Jose Mourinho criticises England for use of Marcus Rashford vs Croatia

What could have been

Jose Mourinho has explained how England were not able to get the most out of Marcus Rashford late on in the game against Croatia which proved pivotal.

The youngster has only played a bit-part role for Gareth Southgate’s side at the World Cup but was deployed late on against Croatia.

The forward was tasked with set-piece deliveries and was criticised with every single one of the either cleared or caught by the goalkeeper.

Though, Jose Mourinho has now given his explanation as to why that happened and it seems as though Rashford was told to do something he wouldn’t usually do.

England World Cup

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 11: England players acknowledge the fans following the defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Set-piece specialist?

The Manchester United boss has explained that Rashford is great at ‘lateral free-kicks’ with speed and power but England had told the player to play in lofted balls.

Those lofted balls didn’t work, however, as Dejan Lovren marshalled Harry Maguire well.

“The decisions of the lateral free-kicks that happened, I thought England went the wrong way at that time,” explained Mourinho to Russia today, as cited by the Daily Mirror.

“Because they were trying to have the soft ball to [Harry] Maguire but in previous matches, Maguire was very, very dominant in relation to other opponents and today was not the case.

“They were giving [Dejan] Lovren the mission to go with that first ball with Maguire.

“Marcus Rashford is very good taking the lateral free-kicks with tension, with speed and into other areas and they decide always for what I call the ‘balloon’ coming down and gave time for Lovren to adapt to the position and for [Danijel] Subasic to come out to catch.”

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 11: Gareth Southgate, Manager of England hugs Jordan Henderson following their team’s defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Kyle Walker pleads for ‘unity’ following England’s World Cup exit

Regardless of how it went down, England are going home without a World Cup final.

Though, Kyle Walker has pleaded for unity going forward.

Click here to see what he had to say. 

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