Sports

Rashford makes England 26-man squad

 Posted by at 6:39 PM
May 162016
 
Rashford has yet to play for the England senior team

England manager Roy Hodgson has named Manchester United’s 18-year-old striker Marcus Rashford in an initial 26-man squad for Euro 2016.

Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere are also called up for the tournament.

But Theo Walcott, Phil Jagielka, Jermain Defoe and Mark Noble miss out.

All 24 teams have until 31 May to submit their 23-man squads for Euro 2016, which is being held in France from 10 June to 10 July.

Rashford only broke into the United first team in the second half of the season but quickly became a firm fixture.

He scored four times in his first two appearances and has seven goals from 16 games since making his senior debut on 25 February.

Asked about Rashford’s chances of featuring in his final 23-man squad, Hodgson, 68, said: “The competition is quite strong, he’ll understand that.

“There’s no reason why he can’t knock someone off their perch, but it will be harder than some people might expect.”

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Euro 2016: England’s Roy Hodgson under no pressure to start Wayne Rooney

Townsend, 24, ended the campaign strongly despite his club’s relegation from the Premier League.

“Huge honour to be named in provisional England squad,” tweeted Townsend, who joined Newcastle in a £12m from Tottenham in January.

“Will give my all over next few weeks to try and make final squad!”

Wilshere, 24, broke his leg in August and only made his first start of the season for Arsenal on Sunday.

He tweeted: “Absolutely buzzing! I can’t wait to meet up with the squad and start preparing for the Euros. Thanks for all the messages.”

Responding to his omission, Walcott tweeted: “I am of course disappointed not to make the squad, but I have spoken with Roy and respect his decision.”

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Who’s in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad?

Hodgson’s 26-man squad features two players from Premier League champions Leicester City – striker Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater – while Tottenham, who finished third, and Liverpool both provide five players.

England will play Wales, Russia and Slovakia in the group stages of Euro 2016.

They kick off their Group B campaign against Russia on 11 June, before facing Wales (16 June) and Slovakia (20 June).

England warm up for the tournament with matches against Turkey (22 May), Australia (27 May) and Portugal (2 June).

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Euro 2016: Marcus Rashford deserves England call-up – Alan Shearer

Hodgson said he would like to tell the 23 players who have made the final squad after the game against Australia.

Former England striker Gary Lineker said the 26-man squad contained “bags of talented youngsters”.

He tweeted: “Great experience for them. Give them their wings, take pressure off, have fun and see where it takes us.”

Squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Newcastle United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

Analysis

Chief football writer Phil McNulty

There is still a good chance Rashford will miss out when the squad is whittled down to 23 for France, but it is a sign of his progress that he is included while Walcott misses out.

Hodgson, predictably, has included Wilshere despite being injured for virtually the entire season.

The Arsenal player is a key figure if fit, Hodgson having used him at the base of a diamond formation and also as a creative force, as shown by his two goals in the 3-2 qualifier win in Slovenia.

Jordan Henderson appears to have regained fitness in time, but both the Liverpool player and Wilshere will be under scrutiny in the three friendlies.

England’s defensive heart is arguably the most suspect part of Hodgson’s team and perhaps reflected in just three recognised central defenders – Smalling, Cahill and Stones – being selected.

Tottenham’s Eric Dier is picked as a holding midfield player but will act as central defensive cover.

England look well blessed with attacking options but there must still be very big question marks for the defence when facing opposition of the highest quality.

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Euro 2016: Marcus Rashford, a breakthrough star in 15/16

England squad in stats

  • Forster has kept 19 Premier League clean sheets in the last two Premier League seasons; Joe Hart (29) is the only England keeper to keep more.
  • Bertrand is one of only five Premier League full-backs to have made more than 200 crosses in the last two seasons
  • Smalling has been present for 17 of Manchester United’s 18 clean sheets in the Premier League
  • Stones made 33 Premier league blocks for Everton – nine more than any other player at the club
  • Alli has been involved in 19 Premier League goals (nine goals, 10 assists) this season, more than any other English midfielder in the division
  • Drinkwater made more tackles (106) than any other English midfielder in the Premier League this season
  • Henderson made more passes than any other England midfielder during Euro 2016 qualifying (353).
  • Wilshere played more successful passes than any other England midfielder during the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign (291).
  • Rashford became the youngest player to score in a Premier League Manchester derby this season, when he netted against Man City aged 18 years and 141 days.
  • Sturridge scored a goal every 122 minutes in the Premier League this season, the best goals per minute ratio of any English player to score.

