England Euro 2024 squad: ‘Really difficult’ to leave out Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson – Gareth Southgate

video subtitles, Gareth Southgate explains his provisional squad for Euro 2024 to BBC journalist Dan Roan

England manager Gareth Southgate said it was a “difficult decision” to exclude Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson from his 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2024.

Rashford, 26, scored 30 goals for Manchester United in 2022-23, but only eight in 2023-24.

Henderson, 33, left Liverpool for Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia last summer before joining a struggling Ajax side in January.

“You have to make difficult decisions and you have to continue to evolve the team,” Southgate told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Your heart, of course, wants you to take all those players who have been with you for so long.”

Rashford played just 16 minutes during the last international break, coming off the bench in the 1-0 defeat against Brazil and was an unused substitute against Belgium.

And Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland watched Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford last week, where Anthony Gordon scored and was a constant threat, while Rashford only came on in the 83rd minute.

“These are difficult decisions; you are talking about players who are very good and who have been an important part of what we have done,” Southgate said.

“With Marcus (Rashford), I feel like players in the same area of ​​the field have had better seasons, it’s as simple as that.”

Henderson has earned 81 caps since making his England debut in 2010.

“He’s a fantastic professional and it was a difficult decision to make,” Southgate said.

“He will be a failure. He is an exceptional individual and a fantastic human being.

“The determining factor is the injury he suffered last camp. He missed five weeks and since then he hasn’t been able to reach the intensity (we need) in games.”

‘Long shot’ for Shaw to make final team

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has been included in the provisional squad, despite not playing since February 18 due to injury.

Shaw is the only recognized left-back to have been called up, but Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier and Liverpool’s Joe Gomez have previously replaced the Three Lions.

“(Shaw) is against it, he’s missed a lot of football,” Southgate said.

“As he has been our first-choice left-back, we are giving him more time. I’m not sure what is realistic at the moment.

“I have spoken to him and the medical staff and I have maintained a close relationship with Manchester United. I have to say that it is a remote possibility.”

Chelsea right-back Reece James has also fallen on hard times due to injuries this season, having returned from a long spell on the sidelines on May 11 and not been given any attention.

“This has been the toughest group I can remember picking,” Southgate said.

“There are a significant number of injuries; that will be evident when looking at the players who have missed the final games of the season and some who will return for the final games of the season.

“Some players are going to need more work, others don’t need much and need to refresh. We’ve never had so many unknowns. The key is to make the best decisions possible.”

Southgate has selected 11 defenders in his squad and 12 forwards, although that includes all of England’s attacking options. He confirmed the number would have to be reduced by the midnight June 7 deadline.

“I think you can take too many forwards,” he added. “You can have too many options in certain areas of the field. Of course, the forwards have to be loved and made to feel special.

“If you have too many, that can be complicated too. There’s a lot to think about over the next few weeks. I would have loved it to be cleaner and more definitive, but that’s not the situation we’re in.” “.

Talisman Harry Kane missed Bayern Munich’s final two games of the season with a back injury but is expected to be fully fit when England kick off their Euro campaign against Serbia on June 16.

Kane has enjoyed a stellar first season with the German club, scoring 44 goals and is England’s all-time leading scorer.

“As far as we know, that seems to be clear now,” Southgate said when asked about Kane’s fitness.

“I don’t know what the chances are of it happening again, but the advice is for everyone to stay calm.”

England can “absolutely” win the Euro Cup

video subtitles, Euro 2024: Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson left out of England’s provisional squad

England fell terribly short at Euro 2020, losing on penalties against Italy in the final at Wembley.

The Three Lions travel to Germany among the favorites to go all the way and Southgate is confident he has the tools to succeed.

“Everyone is waiting for that headline (‘We can win the Euros’). I would be an idiot if I said no, and equally if I said yes, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of work ahead of us,” Southgate said. saying.

“There’s no doubt what’s possible, they’ve been close before. Are we one of those teams that can win? Yes, absolutely.

“They know what is possible, they know what they have won at club level and what that entails. You can watch cup football, you have to navigate game by game.”

Southgate has two friendlies to prepare his team for the competition: Bosnia-Herzegovina travel to St James’ Park on June 3 and Iceland travel to Wembley on June 7.

He hopes to win the first major men’s trophy since 1966.

The 53-year-old’s contract expires in December and, when asked if he is more likely to stay or go if England win the Euros, Southgate said: “I think he would be more likely to disappear somewhere for about six months.” and sit on a beach (if we won).

“So I don’t really know, I haven’t thought beyond this tournament.

“I think my job is to prepare the team and I have been working in this building for 10 years. In the last few months nothing has crossed my mind other than this tournament.”

England provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), James Trafford (Burnley).

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Manchester United ), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace).

Forward: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).