Marcus Rashford being ‘on holiday’ pi**es off everybody but Gareth Southgate

·8-min read
Gareth Southgate and Marcus Rashford Credit: Alamy
Gareth Southgate and Marcus Rashford Credit: Alamy

Marcus Rashford had the gall to grab a break after getting injured and pulling out of England duty. If he can walk around New York…


The city that never sleeps on Marcus Rashford
It’s Monday so perhaps Mediawatch should have moved on by now, but we continue to be irked by Ian Ladyman’s piece in the Daily Mail on Saturday in which he quite happily stokes some pretty pathetic Marcus Rashford flames because, well, it’s the Daily bloody Mail and that’s pretty much why they exist.

‘IAN LADYMAN: Globetrotting Marcus Rashford risks getting left behind as Gareth Southgate’s ideal England XI takes shape without the Manchester United winger… who’s busy holidaying in New York’

So much to unpick here. First, ‘Gareth Southgate’s ideal England XI’ currently has no established left-sided forward. Handily for Rashford, this is where he plays. Second, he was ‘busy holidaying in New York’ because he had some time off after being unavailable for the England games.

As Gareth Southgate said on Saturday when ludicrously asked whether Rashford should be walking around New York when he was incapable of playing international football: “I wouldn’t think the levels are quite the same!”

But Ladyman knows his readers will be irked by images of Rashford in New York rather than, presumably, at home wearing sackcloth, ashes and one of those moon boots so…

‘Arguably there is now only one place up for grabs in Southgate’s first-choice team. We can expect him to rotate tomorrow, but in terms of the team he would choose for a game his life depended on, only the berth on the left side of his attacking three is open.

‘For these two games, that has become a tussle between Manchester City team-mates Jack Grealish and Phil Foden and that was due, in part, to the fact Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling were not here. Sterling was not selected because of injury while Rashford withdrew before taking a holiday in New York.’

Rashford ‘withdrew before taking a holiday in New York’ because he was injured, Ian. Oh and you forgot James Maddison, which is curious from a man who lost his mind in November when he thought Southgate might overlook the Leicester man. ‘Absurd’ was the word used. Talking of ‘absurd’…

‘That (the holiday to New York) was an interesting choice, as was the decision to post Instagram photos in the hours leading up to kick-off in Italy, captioned ‘Downtime’.’

As Southgate himself said: “Once he’s ruled out of the squad, it’s entirely up to him how he spends his time. The players don’t get a lot of break, so I think for all of them, once they’ve got a little bit of time… I’m sure our players will be flying off wherever after tomorrow’s game. If they get 48 hours with the schedule as it is, I think they have to take advantage of it.”

It’s almost like he doesn’t give a sh*t what Rashford posts on Instagram. And neither should Ladyman. But this is Rashford and the child-feeder doesn’t half boil some p*ss.

‘However, it is hard to be at the forefront of the England manager’s mind if you are not standing in front of him. Rashford may well be the country’s in-form forward – someone whose post-World Cup form would get him into any team on the planet – but Southgate was candid when asked about his absence this week.

‘Rashford has, after all, pulled out of five of the last six non- tournament England squads for which he has been selected.

‘‘Well, the feeling was he was playing really well, but we haven’t often had him,’ Southgate told the BBC. ‘So, in terms of a loss, when you haven’t had him that often then it’s different to being a loss. But without a doubt he was in good form. We were looking forward to seeing him.’’

He’s 25 and he has 51 England caps. He was the fourth youngest player to reach 50 caps. As Southgate himself said this week: “We always make a judgement on how people are playing and he’s obviously played a lot for us.”

Indeed, only six players have appeared more for England under Southgate. He’s been ‘standing in front of him’ a f*** of a lot.

‘Rashford and Sterling were Southgate’s go-to pair for the positions either side of Kane not so long ago.’

That’s a combination last seen in November 2019. That is quite some time ago, Ian.