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Pick your England starting XI

 Posted by at 5:58 PM
May 162016
 

England coach Roy Hodgson has named an initial 26-man squad for Euro 2016 – but who should start against Russia on 11 June?

Would you play captain Wayne Rooney in attack or midfield? Or would you not start with him at all?

Is there room for Jamie Vardy? And what about Harry Kane?

And then there is the question of formation – does Hodgson go with a lone striker or should he try to fit two up top?

Use our new squad selector to pick your England team, selecting from the whole squad and slotting them into the formation of your choice.

And after you’ve done that, you can share them with your friends or post them on your social media accounts.

It couldn’t be easier – and you never know, Roy might just be reading.

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

Analysis

Chief football writer Phil McNulty

England’s central defence will be their biggest problem at Euro 2016 having had failings against quality opposition exposed in recent years.

And yet Hodgson has decided to sacrifice one central defender to add to his resources further forward. Everton’s Phil Jagielka is left out while Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, Gary Gahill of Chelsea and Everton’s John Stones are selected.

Hodgson has covered himself with Tottenham’s Eric Dier. He is likely to start as a holding midfield player but is also the central defensive cover. A gamble.

In attack, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has the chance to be the squad’s “bolter” – but he will have to produce something special in the pre-Euro 2016 friendlies to unseat any of the established names.

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May 162016
 
Nordtveit helped Borussia Monchengladbach to fourth place in the German top flight this season

West Ham will sign Norway midfielder Havard Nordtveit on a free transfer on 1 July after his contract with Borussia Monchengladbach runs out.

The 25-year-old, who left Arsenal to join the Bundesliga team in December 2010, has signed a five-year deal with the Hammers.

“It has always been a dream to play in the Premier League and now I have a big opportunity to do that,” he said.

Nordtveit, who made his Norway debut in 2011, has 28 international caps.

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May 162016
 
Police sniffer dogs were used at Old Trafford as part of the security check

An “urgent” inquiry has been demanded after a dummy bomb used in a security exercise caused a Premier League match at Old Trafford to be postponed.

The game between Manchester United and Bournemouth was called off after the item was discovered close to kick-off.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the device, which police said was accidentally left by a private firm.

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd called for a full inquiry into the “fiasco”.

Bomb disposal experts were called to the 75,000-seat stadium on Sunday after the replica device was found in a toilet.

The Premier League match has been rearranged for Tuesday at 20:00 BST and will be screened live by Sky Sports.

Lloyd called the situation “unacceptable” and demanded an inquiry to discover “how this happened, why it happened and who will be held accountable”.

He added that “this fiasco” had:

  • “Caused massive inconvenience to supporters who had come from far and wide to watch the match”;
  • “Wasted the time of huge numbers of police officers and the army’s bomb squad”;
  • “And unnecessarily put people in danger.”

The Premier League praised the way the incident was dealt with.

A statement read: “We would like to thank Manchester United’s staff, the police and other emergency services for all their efforts today as well as rearranging the match for this coming Tuesday.

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Manchester United v Bournemouth abandoned

“Both Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth’s management has been extremely helpful in reaching a swift resolution, which is the best possible given today’s events.”

United will refund all tickets and allow ticket holders from both clubs to watch Tuesday’s re-arranged game for free, while Manchester United season ticket holders will also be given a credit.

It is a gesture that is estimated will cost United around £3m.

Bournemouth expect to make an announcement on Monday about travel arrangements for their fans.

A Greater Manchester Police (GMP) statement read: “Shortly before today’s planned football fixture, staff from the Manchester United ground alerted police to a suspicious item that had been found in the toilets within the North West Quadrant, between the Sir Alex Ferguson stand and the Stretford End.

“Police quickly attended and explosive experts were called in to assess the item, which has been described as an incredibly realistic-looking explosive device.”

The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stretford End were evacuated and sniffer dogs brought in.

