What a difference two months can make. Not long ago Manchester United looked hapless, unorganized, and borderline uninterested as they sat in 6th place. The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjær has resulted in 25 points from a posssible 27 and the Norwegian was deservedly named Premier League Manager of the Month for January. Benefitting from the guidance of Frodo Baggins; Marcus Rashford was also a justified recipient of the Player of the Month award and a shiny purple 87 rated upgrade. “To SBC or not to SBC: that is the question,” and eventually we all need to come to a decision, and hopefully this review will shed some light on this inquiry.
I always dislike the comments stating “I did Rashford for 30k, plus untradeables.” Those cards all have value and in the end the SBC comes to a total of around 480 – 500k when all is said and done. The return of 235k worth of packs and 87 rated Rashford seems more than fair and so I jumped right in (I should also point out that I had decent pack luck with IF Chilwell, Rakitic, and Robben as my three stand outs). In game I used POTM Rashford as the lone ST in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the change this week comes from the need to play Headliner Reus in a more centralized CAM role. I was worried about Rashford leading the line due to his size and strength but my fears were soon erased. I went with the shooting, dribbling, and physical boosts of the MARKSMAN chemistry style, which turned Rashford into a cruise missile in the following squad:
Check. I think this one is a no brainer for anyone who has used any of the previous versions of Rashford. Rashford benefits from the lean body type in this category and he can fly around the pitch. I think this category was more accentuated as a lone striker because he was always the one making runs in behind. 93 ACCELERATION & 97 SPRINT SPEED are a nice mixture of pace for sure, but do not match the quickest player I have used. The major difference between Rashford and Mbappé, and even Sané, is the pace on the ball. Any through ball and Rashford is getting there and you get a chance on goal, but breakaways clean through on goal always felt like I was going to be caught. In a post-patch world of park the bus this was a small sample set, but still important to mention.
Pace Rating: 9.6/10
Shooting & Dribbling
I am not sure if this is a Rashford exclusive trait, but in looking over my FIFA 18 reviews of this card I had a similar experience with Rashford’s weak foot. While the stats say 4 STAR WEAK FOOT, everything I experienced with this card screams 5 STAR WEAK FOOT. There is no difference. I even inserted a “sweatier” goal in my review where my opponent runs out his goalkeeper and I square the ball for an open net but over play the pass, Rashford just turns into a jellyfish and uses a rubber leg to wrap around the ball, still generating power and accuracy, all on his left foot. This card made me strongly consider moving to a squad with more 5 STAR WEAK FOOTED players as it is such a huge asset. From a dribbling stand point this card is fantastic. As soon as cards are released it seems like balance and agility become huge focal points; and 99 AGILITY with 82 BALANCE are enough to allow excellent maneuverability with this card. 90 BALL CONTROL was also important playing the central striker role as Rashford received hundreds of passes to feet with pressure from behind and I can only remember a few bouncing away throughout the entire review.
Shooting Rating: 9.7/10
Dribbling Rating: 9.5/10
Passing, Physical, & Defending
I will just get this out of the way and say that this card did zero defending all weekend and move on to the two biggest categories for this review. It is obvious that Rashford will be fast, have a cannon of a shot, and be like a ballerina on the ball just by looking at this card. The passing on the other hand is up for debate. It is important to realize that 72 LONG PASSING is bringing down the overall base stat in this category and in my mind long passing is not something a central striker needs to utilize often. In a sense this makes my experience worse as this card was not accurate enough for me when passing the ball, and given his stats I would have expected a bit more. 8 assists is a fine return but I just felt that he could have had more and passes in key areas were often over or under hit and didn’t result in goals. Perhaps this is some user error, but playing with Headliner Reus it was easy to compare excellent passing to average passing throughout the review. Another key area comes in the physicality department, and as previous mentioned create some anxiety as I selected a lone striker formation for the weekend. In this case I was pleasantly surprised as Rashford bullied and bossed his way through the Weekend League. I utilize a lot of turning away from pressure and shielding the ball early in attacks and time and time again Rashford was up to the task of heavy pressure from bigger defenders. 89 STAMINA keeps the engine going all game long and he just works and works both on and off the ball. Don’t get me wrong, he is not Flashback Ibra, but he is not Felipe Anderson either.
Passing Rating: 7.5/10
Physical Rating: 8.5/10
Defending Rating: N/A
Final Rating: 9.2/10
I wish I could sit here and say, “Buy this guy!” But I can’t. Too be honest I was leaning towards “don’t buy this guy” when Headliner Rashford was 500k. However, recent events have caused 86 Headliner Rashford’s price to skyrocket up to 620k, while POTM Rashford has settled around 480k and then of course you have the packs. For me this gap in price greatly improves the argument for POTM Rashford moving forward. While Rashford could always receive a man of the match performance for a solid FA Cup performance against Chelsea, or a multi-goal game against Liverpool, it is more likely that Rashford’s first real attempt to gain a new inform would be the 27th against Crystal Palace with March 6th being the release of the card. This is almost a month of using what is a fantastic card in POTM Rashford before having the “I told you so’s” come out about completing this SBC. In reality it is impossible to predict the future, but what is possible is knowing that this card is a fantastic addition to any squad, easily linked, with a nice pack return, and can play a few different positions. In the end I have to give POTM Rashford and therefore his SBC a “don’t hate me if I am wrong” thumbs up. Cheers for reading.