Jose Mourinho used his pre match press conference ahead of this weekend’s Premier League game against Watford to launch into a big defence of how much Marcus Rashford play for Manchester United.
Marcus Rashford got the chance to play all 180 minutes of England’s two recent internationals in the international break, against Spain and Switzerland, after Raheem Sterling dropped out through injury. The Manchester United forward took the opportunity with both hands, scoring twice.
After the matches Gareth Southgate spoke about players needing to be playing first team football to make it into the Three Lions’ squads for October’s Nations League games away to Croatia and Spain.
It kicked off debate amongst many pundits about how much Rashford plays with Jamie Carragher even suggesting that he should go and play for Everton to get first team football.
That clearly triggered Mourinho into feeling like he needed to defend his use of the 20 year old at the press conference. The United manager produced some stats saying:
“If you don’t mind losing a couple of minutes, I’m going to do something not for you [the media] but the United fans and I think I hold myself to the United fans and for them I am going to spend two minutes with you
“In 2016-17, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches, including the final, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches and the Community Shield.
“He had 53 appearances, but if you want to take to the minutes of play, he played 3,068 and if you wan to divide that by 90 minutes matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 minutes matches in 2016-17.
“In 2017-18, 35 Premier League matches, eight in the Champions League, five in FA Cup, three League Cup matches and the European Super Cup final.
“He played a total of 52 matches with 2,676 minutes, if you divide that by 90 minutes, gives 29.7 matches.
“So with me, in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5,774 mins, 63.7 matches of 90 minutes, including five finals, so the people that are speaking about these minutes, I think they are a bit confused.
“Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke.
“He is not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, he is not Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
“He is Marcus Rashford, a Manchester United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions.
“So Manchester United supporters, for you and just for you, to know what we are doing with Marcus Rashford, that’s what we are doing here.”
Rashford celebrates opening the scoring against Spain. Image: PA Images
Mourinho finished off adding, “The most important thing of all is that the kid is a good kid, a good player, knows what Manchester United did for him, starting in the academy, then Mr Van Gaal’s support, my support, the club’s support, a new contract, new shirt, and selected for every single match.
“Since I was here, he was never one day out for selection because of my decision, only if injured or suspended. He was never, ever out for selection, so he knows, and that’s the most important thing.”
Rashford will miss United’s next three games with suspension after being sent off for headbutting Phil Bardsley in the Red Devil’s 2-0 win over Burnley.
He’ll return with plenty of time to play in October for England, and you imagine he’ll get enough minutes to prove he should be in the squad.
Has Jose gone a little Rafa Benitez or are his facts correct?