Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford’s recent off-pitch antics have been addressed in a press conference by England manager, Gareth Southgate.
Asked specifically whether he was concerned by Rashford’s behaviour, Southgate replied (via The Telegraph):
“We’re five weeks away from picking a squad, although so much happens to players over the period between November and March that we’re always sitting and observing everything on and off the pitch.
“In a few weeks’ time we’ll have decisions to make on the whole squad and there’s going to be a lot of attention on that because it’s the final squad before the Euros”.
Despite an uptick in goals from the Englishman recently, last year’s top scorer has had a subdued season to date with only five goals in all competitions for the Red Devils.
His place for the Euros was already in danger but his partying in Belfast a couple of weeks will have done his chances no of making the England squad no good at all.
The England manager admitted “I haven’t spoken to many of our players at all since December. I’ve let them get on with their club football”.
“Generally they are back from their clubs and it’s not for me to interfere.”
Whilst The Telegraph and other outlets headlined with “Gareth Southgate warns Marcus Rashford” and “Gareth Southgate has told Marcus Rashford he is ‘observing everything'”, this is not what was actually said. Reading between the lines, Southgate is saying he has noted Rashford’s behaviour but that he does not intend to intervene, leaving United to deal with the situation.
The England manager also spoke publicly about United starlet Kobbie Mainoo and mused about how he sees the player ending up position-wise.
“He’s doing brilliantly for a young player and had an excellent start for United. I’m not certain he’s necessarily going to be a defensive midfielder, as such.
“He’s quite a progressive player. But he’s had a fabulous start to his career and it will be good to monitor him as we go forward.”
The England manager recently received flak from Rio Ferdinand for opting to watch Jordan Henderson play than the young man from Stockport.