Jose Mourinho has had to change his plans regarding pre-season by bringing Manchester United’s three English internationals but they will not play in China.
England were knocked out of the Euros in the last 16 to an Iceland team who would eventually suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of France in the quarter-finals on the competition.
Having survived the group stages despite some lacklustre performances, England managed to get one of the more preferable draws in the knockout stages against Iceland. They could not take advantage of the situation, however, and Roy Hodgson resigned within minutes of the final whistle
Mourinho did not think he would have the English players available at such an early stage of the per-season and, while they will travel to China, he insists they will not play there.
“I am taking the English boys that I was not expecting to come,” Mourinho told MUTV.
“Fortunately they are coming. I will take them, but I am not going to play them.
“What is important is to work, to be together and to know each other – to live together for 24 hours every day during the week.”
England’s three Euro 2016 players suffered contrasting circumstances at the competition with Marcus Rashford being the only one who left the tournament with his reputation in tact.
Rooney was scapegoated for his poor performances in central midfield and they were that bad that Mourinho moved quickly to dispel any talk of Manchester United’s captain occupying that role at Old Trafford.
Chris Smalling may have been the victim of an overall poor defence and is yet to become the formidable player people have been waiting for him to become for some time.
Many believe Hodgson’s decision to leave Rashford on the bench for so long against Iceland was the reason the team were beaten and when he did come on, with just four minutes remaining, caused major headaches for Iceland’s right back.
To add injury to insult, it was reported yesterday that Chris Smalling had injured himself while trying to surf on his holidays with the club releasing a statement that said he had fainted after a bout of food poisoning.
It will be good to have the three players with the squad and it remains to be seen where they fit into Mourinho’s plan but they will have to perform better than they did in France on England duty.