Home > 

Michael Owen Criticizes Rashford’s Omission from England’s Provisional Squad

In a surprising twist following the announcement of England’s provisional squad for two crucial friendlies ahead of the upcoming European Championships, former English forward Michael Owen has publicly expressed his dismay regarding the omission of Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford. The decision by England manager Gareth Southgate has triggered substantial debate and scrutiny among football fans and pundits alike, given the notable absence of Rashford alongside other seasoned players such as Jordan Henderson.

Leading the chorus of disappointment and bewilderment, Michael Owen took to social media platform X to voice his concerns. “Very surprised Gareth Southgate has left @MarcusRashford out of his squad. Granted, he’s had a poor season by his standards but tournament football is different and he’s always been confident in an England shirt. We’ve many talented attacking players but very few with Rashford’s pace. In such a big squad, he was worth the risk,” Owen articulated.

This contentious decision has dominated sports headlines, fueling discussions regarding the merits and demerits of including a player of Rashford’s caliber despite a less impressive domestic season. Rashford, known for his blistering pace and clinical finishing, has often been touted as one of England’s most promising attacking options, and his omission raises questions about the tactical direction Southgate intends to pursue in the forthcoming international fixtures.

The announcement came as a jolt not only to fans but also to seasoned observers who recall Rashford’s historical impact on the national team. Marcus Rashford’s journey with the England team has been nothing short of inspiring since his debut in 2016. His performances in international tournaments have often provided pivotal moments for the Three Lions, including his contributions in the 2018 World Cup and the 2020 UEFA European Championship.

However, the current season has seen Rashford grappling with form and fitness issues, accusations of underperformance, and the immense pressures of club football. Despite this, Owen and other supporters argue that Rashford’s past contributions and potential for tournament-style play make him an invaluable asset. Owen’s comments underscore a larger narrative about the importance of experience and proven international performance in high-stakes tournament scenarios, as opposed to club form alone.

Join Get ₹99!


The conversation about Rashford’s exclusion also highlights broader concerns about England’s attacking options. Owen’s emphasis on Rashford’s unique pace is particularly salient, as speed is a critical asset in breaking defensive lines and creating scoring opportunities. He points out that the current squad, although filled with talent, might lack the specific qualities that Rashford brings to the table.

Amidst the criticism, Southgate stands firm on his decision, which evidently aligns with a strategic vision prioritizing form and fitness. Southgate, known for his pragmatic approach, has often emphasized the need for players to earn their spots based on current performance metrics rather than past glories. This approach aligns with his transparent communication style, wherein players and fans are kept informed about the criteria for selection.

As the team gears up for the friendlies, all eyes will be on Southgate’s tactical deployment. The selected squad will be under intense scrutiny to validate the manager’s decisions. Failure to deliver strong performances could amplify the backlash and bring Rashford’s exclusion under renewed criticism. Conversely, successful outcomes would potentially vindicate Southgate’s bold choices, reaffirming his strategic thinking.

Meanwhile, Rashford will be keenly observing from the sidelines, aiming to regain his form and make a compelling case for inclusion in future selections. For a player whose career has been deeply intertwined with national pride and representation, this exclusion serves as a poignant reminder of the unwavering standards and fierce competition at the highest levels of football.

In conclusion, while the exclusion of Marcus Rashford has sparked strong reactions and divided opinions, it is a testament to the passion and investment surrounding English football. The discourse it has generated exemplifies the intricate balancing act faced by national team managers in choosing between current form and historical performance. As the friendlies approach, the real test will be in how the team performs and whether the absence of Rashford proves to be a significant void or a strategic masterstroke.