Many West Ham United fans have found themselves defending Declan Rice whenever the 20-year-old represents England, as he is often scapegoated, which was the case following the Czech Republic game.
The midfielder has been an integral player in claret and blue this season, averaging 3.8 tackles, 2.3 interceptions, 0.6 clearances and 0.4 blocks per game, while also making 1.3 dribbles and completing 89.5% of his attempted passes, as per WhoScored.
While he has been widely criticised and doubted, many Hammers have stuck by him, though Darren Bent has shown the wider attitude towards the midfielder.
With Jordan Henderson suspended for the Montenegro match after picking up a yellow card against Bulgaria, the former striker still doesn’t feel that the West Ham man will play.
When asked by Football Insider whether Rice will be included by Gareth Southgate, he replied: “I’m not quite sure he will do because there’s no point playing him and Harry Winks.
“You put Harry Winks in there, Ross Barkley just scored two so he might be in there and then you have Mason Mount. Rice might have to sit on the bench because there’s no point playing them two.
“It’s not like they’re going to be playing a team who are going to be up on the front foot and they might want to shore up the back four, so for me, I think Winks will play.”
It is getting a bit tiresome that Rice constantly seems to be the England man being doubted whenever the slightest thing happens with the England team, when he is not necessarily below the level of others in the team.
For example, Rice completed 80% of his passes against Czech Republic, while Henderson only managed 67%, as per SofaScore, yet there was very little made of the Liverpool captain’s inaccurate passing.
Southgate must trust Rice, as before missing the Bulgaria game through illness, the 20-year-old had started 5 of England’s last 6 games, as per Transfermarkt – which gives the indication he definitely has a chance of starting, especially with Henderson unavailable.
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