this path of self-destruction rather than do what he’s done and chase ever greater heights of excellence for himself on and off the pitch.

As your career slides backwards into a bucket of Belfast tequila, Bellingham’s career is soaring to world-beating new levels at Real Madrid.

You would do well to heed the warning of the tale of two young female singer-songwriters born a few miles from each other in North London – Amy Winehouse and Adele.

Both had wondrous natural talent, but one sank into a tragic, self-inflicted spiral of drink and drug addiction that ended up killing her aged just 27, while the other is now one of the biggest stars in the world, and at the very top of her game.

‘You need to get a grip’

I don’t for a moment think you’ll end up like poor Amy.

But if Jude Bellingham is the football version of Adele, do you really want to end up like the football version of someone better known for their out-of-control partying and chronic unreliability than their incredible skills?

It’s not too late to change course.

But you do need to get a grip, stop your ego writing cheques your performances on the pitch aren’t cashing, and be the man again that inspired the whole country three years ago.

And if you can’t find the right people to help you do that, give me a call.

As the father of three sons of 30, 26 and 23, all of whom – like their dad! – have had their wayward moments, I’d happily give you my uncensored advice, and I’d do it from a place of admiration for someone I still believe is a great guy at heart but who’s gone off the rails and urgently needs help to get back on them.

Kind regards,

Piers

The ace went on a 12-hour tequila bender in Belfast before passing out at 3am

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The ace went on a 12-hour tequila bender in Belfast before passing out at 3amCredit: The Sun
Marcus embraces England teammate Jude Bellingham, whose career is soaring to world-beating new levels at Real Madrid

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Marcus embraces England teammate Jude Bellingham, whose career is soaring to world-beating new levels at Real MadridCredit: Getty
Piers chatted to Marcus on GMB as he campaigned for poverty-stricken kids to get free school meals

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Piers chatted to Marcus on GMB as he campaigned for poverty-stricken kids to get free school mealsCredit: Rex

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