Kick-off was delayed initially and shortly afterwards the match was abandoned on police advice.

A bomb disposal team carried out the explosion at about 16:30 BST.

Assistant chief constable John O’Hare said: “I am grateful to the Manchester United and Bournemouth supporters for their support and assistance today.

“Following today’s controlled explosion, we have since found out that the item was a training device which had accidentally been left by a private company following a training exercise involving explosive search dogs.

“While this item did not turn out to be a viable explosive, on appearance this device was as real as could be, and the decision to evacuate the stadium was the right thing to do, until we could be sure that people were not at risk.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed the controlled explosion on Twitter

Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “The club takes security very seriously and staff are regularly trained with the police and emergency services to identify and deal with these incidents.

“We will investigate the incident to inform future actions and decisions.”

Cherries chairman Jeff Mostyn added: “Thank you as well to our supporters who made the trip to Old Trafford today and co-operated fully under difficult circumstances. We hope everyone has a safe journey home.”

Just under two hours before the controlled explosion was carried out, an “operation red code” alert was issued over the public address system.

Fans were then advised that, because of the discovery of a suspect package in the north-west quadrant of the ground, the match was “abandoned” on police advice.

READ MORE: ‘Scary but calm’: Fans react to Old Trafford evacuation

Supporters who were still in the ground were advised to stay in their seats while the forecourt was cleared of fans who had been in the two evacuated stands.

United players were seen leaving the ground shortly after 16:30 BST.

BBC commentator Conor McNamara said he saw Bournemouth players and staff boarding their team bus outside Old Trafford around an hour later, before flying back to the south coast later.

Manchester United had started the day with an outside chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League by finishing fourth in the Premier League.

However, Manchester City’s draw against Swansea in their final game means United are effectively out of the running. City are three points clear of their neighbouring rivals and possess a goal difference that is 18 better.

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Fans who travelled from as far afield as Azerbaijan react to the cancellation of Manchester United’s final-day match against Bournemouth.

Analysis

By Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Old Trafford:

“The first indications that all was not well at Old Trafford came when stewards swung into action and fans were evacuated from the Stretford End.

“Thousands of supporters were already inside the stadium when, in a well-organised drill, supporters in the giant Sir Alex Ferguson Stand were also moved out as a ‘Red Code’ operation was announced over the public address system.

“Those in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, where some had already gathered in the directors’ box, and the East Stand, where the Bournemouth supporters were assembled, were told to stay calm and remain in their seats.

“Bournemouth’s players had started their warm-up but they left the pitch swiftly once it became clear a security operation was under way as police moved in and a helicopter flew above the ground.

“Some Bournemouth fans were unhappy at the regular announcements to remain in their seats, especially after word had swept around Old Trafford that the game had been called off, but safety was understandably paramount.

“Once the official announcement was made to those still inside the stadium, there was an orderly exit, although roads around the ground remained cordoned off by police and stewards as fans were shepherded away from the area where police were carrying out an inspection of the suspect package.”

A bomb disposal unit outside Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground
Police sniffer dogs were brought in to check the Old Trafford stands
At about 15:25 BST, fans were asked to remain seated while crowds cleared
The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stretford End were evacuated
Police stood guard outside the Old Trafford stadium
Security guards helped fans leave the ground
Fans left Manchester United’s Old Trafford following the security alert
A sniffer dogs patrols the Old Trafford pitch
A fleet of fire engines arrived at Old Trafford as part of the safety procedure
Manchester United’s David de Gea (left) and Anders Herrera left Old Trafford around 16:30 BST
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal left the stadium around the same time
Bournemouth’s coach set off around three hours after the game at Old Trafford was postponed

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May 162016
 
Army personnel at Old Trafford remove the remote-control bomb disposal vehicle

Manchester United’s final league game of the season with Bournemouth has been rearranged for Tuesday at 20:00 BST.

Sunday’s original Premier League fixture was called off after a suspect package was found at Old Trafford and a controlled explosion carried out.

Greater Manchester Police described the device as “incredibly lifelike” but confirmed it “wasn’t viable”.

The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stretford End were evacuated before the game and sniffer dogs brought in.