‘Rashford can expect to return to contention when he starts to play again and perhaps cannot be blamed if he felt he needed a rest.

‘United’s schedule has been demanding and he has carried a heavy load as Erik ten Hag’s team have pursued success in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League.

‘It would also not be a surprise if the 25-year-old had not quite managed to rid his mind of the racist abuse he, Saka and Jadon Sancho received after missing penalties in the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley.’

He didn’t ‘feel he needed a rest’; he was sodding injured. And the notion that he has withdrawn because of racist abuse despite playing five times for England since that day is ludicrous.

‘Nevertheless, the test in Naples was the biggest game of England’s post-Qatar reset and Southgate will have noticed that Rashford was effectively on holiday while it was taking place.

‘He would not be human if he had not.’

Had he ‘noticed’ a player he had picked for his squad was not there because he was injured? He would be a f***ing idiot if he had not. But as he has since very clearly demonstrated, he did not give a shiny sh*te whether he recovered in New Malden or New York. And neither should you.


Rash decisions
Elsewhere, the nonsense continues:

‘Gareth Southgate ‘not pleased’ amid Marcus Rashford and New York backlash’ – Mirror.

(according to Tony Cascarino).

‘Marcus Rashford ‘left England in the dark’ with Man Utd star facing criticism’ – Express

‘Marcus Rashford didn’t tell England he would be jetting off to the United States before withdrawing from the squad,’ apparently.

Did Marcus Rashford have to tell England he would be jetting off to the United States before withdrawing from the squad? Well, no.


ALL kinds of everything
There’s gold in them there hills if you can pretend that international week is somehow a massive threat to Arsenal, eight points clear at the top of the Premier League. Especially if you can hint that Gareth Southgate is part of a worldwide anti-Arsenal conspiracy (which of course he is. Duh.)

And if there’s gold, the Mirror website are always there with one of those sieve things.

‘Arsenal fans make feelings on Gareth Southgate’s Bukayo Saka decision clear’

Obviously, ‘Arsenal fans’ is shorthand for ‘utterly mental Arsenal fans on Twitter’. And it seems the ‘Gareth Southgate decision’ that has incensed them is, wait for it, playing him against Ukraine. The absolute tw*t.

‘Arsenal fans have taken to social media in their droves to express their fury over Gareth Southgate’s decision to play Bukayo Saka for the full 90 minutes for England against Ukraine.’

Now ‘droves’ has no official number attached to its definition, but we think it might mean more than three.

‘On two occasions in the first half alone, Saka was left writhing around in agony after coming off worse in a number of challenges. Having played 84 minutes against Italy on Thursday, the Arsenal faithful would have expected Saka to be given a rest at some point this time around.’

So having been given a rest v Italy, ‘the Arsenal faithful would have expected Saka to be given a rest’ v Ukraine. Why the f*** would they?

For the record, Saka played 175 minutes (ignoring added time) v Italy and Ukraine, which is less than five of his England teammates and a whole four minutes more than Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham.

The Mirror know this, of course, but you cannot stoke the Arsenal fire while carrying an extinguisher made of facts.

‘In actual fact, the Gunners winger was the only one of England’s starting attackers to actually play every minute of the game. All three of Kane, James Maddison and Jude Bellingham were withdrawn before the full-time whistle, but Saka went the distance.’

And both Kane and Bellingham ‘went the distance’ v Italy. So he treated Saka, Kane and Bellingham pretty much exactly the same.

‘One fan made the claim that if Saka played for another club, Southgate may have taken more care when it comes to distributing his minutes.

”Look how Gareth Southgate is stressing Bukayo Saka,” he explained. “Knowing he’s Arsenal key man for the League!! – I’m 100% if Saka plays for Liverpool or Manchester United.. Southgate will rest him. All of them don’t want Arsenal to win the League. ALL.”

And ALL at certain websites are more than happy to peddle this absolute tosh for clicks.

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