Rio Ferdinand believes that Marcus Rashford’s inclusion from the substitute’s bench in England’s 2-1 win over Wales at Euro 2016 last week meant that the national side had one of the quickest front-lines in history.
England had gone behind in Lens thanks to Gareth Bale’s free-kick, prompting England boss Roy Hodgson to throw Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy on at the break.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford was then introduced as a late substitute for his tournament debut. England eventually snatched the win thanks to a late winner from Sturridge. Ferdinand claimed that the attacking line-up was the quickest in history.
“I think we saw a bit of history in Lens,” Ferdinand told The Times.
“In the 73rd minute, when Marcus Rashford came on, the first thing I said was: “There’s never been a quicker forward line wearing England shirts.
“Roy Hodgson already had Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge on the pitch and his two full-backs pushed up high, and it was almost like England were playing with a front five. You had Kyle Walker, a machine, on one side, and Danny Rose, with his speed, on the other. Sturridge, who’s quick, Vardy with his extreme pace. And then came the young and fearless Rashford.
“Wales’ back three must have been thinking: “Bloody hell, we’ve not much in the tank. Now we’ve got to cope with this?” The quickest England forward line ever made up of players who aren’t just quick but know how to use that pace. It was exciting to see.”
Ferdinand is right: England had pace to burn against Wales and it was exciting to see them assault the opposition goal.
As for Rashford, his cameo capped a sensational few months for him. The 18-year-old was playing academy football at the start of the season and he is now representing England at the Euros. And it could get better for him yet, as England should progress further in the competition.