‘Like an end-of-season game’ – ITV pundit names Chelsea player among ‘lazy’ England midfielders
Former Premier League footballer Roy Keane laid into England’s midfield as they quite literally strolled towards a 4-0 victory over Bulgaria at the weekend.
A particular moment in the game irritated Keane as England’s midfielders fell victim to his anger, with Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice branded ‘lazy’ for failing to track back after losing possession, as per The Daily Mirror.
Keane launched into a critical tirade as a result, panning the trio for seemingly not treating the game with the respect it deserved.
He told ITV (via The Daily Mirror): “I have always said when that ball gets ball-side of you, you have got to run back like your life depends on it.
“Players are strolling through it. That’s just their attitude, being lazy.
“It’s like an end-of-season-game from them. Their attitude, by some of the players, is shocking.”
Clearly, the quality of the opposition mattered little to Keane, and despite the one-sided scoreline at Wembley on Saturday, the former Manchester United midfielder was merely demanding the players at least show the required amount of effort during what was, after all, a competitive fixture.
That seems fair enough, although with West Ham United’s Rice supposedly the deeper of the three midfielders (according to Transfermarkt), perhaps the criticism of Henderson and Barkley – especially with the Blues man being likelier to be the more attacking out of the trio – is slightly harsh.
With another game fast approaching for England and European competitions starting upon the return of club football next week, perhaps we can forgive certain players for attempting to expend their energy in moderation ahead of a busy upcoming schedule.
That may not allow for lapses in concentration during matches – and with England winning so comfortably and qualifying looking a formality at the moment, maybe Keane could allow this particular groan to slide.
Chelsea fans – was Keane’s criticism of Barkley justified? How do you rate his start to the season under Frank Lampard? Join the discussion by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!