Kick-off, scheduled for 15:00 BST, was delayed and shortly afterwards the match was abandoned on police advice.

A bomb disposal team carried out the explosion at about 16:30 BST.

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Manchester United v Bournemouth abandoned

The Premier League praised both clubs and the emergency services for their response to the events in a statement on Sunday night.

“We would like to thank Manchester United’s staff, the police and other emergency services for all their efforts today,” it read.

“Both Manchester ‎United and AFC Bournemouth’s management has been extremely helpful in reaching a swift resolution.”

Fans will be allowed into Tuesday’s game as normal. Tickets for Sunday’s game remain valid and refunds are to be offered to any supporters unable to attend.

Bournemouth expect to make an announcement on arrangements for their travelling fans on Monday.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed the controlled explosion on Twitter

Just under two hours before the controlled explosion was carried out, an “operation red code” alert had been heard over the public address system, and the players who were warming up had left the field.

Fans were then advised that, because of “the discovery of a suspect package in the north-west quadrant of the ground, the match has been abandoned for today on police advice”.

READ MORE: ‘Scary but calm’: Fans react to Old Trafford evacuation

Supporters who were still in the ground were advised to stay in their seats while the forecourt was cleared of fans who had been in the two stands that were evacuated.

Speaking before the controlled explosion was carried out, assistant chief constable John O’Hare of Greater Manchester Police said their priority “was to ensure the safety of everyone in the stadium and surrounding area”.

He said “military colleagues” were assisting with the incident, adding: “We don’t make these decisions lightly and we have done this today [abandoned the match] to ensure the safety of all those attending.”

United players were seen leaving the ground shortly after 16:30 BST. BBC commentator Conor McNamara said he saw Bournemouth players and staff boarding their team bus outside Old Trafford around an hour later.

The south coast club flew back to Bournemouth on Sunday night.

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Fans who travelled from as far afield as Azerbaijan react to the cancellation of Manchester United’s final-day match against Bournemouth.

‘A dark day in Premier League history’

Manchester United had started Sunday with an outside chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League by finishing fourth in the Premier League.

However, Manchester City’s draw against Swansea in their final game means United are effectively out of the running, with City three points clear of United and possessing a goal difference that is 18 better than that of their rivals.

Sean Bones, vice-chairman of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, said: “It is obviously a dark day in Premier League history. We have obviously got to give our thanks to the club and the authorities for getting supporters out of the ground safely and home to their families.”

Analysis

By Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Old Trafford:

“The first indications that all was not well at Old Trafford came when stewards swung into action and fans were evacuated from the Stretford End.

“Thousands of supporters were already inside Old Trafford when, in a well-organised drill, supporters in the giant Sir Alex Ferguson Stand were also moved out as a ‘Code Red’ operation was announced over Old Trafford’s public address system.

“Those in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, where some had already gathered in the directors’ box, and the East Stand, where the Bournemouth supporters were assembled, were told to stay calm and remain in their seats.

“Bournemouth’s players had started their warm-up but they left the pitch swiftly once it became clear a security operation was under way as police moved in and a helicopter flew above the ground.

“Some Bournemouth fans were unhappy at the regular announcements to remain in their seats, especially after word had swept around Old Trafford that the game had been called off, but safety was understandably paramount.

“Once the official announcement was made to those still inside the stadium, there was an orderly exit, although roads around the ground remained cordoned off by police and stewards as fans were shepherded away from the area where police were carrying out an inspection of the suspect package.”

Police sniffer dogs were brought in to check the Old Trafford stands
At about 15:25 BST, fans were asked to remain seated while crowds cleared
Bournemouth reported around the same time that the match had been called off
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney’s wife Coleen was at Old Trafford before it was evacuated
Police stood guard outside the Old Trafford stadium
Security guards helped fans leave the ground
Fans left Manchester United’s Old Trafford following the security alert
The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stretford End were evacuated
Police sniffer dogs were used at Old Trafford as part of the security check
A fleet of fire engines arrived at Old Trafford as part of the safety procedure
Manchester United’s David de Gea (left) and Anders Herrera left Old Trafford around 16:30 BST
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal drives away from the ground
Bournemouth’s coach set off around three hours after the game at Old Trafford was postponed

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