Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard has been warned by manager Gareth Southgate after sticking up for Marcus Rashford during an on-field fracas during England’s 0-0 World Cup qualifier draw against Slovenia. You gotta have your homies’ backs, but Southgate is rightfully concerned that Lingard’s enthusiasm to insert himself into on-field confrontations will result in red cards.
— Roro O’Monstro.™ (@Roromeo_MUFC10) October 12, 2016
Southgate had this to say about the situation,
I’m told he reacted to someone raising their hands at Marcus. That’s something he’s got to cut out. There’s a danger you get a red card in this sort of game when there’s inconsistency in a lot of the decisions. There’s even more of a risk.
The pair – Lingard and Rashford – both play for Manchester United and Lingard is that ride or die homie. Put hands on man dem and you’ve got a problem.
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) October 12, 2016
This isn’t the first time that Lingard has had Rashford’s back. He got involved in another incident during Man City’s 1-0 defeat of Manchester United in the Manchester derby last year. Two City players took exception to Rashford trying to sell a penalty kick to the ref and pushed Rashford after he got up. Lingard saw that and went full NATO on Man City; an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
Not the first time Lingard stuck up for Rashford. pic.twitter.com/p2vQWp2H6h
— Jay (@JayStucchio) October 11, 2016
If I were Southgate, I’d rather have one of my players stick up for his teammate than sit back idly allow the other team to punk my player. It’s an us versus them mentality out there. It’s an unspoken code in all team sports. You have to ride for the squad. And yes, Southgate was right to warn Lingard not to lose his cool and get a red card ’cause that would fuck the whole team.
But the captains and other senior players should be there, de-escalating the situation before Lingard even has a chance to join the fray. Why is he the only one concerned that one of Slovenia’s players grabbed 18-year-old Marcus Rashford by the throat?
Maybe if the English squad had more unity and leadership, they’d stop underachieving and finally achieve something meaningful on the international stage.