Going out to celebrate your birthday is a pretty normal thing to do – but Gary Neville believes it was not the right decision for Marcus Rashford to take just hours after a Manchester derby defeat.
Manchester United were outclassed last weekend by Pep Guardiola’s City with a 3-0 win for the champions at Old Trafford.
Erling Haaland’s brace either side of half-time and Phil Foden’s goal ensured victory for the blue half of Manchester as the gulf in class between the two sides was clear for all to see.
United striker Rashford went out for a pre-planned birthday party after the defeat in Manchester, but reported on time for training the following morning.
What’s the problem, you might think? There’s nothing wrong with going out for your birthday, surely, as long as you’re on time for work if you have it the next day and it does not affect your job duties.
He played during United’s Carabao Cup defeat to Newcastle on Wednesday, but missed out on the matchday squad for the 1-0 win over Fulham on Saturday due to injury. Bruno Fernandes netted late on for the Old Trafford side.
Rashford travelled down to London for the game and was spotted behind the bench wearing a white cap and with the hood of his United coat up.
United legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has now given his verdict on the matter and believes that Rashford going out in the aftermath of the loss was ‘not right’ and that the England international made a mistake by doing so, though also admitting it was hardly a grave misdemeanour.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville said: “I’ve said this in my book, I’ve said it openly and publicly, if we lost a match, nights out were cancelled, simple as that.
“That was my rule, it was the other lads’ rule in the dressing room, you could not be seen out in a public place if you’d lost a football match because you would bump into people who would pay big money to go and watch the club, to watch the team play and they don’t really want to see you enjoying yourselves and celebrating (if you’ve lost), it’s an optics thing.
“I don’t think it’s right” ❌
Gary Neville believes it was a “mistake” for Marcus Rashford to go out and celebrate his birthday after their Manchester derby defeat ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Xhnho7bpnD
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 5, 2023
“I’m all for lads enjoying their lives and getting on with their lives, but maybe that’s just a night to have a takeaway, maybe have a glass of wine, bring your friends around to your house. Just optically it’s not great I don’t think if you’re seen out in a nightclub in Manchester after a derby loss.
“I don’t think it’s right. Erik ten Hag said it was a mistake, I would class it as a mistake as well. Marcus is from Manchester, I know it was his birthday and you’ve got to live, but it’s a Manchester Derby and you’ve just been beaten 3-0 and the reality of it is the fans don’t want to hear that you’re out on the town.”
Neville added: “Has he done something ridiculously wrong? No, but I think it’s probably not the best thing to do.”