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Old 12-09-2022, 09:38 AM   #34
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Default Re: England - News and Rumours

Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are set to be given timely England recalls... as boss Gareth Southgate prepares to hand the in-form stars their final chance to prove their worth ahead of the World Cup

* Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are set to be recalled to the England squad
* The Manchester United pair have been in fine form under Erik ten Hag as of late
* Gareth Southgate is set to name his final England squad ahead of the World Cup
* Tottenham's Eric Dier has also made a case for his inclusion at the tournament

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are likely to return to international duty this week, as Gareth Southgate turns to his Euro 2020 squad to revitalise an England team who looked abject at the end of last season.

Sancho and Rashford, who both missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shootout in 2021, were the chief casualties of Manchester United’s abysmal form last season, with Sancho not having been picked for an England squad since October 2021 and Rashford not since November 2021.

And yet missing the summer defeats by Hungary, a 1-0 reverse in Budapest and then the excruciating 4-0 loss at Molineux in June, England’s worst at home since 1928, might have proven to be an inspired move, combined with their respective renaissances in recent weeks under Erik ten Hag. Both should be welcomed back when Southgate announces his squad on Thursday. If not, they can book holidays for the mid-season break in November.

With his last squad before Southgate makes his selection for Qatar, where England open their World Cup campaign in just 71 days, this really is last-chance saloon for players to state their credentials. They will have just a week together prior to their opening World Cup fixture against Iran in November.

Along with Rashford and Sancho, Eric Dier has the strongest case for a recall. Other than Dier, it has not been a happy time for England centre-halves, especially Southgate’s mainstay Harry Maguire, booed by England fans last season and now dropped by United. He will be in the squad, nonetheless.

At least John Stones, Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings are back playing, having been dropped by their clubs early in the season, while Ben White is playing for Arsenal, but at right back.

Marcus Rashford has been in scintillating form for Manchester United at the start of the season. Jadon Sancho has also made his case for inclusion in the national team in recent games

Dier’s form, in Antonio Conte’s back-three formation, which is often used by Southgate, is hard to ignore, especially when he is a proven veteran of the 2018 World Cup run to the semi-final.

The most fascinating question is whether Brentford’s Ivan Toney will get a call-up. No striker has convincingly made the case to be Harry Kane’s No 2, though Tammy Abraham scored 17 Serie A goals last season.

Toney’s start to the season would put him ahead of Ollie Watkins, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin is injured. Intriguingly his penalty record — he has scored 24 out of 25 in his career, last missing in October 2018 — must be enticing for Southgate. That said, the England manager might be done with specialist penalty-takers, having brought Rashford and Sancho on late in the Euro 2020 final to perform that task, only to be criticised when they missed.

More to the point is whether Southgate can add rocket fuel to England, with their trajectory currently on course for a crash landing in Qatar, at least if the summer is taken as the starting point. Southgate could point to World Cup qualifying — P10 W8 D2 F39 A3 — as credible evidence that was an end-of-season blip following on from the non-stop 2021 summer and gruelling 2021-22 season. Maybe a break will have revitalised his players.

An alternative view would be that peak Southgate came in qualifying for the Euro 2020 final, England’s first major final for 55 years, and that there was an initial slow retreat from that mountain top which quickened into a rapid descent over the summer. At least Nations League fixtures in Rome against Italy and at Wembley against Germany this month provide the closest thing to a genuine test of those theories.

Despite the initial disappointment of the Euro 2020 defeat, England’s record at the past two tournaments — semi-finalists, runners-up — is the kind of form serious contenders should be demonstrating. Southgate can take comfort from France remaining tournament favourites despite an equally unimpressive summer, losing against Denmark and Croatia.

However, like the rest of the world, he will be eyeing the resurgence of Brazil and Argentina with some nervousness.

Brazil are no longer the Neymar show, as their squad selected this week demonstrated: Richarlison, Roberto Firmino and Antony lead the Premier League contingent with Gabriel Jesus overlooked, while Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, Barcelona’s Raphinha and Atletico Madrid’s striker Matheus Cunha head La Liga’s charge. It is some forward line. Meanwhile, some experts consider this Copa America-winning Argentina side the best that Lionel Messi has played in, certainly the best since 2006.

Apart from a functioning midfield, there is also a Premier League twist to their resurgence: Emiliano Martinez is their most dominant goalkeeper for some time, while Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez and Tottenham’s Cristian Romero have the makings of a sound defence.

Martinez, after his torrid and much criticised initial start to his career in England, will appreciate the irony that England would love to have something similar right now.

The fairy tale sees Messi, at 35, finally winning the World Cup you feel his career deserves.

That said, the World Cup takes place mid-season because corrupt FIFA delegates opted for a tournament in a repressive state with a terrible record for human rights. So fairy tales may be in short supply.

berkat penampilan impresif diawal musim PL, akhirnya Rashford & Sancho kembali mendapat panggilan ke timnas
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