Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho does not want to release data to the FA
The United manager expressed a keen desire for Rashford not to go to the European Under-21 finals in Poland next month and England manager Gareth Southgate, despite insisting he made the decision on his own terms, appears to fallen in line.
But yesterday Southgate also revealed that United had not released to the FA some sports science data on their players in the squad for the games against Scotland and France next month – including Rashford, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jesse Lingard. Some other clubs have also not released statistics.
Express Sport understands that Mourinho was concerned about Southgate having staff working with him who also worked for Premier League rivals, and the danger of that material being leaked, though there's no suggestion this has happened.
The England coach said: “We share our data with clubs. We don’t always receive data.”
Asked if one of the clubs not sharing data was United, Southgate said: “Possibly so. One of the dangers is the perception of data being leaked. If we were making selections based on data that might be something that could become dangerous in terms of how you use it.
“We can’t enforce it. That’s got to be an agreement, and at the moment some clubs are more comfortable with it than others.
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We’re pretty good on sending our data
England boss Gareth Southgate
"We’re pretty good on sending our data. We’ve not got it from every club at the moment. It’s a case of building up trust.
“You have different objectives. Relationships are as good as they can be. In terms of data, there aren’t many countries that send the data back. We are open on that.”
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Southgate has lessened the danger of such a situation occurring again by reducing the number of people in his team who work at other clubs, with Chelsea assistant coach Steve Holland moving full time to the FA this summer. Currently only England goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson is employed at a club, in his case Crystal Palace.
The information-sharing agreement with clubs was originally clinched before Euro 2016 under previous England coach Roy Hodgson. The two senior medical figures working with the squad then were Dr Ian Beasley, the FA’s head of medical sciences, and Gary Lewin, the then chief physiotherapist. Both have now left the FA, and Sam Erith, Manchester City’s head of performance, is also no longer with the national team.
Mark Sertori, from City, and Arsenal’s Takahiro Yamamoto, both on the England medical team, have also now both left Southgate’s team.
Southgate yesterday insisted his decision not sending Rashford with the Under 21’s had been taken without any pressure from Mourinho, saying: “I didn’t speak to him about it. I let him know where I was heading with it at the end.
“Marcus’ evolution has been clear in terms of the responsibility he’s had at his club. He had such a big impact in big games, that he should have been in our squad. The only decision for me was do we send him to both.
“The key for us is not the relationship with Jose, it’s the relationship with Marcus. We’re very serious about development tournaments but dealing with young players we’ve also got to be serious about their own development. He’s got huge potential and we’ve got to handle him in the right way.
“I am not in a position where I make decisions to keep people happy. If I am trying to keep Jose happy that’s going to be difficult. I have got to make decisions that are right for England. None of the managers are going to be around in 10 years, and people like Marcus will be. His relationship with England is key.
“We want a good working relationship with the clubs but they have got their own objectives. There’s always going to be some collision at some point.”
And Southgate admitted that he has no idea if Wayne Rooney will ever play for England again.
England boss Gareth Southgate decided not to have Marcus Rashford play with the under-21s
The England coach has dropped Rooney from his latest squad for the upcoming games against Scotland and France.
But Southgate also left Rooney out of his previous squad, citing the 31-year-old’s lack of game time with Manchester United as his reasons.
Since then Rooney has been back in the fold at United, but that has not been enough to earn him a recall to Southgate’s squad.
The England coach admits it is ‘impossible’ to say if the record-goalscorer will ever win another cap.
Southgate said: “It’s impossible to say. Like every other player, form will dictate that. I certainly don’t rule it out because a player of his quality and experience, you hope will reach the levels we know he can and be a big part of England’s future.
“I’m mindful of being respectful of what he’s done, so I don’t like talking about him in the past tense.
“Knowing Wayne and his mentality, he’ll want to prove people wrong, prove me wrong and he’s more than capable of doing that.”
Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne has withdrawn from the squad with a back injury.