West Ham co-chairman David Gold has hit back at Roy Keane for comments he made about midfielder Declan Rice.
Is Declan Rice getting too much stick?
The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland midfielder, who recently worked as part of the coaching staff alongside ex-manager Martin O’Neill, had some pretty cutting things to say about Rice following his performance for England against Kosovo.
Rice lined up next to Harry Winks and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the heart of the Three Lions midfield but was largely ineffective as England cruised to a 4-0 victory.
“Well, where he [Rice] needs to improve, there’s plenty of aspects,” Keane told ITV (per Metro).
“When you think about him, over the last few months he’s had a lot of praise. I’ve looked at him pretty closely, I’ve worked with him when he was with the Irish squad.
“Where he needs to improve, where do you want me to start? His positional play, I don’t think he’s been consistent enough, he doesn’t stay with runners, he’s sloppy in possession, I can go on.
“He’s one of these players who people were enjoying and loved but he’s one of these players that has almost played his way out of the team because he’s not been consistent at West Ham,” added the 48-year-old.
Keane’s comments make him seem extremely bitter considering Rice is only 20 years of age and is still finding his feet at international level.
Hammers co-chairman David Gold has today leapt to the defence of his star centre-midfielder, telling ClaretandHugh:
“Keane needs to get over it. Declan made his choice and I think that is what’s behind it as far as Keane is concerned.
“It’s pretty shameful when a former professional talks the way he did about a young man. It was low, outrageous, unfair and arrogant to pick him out of all the England players.
“It wasn’t even an analysis of the boy who is 20 years old who has barely started his career in the international team for God’s sake.
“This isn’t the first time he’s done it. In a previous game he said he should be sitting in the studio with the pundits rather than being on the pitch. Shocking! Declan has chosen to play for England and Roy Keane needs to get over that.”
Rice’s performance may not have been show-stopping last night, but he is still so young with a long career ahead of him, so making such a strong judgement on him at this stage of his career seems somewhat unfair.
A regular under Gareth Southgate and a player linked with a big move to Manchester United, Rice is clearly doing something right.
West Ham fans, what do you make of Keane’s comments? Let us know below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!