Tuesday 17 October 2017

Bryan Robson marvels at Manchester United forward duo and hopes for title glory

Bryan Robson is enjoying watching his old club Manchester United
Bryan Robson is enjoying watching his old club Manchester United

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial's fine start to the season has strengthened Bryan Robson's belief that Manchester United will seriously challenge for the Premier League crown.

Jose Mourinho's Reds head into the international break second only to Manchester City on goal difference after racking up a club record-equalling 19 points from their first seven Premier League matches.

Few had expected anything but victory against rock-bottom Crystal Palace on Saturday and so it proved, with Rashford providing two assists before his replacement Martial set up Romelu Lukaku to complete a 4-0 win.

Both Rashford and Martial have flourished in the early weeks of the season, producing the kind of displays that has increased United great Robson's hopes of this being a season to remember.

"The squad looks solid," Robson told Press Association Sport. "It's a good confident start to the season.

"The one thing I felt at the start of the season was that if Rashford and Martial could start the season with a bit of confidence and improve from last year but score more goals, United have a real chance of winning the title and they can be there and thereabouts.

"That's exactly what has happened. Marcus and Martial have been scoring goals, they are looking confident. They are looking that little bit better, as is their understanding of the game from last season.

"With them two doing so well at the start of the season that holds us in good stead.

"We know what (summer signing Nemanja) Matic is all about, Lukaku was always going to score goals playing for a team like Manchester United, so the team are looking solid with pace and so the signs are looking good to challenge for the title this year."

While Martial and Rashford have an important role to play, Robson believes United also boast crucial strength in depth.

Paul Pogba has been categorised by Mourinho as a "long-term" injury absentee along with the likes of Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the hamstring setback merely means the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick come in.

"You can do without one of your better players being injured right early on in the season," Robson, speaking on behalf of Vauxhall at Toddington Warehouse's 50th anniversary, said.

"But this is what happens and that's why you need to have a strong squad and that's what Jose has put together.

"He has put together a strong squad, you know we've got people like Michael Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera - these sort of people to go in there and fill in for somebody like Pogba when he's injured.

"Those are real capable players, they proved it last year when they won a couple of trophies.

"Michael Carrick has won everything there is to win in the game, so the squad is looking good.

"Maybe two years ago if Paul Pogba was part of the Man United team and he got injured, you'd go, 'Oh no, who is going to replace him?', because the squad wasn't really that strong.

"But since Mourinho has been here, he has built the squad up and the team, so we can cope with some of the better players being out and the lads can still get on with it and win games."

:: Find exclusive competitions on www.vauxhallfootball.co.uk - Want to win a home shirt signed by the England team? Enter the competition now for your chance.

Press Association

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Editor's Choice

Also in Sport