If England is to advance in the World Cup, they must make the most of Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.
The preferred left winger for Gareth Southgate is Raheem Sterling. Despite his poor performance this year, it is reasonable given his England performance in the past, particularly at the 2020 European Championship.
Marcus Rashford is reduced to a bench player due to Sterling’s inclusion in England’s starting attacking trio together with Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka. The Manchester United forward has been in excellent form this year and is deserving of his spot in the lineup,
but given the pace he brings to the game late on against weary legs, it makes sense why he is used mostly as a substitute.
But many England supporters don’t understand why Rashford is always placed on the right side of the attack when he comes in.
Rashford is not as effective on the right as he is on the left, as United supporters will be able to attest. Due to his right-footedness, his shooting angles are much more difficult and it is easier for defenders to mark him.
Rashford can, of course, overcome these obstacles, as England’s supporters saw against Iran when, with his first touch, he cut inside, sent the defender running, and then slid the ball past the goalkeeper.
Why then not replace Sterling with him instead? A reliable outlet on the right side, Saka has been one of England’s best players thus far. Why not start Rashford on the left and place Phil Foden on the right?
When England takes him off, they frequently lose a lot, and Sterling frequently exits a few minutes later anyway. It may be because there aren’t many natural wingers in the group and Southgate wants one, but the lineup seems fragmented.
In spite of bringing on Rashford on the right side, Southgate was unable to overcome the US defense, which was another issue.
England should still be able to go to the knockout stages, but they cannot continue to put on displays like the one they gave against the Americans, when they appear to be at a loss for what to do with the ball after it crosses the halfway line.