You can have talented individuals in a team without them being able to convert that potential into a match winning side. England have had that same recurring problem over the years.
They’ve had lots of talented players that were unable to knit together to progress or win tournaments, Lampard and Gerrard are as good an example as any. Both were excellent players but when they played alongside each other, many thought they didn’t work well together in an England shirt.
Beckham was an equally outstanding player for the national side but on many occasion it appeared that his team mates just weren’t on the same page, unable to profit from his precise deliveries. Imagine how many goals Harry Kane would bag if Becks was still playing.
Over the years, England have failed to find the perfect blend of youth and experience with the heavy burden of a white jersey sat on the shoulders of a few stand out players.
Imagine for a moment that we could borrow Marty McFlys DeLorean, step back in time and shift all our best players into one team. We can’t because there’s not enough room in the back but it’s a pleasant idea because it would only take a Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard or Scholes to make this England side tick.
This brings us on to Marcus Rashford who has all the makings of top, top player. Yet at times, he looks lost in an England system that doesn’t naturally compliment what he has to offer.
Rashford’s displays for his club and Country vary but with his probing runs and ability to take on defenders, he is a mouthwatering prospect.
He looks dynamic and energetic and his inexperience allows him to play without fear at the highest level. All he cares about is going forward and taking on opponents, which is as refreshing as it is entertaining. Yet, he can’t hold down a regular slot at United, which will obviously disappoint the youngster.
United Manager, José Mourinho is in a position this season, where he has to push for the Premiership and that doesn’t always allow the flexibility for a newbie to learn their craft but surely it’s only a matter of time before he plays regularly.
Jamie Carragher, Sky’s spitting pundit, has suggested that Rashford may needs to move away from Old Trafford to realise his potential but if he can’t push through at United, where can he?
⚡ CARRA'S RASHFORD VERDICT ⚡
Jamie Carragher believes Marcus Rashford may need to leave Manchester United if he is to emerge as a world-class player.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 12, 2018
He has signed for one of the biggest clubs in the World, leaving would be viewed, in certain circles, as a failure.
I don’t think he will leave of his own accord, it would be ill advised if he did. That may of course change if Mourinho feels there are better options in the transfer window and Rashford falls down the pecking order. I’m sure there would be lots of takers for his services but he should stay put and develop both at club and International level.
England manager, Gareth Southgate is therefore crucial in Rashford’s development by giving him opportunities to remind his club manager that his time has finally arrived as a consistent performer. Perseverance at that level will at least give him invaluable experience and will help build his confidence.
At Rashford‘s age(20) it’s a delicate matter to get right. Sometimes too much exposure, too soon, damages the player and sadly they suddenly have a career in reverse. Ferguson would have been the ideal man to bring him through and put up a protective fence like he had done a thousand times before.
There are also other things to contend with in this equation like the unrealistic expectations of fans when a player wears an England shirt. This can also delay individual progression and it would be a brave man that throws Rashford in the deep end regularly. One bad performance and the knives will be out, likewise a string of good performances followed by a few duff ones and it’s a case of starting all over again.
Rather unfairly, the weight of these problems fall on Southgate’s shoulders at present and moan as he might about lack of opportunities for young players, the top clubs need to get results and trophies. Hardly the best way to accommodate young, inexperienced players with genuine talent.
Southgate has recently said,
“ A lot of players will be lost”.
“It has really serious repercussions for our National Team,”
“I think it’s worth us having that debate and getting people around the table to discuss that missing piece. If players are as good as any young players around the world, then that opportunity needs to be there.”
– Gareth Southgate
He may have a point because Kylian Mbappe has made great strides for club and country but we need to remind ourselves that he is an exceptional talent. Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic is another player making waves but these are just two names lucky enough to have both the talent and the opportunities to make that massive leap.
Elsewhere, other countries display the same reservations about including youngsters, so it’s hardly restricted to the Premier League.The bottom line is that the gulf between international and club commitments are as wide as ever and Southgate’s decision to favour youth means that he has managed to orchestrate a number of the problems himself.
'Special talent' Marcus Rashford up there with Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age, says Gareth Southgatehttps://t.co/Bizkfzddl8
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) September 13, 2018
He bucked the trend of including more established players and it has served him well but he now has to deal with those players not playing at a club level. Rashford is without question a shinning light in domestic and international football and are extremely difficult to resolve.
Mourinho does what Mourinho does, he fields teams to get a results. That doesn’t exactly help Rashford’s cause but it’s entirely understandable. Management is never easy but at least he has succeeded in an area where so many others have failed, by creating a club England mentality.