Rashford’s England rivals circle as his United slump goes international


Rashford’s England rivals circle as his United slump goes international

Gareth Southgate did say. When the England manager announced his squad for the Wembley friendlies with Brazil and Belgium, he made clear that Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish faced competition for their Euro 2024 places from the next generation of wide attackers – specifically Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer. There was also a prominent namecheck for Jarrod Bowen.


As the dust settled on the international window, which was defined for Southgate by injury chaos and the usual debate about who had advanced their claims or hurt them, it was easy to go back to those words. And to process another round of them that, for Rashford in particular, did not sound encouraging.


It was a testing couple of games for Rashford, a player who seems to deal only in the wildest of extremes. Southgate preferred Gordon on the left in the 1-0 defeat against Brazil on Saturday and he liked the way the Newcastle player imposed himself on his debut. Rashford came on for him in the 75th minute and how he struggled, his involvements reel a grisly watch, loaded with poor final actions and turnovers.


Southgate started Phil Foden on the left against Belgium, Bowen on the right, with both impressing. When it was time for substitutions as England trailed 2-1, Rashford did not get the call. Southgate introduced James Maddison in the No 10 role, taking off the outstanding Kobbie Mainoo and dropping Jude Bellingham back alongside Declan Rice in the 4‑2‑3‑1. Then it was Gordon for Bowen, the former going to the left, Foden switching to the right, albeit with continued licence to roam inside, and Ollie Watkins for Ivan Toney up front.

Source: The Guardian