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Marcus Rashford’s Man Utd woes can be eased by England boss Gareth Southgate


It feels ironic that Marcus Rashford was born on Halloween considering what a living nightmare his season has been so far.

The horror show unfolding has seen Rashford score just once in his last 11 games for both club and country, criticism from all angles following weeks of inept performances and the questioning of him being a genuine No.9.

On current form, Rashford shouldn’t be in the England side that faces the Czech Republic in Prague tonight.

Some reckon he shouldn’t even be in the squad.

Rashford started the week putting a message on social media admitting he was hurting from Manchester United’s recent displays and apologising to fans.

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His words might have been genuine and heartfelt, but he shouldn’t be bothering himself with club matters while he is on international duty.

It suggests he is suffering and in a dark place, but when he’s with the Three Lions his sole focus should be on one thing – preparing to help Gareth Southgate’s side win their next two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Once hailed the saviour of English football, Rashford has looked like a little lamb lost in a snowstorm this season, void of direction, confidence and belief.

But Southgate is not a manager to kick someone when he’s down. And Rashford is down.

England can be his salvation, his sanctuary from the storm that has engulfed him up in Manchester, where the dark clouds have gathered both literally and metaphorically.

There was once a time when players dreaded joining up with England. It thrust them into the harshest of spotlights and an unsuccessful environment.

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Marcus Rashford has scored just once since Manchester United’s opening game of the season

The likes of Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick have admitted as much, but this might have something to do with the fact they were leaving behind a well-drilled and successful club side at Old Trafford.

But the tables have turned for Rashford, who must have felt like he checked out of a B&B and into a five star hotel when he joined up with his international colleagues at St George’s Park this week.

Rashford needs running repairs, an arm around the shoulder so he can regroup.

He might think he’s a No.9 – but he’s not. He is most effective on the wing, in space, with the ball at his feet running at defenders and forcing them into tackles in dangerous areas they don’t want to make.

Southgate should start Rashford out wide on Friday night in a front three including Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, a trio capable of scaring the toughest defences.

Rashford needs rehabilitation not recrimination – and Southgate can provide it.

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Japan Rugby CEO Akira Shimazu announced that England’s clash with France was cancelled on Saturday

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Organisers of the Rugby World Cup are getting hammered after being forced to cancel England’s group game with France because of Typhoon Hagibis.

Scotland’s clash with host nation Japan on Sunday is also at risk – and should it be called off, then Gregor Townsend’s men are almost certainly heading home.

The Scots have found some controversial ways to exit tournaments in the past, but this takes the biscuit.

Joking aside, those now suggesting Japan shouldn’t have hosted the competition, having done nothing but praise the country up until now, are talking utter rubbish.

Did any nations vote against Japan being awarded the World Cup in the first place? No.

In Japan, typhoons are one of life’s realities and no one could have predicted the strength or route of this particular beast.

But it’s also ironic that critics from England are weighing in on the subject of chaos, given the current state of affairs back here.

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Coleen Rooney has accused Rebekah Vardy of leaking information about her personal life

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Just for once we have seen the positive side of Twitter following the explosive row on social media between rival WAGS Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy.

Mrs Rooney, wife of former England captain Wayne, has accused Mrs Vardy, wife of striker Jamie, of leaking stories about her to a national newspaper. Rebekah denies the allegations.

The former, now dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’, made up stories to weed out the person she believed had betrayed her.

This promoted one sage on Twitter to message Mrs Rooney asking if it was actually true her fella was joining Derby County in January.

For a change, Twitter has been a joy to read.



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