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Club rivalries not an issue for Southgate's England

11 June, 2018, 00:28 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • England's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Action Images via Reuters  Jason Cairnduff

The spectacular attempt had England fans on their feet, with the 20-year-old lapping up the applause from the Leeds fans who had reminded him of his Manchester United connections before kick-off.

Vardy is another player set to start against Costa Rica, alongside Jordan Pickford in goal and the likes of Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but Southgate's selection will be based mostly on conditioning for the tournament. It seems the deal would still have the play-offs, FA Cup semi finals and final, League Cup final and many England games still played there.

"Rashford played with a real swagger tonight". He had a hard end to the season, having to play on his own as a No 9 at times.

Youngsters Dele Alli, John Stones, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford had all impressed for their Premier League clubs and were obvious inclusions. We are all hopeful that it will go well, but we are having conversations in case (racism) happens. He does it with an end product, which is the difference. "His communication with the players is one of his greatest strengths - he never messes you around, so you know where you stand and that's been the case since he called me to say I wouldn't be in the 23". And with the pressure mostly on the Tottenham man, Rashford could emerge as an unexpected hero, as he did for Manchester United.

Former England striker Ian Wright, speaking on ITV: "Rashford took his opportunity". He has not partnered Harry Kane in the 352 formation yet.

Image    Rashford scored a stunning 25-yard strike
Image Rashford scored a stunning 25-yard strike

It would be a big risk to play Rashford. On 89 minutes he still had enthusiasm to drive into the box.

Asked if he would have any qualms about starting Alexander-Arnold in the opening game of the World Cup, the England boss replied: "No, that's why he's here".

"I can't wait to get home and see her", he said of his daughter.

As it was, the goal was merely the highlight of a pre-tournament friendly and as such will likely only go down as a footnote in his burgeoning Three Lions career.

"It means a lot to be involved but going to the World Cup and playing a major part is my main aim". He said: "I got away to the Maldives to just sit on a beach, relax and not have a care in the world". Vardy was watched like a hawk by the Costa Rica defence and although he looked sharp enough before making way for Danny Welbeck in the 61st minute, he played second fiddle to Marcus Rashford, who was England's standout player on the night. We finished the season and it was straight into the Euros and I think we suffered because of that.



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