Mason Greenwood: United > England, the way it should be!
Another England squad without a place for Mason Greenwood, but at least Gareth Southgate added some clarity to youngster's situation as he focuses on establishing himself at Manchester United.
Editor: Dale O’Donnell (@ODonnellDale)
Gareth Southgate was quick to deny that Mason Greenwood and other young players are picking and choosing when to play for England, after announcing his squad for the upcoming internationals earlier this week.
The England manager was questioned about the absences of Greenwood and Chelsea’s Callum Hudon-Odoi, with the latter turning down a call-up from England U21 boss Lee Carsley for the second running international break, while the United youngster has asked not to be considered by Southgate until 2022 at the earliest.
“I think this is a bit different because you’re talking about really young players and, when you’re talking about young player development, normally this happens outside the public eye,” Southgate said when asked whether he should be more forceful with certain players.
However, in the case of Greenwood, as covered on the blog, Southgate confirmed that the two parties had previously come to an agreement for him to sit out and focus on all matters Manchester United for the time being.
“I think we had a discussion before the camp in September and we came to an agreement,” he said. “(FA director) John McDermott and myself went to United and had a good chat with Mason and his family and we agreed we would park this until next year basically.
“We would leave the autumn games. Of course, you always run the risk that other people are going to come through. But he’s young enough that there is time here.
“It’s not that he doesn’t want to be with us. We totally understand the situation. Myself and John in particular, Steve Holland through his time coaching with lots of young players… we understand this journey they are going on.”
Playing for United will always be a bigger deal than playing for England – or any country, for that matter.
Club > country
Not all United greats need to play for England. Just look at Steve Bruce and Andy Cole.
Greenwood has four goals from nine Premier League matches this season. A record he will be hoping to build on with a goal against City, this weekend.
Enough podcasts to make your ears bleed
That’s right, we recorded two podcasts this week after the game against Atalanta.
One with former academy graduate Daniel Nardiello on the performance itself, whether United papered over the cracks with Cristiano Ronaldo’s late get out of jail card.
The second is a conversation with SN writer Brian Murphy about his travels to Bergamo on Tuesday. It’s about a fat plumber from Limerick trying to disguise as an Italian man, and I couldn’t recommend listening to it more!
Subscribe to the Strettycast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Acast and YouTube.
The 5-0 drumming we suffered against Liverpool still lives in the memory.
Beating City on Saturday would certainly help us get over that hump, but most people I’m talking to can only see the game going one way and not the way we want it to go.
The reigning champions have been good whenever I’ve watched them this season but Kevin De Bruyne hasn’t been at his best and they’re missing a centre-forward. They still have enough players to create chances but I’m hoping Saturday is one of those days they can’t put the ball into the back of the net.
I don’t suspect United to go out on the front foot against City. Our approach will be wary and the focus needs to be on keeping concentration at the back.
Hopefully the midfield doesn’t look redundant for 90 minutes.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Man City + PREDICTED LINE-UP!