Many West Ham United fans were livid after Gareth Southgate substituted Declan Rice in the second half of England’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.
The Three Lions took on the Azzurri in what was their first appearance in a European Championship final and their first major final in an international competition since the 1966 World Cup. Unfortunately for England, they were defeated on penalties, but they can be proud of what they achieved this summer.
As was the case for every other game this tournament, Rice was selected at the heart of midfield alongside Kalvin Phillips (Transfermarkt). The £58.5m-valued man was having a good game as well, remaining competitive in the middle of the park against the likes of Marco Verratti and Jorginho as he won two headers and six tackles (WhoScored), but he was hauled off in the 74th minute in place of Jordan Henderson.
Should Rice have stayed on?
That substitution did not go down well at all with many Hammers fans. These supporters took to social media platform Twitter to share their displeasure with the decision from Southgate to take off the 22-year-old.
Let’s see what these fans had to say about the withdrawal of Rice
“Best player on the pitch and he takes him off for Henderson who was absolutely terrible. He did nothing. That substitution lost us the game.”
“Exactly…. was our best player… commentators saying he was putting in a Rolls Royce performance. Southgate the robot makes his predictable change. Shocking from him”
“Baffled by that decision. Watched the game with Liverpool, Spurs, Man Utd and Millwall supporters who were all baffled too. We lost the midfield after that. Saka was poor and where was the experienced Sterling for penalties?”
“The substitutions were baffling…. Utterly baffling. Almost like Southgate decided a week ago… not on the touch line tonight. Also why was Trippier defending a corner, that resulted in the flick on, against the tallest guy on the field for their equaliser??”
“Declan Rice vs Italy: 100% aerial duels won 33 passes 13 duels won 7 ball recoveries 6 tackles made 4 take-ons completed 1 interception 1 foul won Hooked at 1-1, 74 minutes in. Disgraceful from Southgate.”
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