The Rasmus Hojlund propaganda machine is flying now; apparently no goals or assists in defeats is what Manchester United wanted…
Hoj soon is now?
It’s been almost two weeks since the Manchester Evening Propaganda told us that Manchester United’s ‘future is bright’ because Rasmus Hojlund assisted the assist to a non-goal, and a week since we were breathlessly informed that Manchester United were definitely justified in spending all that money on the Dane even though he was Europe’s 20th best young forward last season.
And now he has played 63 minutes in a 3-1 defeat to Brighton in which he touched the ball 15 times (four times in and around the penalty area), they are back again:
Rasmus Hojlund is already giving Manchester United what they wanted
The veracity of that statement depends somewhat on what you believe Manchester United wanted for their initial £64m, but Mediawatch cannot help but think that they might have wanted at least one goal. Or an assist. Or failing that, a significant contribution to a victory.
After just 87 minutes worth of football, it is already becoming clearer why Manchester United identified Rasmus Hojlund as their ideal candidate to strengthen their forward line.
What’s becoming clearer is that Manchester United were desperate for A Striker and Hojlund is absolutely A Striker. But their ‘ideal candidate’? We suspect that might have been Harry Kane, who has incidentally scored four goals in four Bundesliga games. The fraud.
Though he has failed to get off the mark in each of his first two outings for the club, it would have been very different had it not been for a VAR call. The Danish international thought he had marked his full debut for United with a goal in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford, only for VAR to rule that Marcus Rashford had carried the ball out of play in the build-up.
It meant the 20-year-old, snapped up from Atalanta last month for an initial fee of £64million, was denied his breakthrough moment. Nonetheless, his first Old Trafford outing, despite all of the ongoing unrest and concern at the club, was one filled with positivity.
Your own website gave him 6/10 in their player ratings. They said – and we quote: ‘Thought he had scored but Rashford had taken the ball over the line. Put himself about and could have connected with Rashford’s cross at 0-0.’
Is that what Manchester United wanted? It feels like they might have wanted him to connect with Rashford’s cross at 0-0.
Surprisingly deployed in a traditional front-two alongside Rashford, Hojlund, who netted ten goals for Atalanta last season, led the line well, proving mobile and combative up until his withdrawal in the 64th minute. He was replaced by Anthony Martial, prompting a chorus of boos from the natives.
He touched the ball 15 times in 63 minutes. Brighton striker Danny Welbeck was on the pitch for a similar spell and touched the ball 35 times. And scored a goal. That feels more like something Manchester United might have wanted from their striker.
Though he is yet to complete a full 90 minutes in United colours, appearing as a second-half substitute against Arsenal just over a fortnight ago and then being taken off just past the hour-mark against Brighton, he, with a little bit more luck, could have impacted both games significantly. As well as seeing his goal against the Seagulls chalked off by VAR, Hojlund played a key role in the move that led to Alejandro Garnacho’s late effort being controversially disallowed at the Emirates Stadium.
He played a neat back-heel into Casemiro’s path, enabling him to send Garnacho clear. Had Garnacho delayed his run by a split second, Hojlund’s debut would have featured a key pass at a defining moment in a huge fixture.
That’s not a key pass, fella. But there is definitely some merit in the suggestion that he has been two VAR calls off assisting an assist and scoring a goal. But it’s a massive bloody stretch to say he has looked like the ‘ideal candidate’ for the role.
Still, though he is yet to register a direct goal contribution for United, his first two outings have offered the fans plenty of insight into what he will bring to the table: excellent movement, physicality, pace, a genuine goal threat and a very likeable personality. His celebration for the goal that wasn’t against Brighton was filled with passion and determination, two traits that Ten Hag has often looked for in all his signings.
It’s true that his celebration was lovely. Maybe that’s what Manchester United wanted for their £64m.
Of course, Hojlund, ultimately, will be judged on his record in front of goal, just like every other striker. However, United’s supporters are likely to show a degree of patience towards him because of his first impressions and his age. It will take time for him to get up to speed.
They absolutely will show him ‘patience’. But they would be utter fools to say that Hojlund is ‘already’ giving Manchester United what they want. He patently isn’t.
At the same time, though, United will want him to start paying their big-money investment as soon as possible. He is under pressure to deliver the goals the Reds need from him.
But based on his opening two performances, both of which were in different circumstances, there has been plenty to like about United’s new No.11. Goals will, of course, be his bread and butter, but Ten Hag and the fans can be cautiously optimistic about his arrival in England.
‘Cautiously optimistic’? Tell that to the headline-writer, fella.
How to fix Man Utd?
🗣️ “Manchester United simply need to start winning, there’s no other solution to this.” @AndyMitten says results will change the negative mood surrounding Old Trafford right now. 💭 pic.twitter.com/eZ9WttIjbc
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 18, 2023
How did nobody else think of this?