Giving his England player ratings from Monday night’s 5-1 thrashing of Montenegro for The Times, the former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino expressed his fear over West Ham United’s Declan Rice and his Three Lions role.
Having debuted from the substitutes’ bench on Friday night at home to the Czech Republic, Rice came into the starting Xl for his full England debut in Montenegro and the 20-year-old really impressed, holding the team together at its core in central defensive midfield.
However, only rating him 7/10, Cascarino had this to say on the ex-Ireland man’s display:
“(Rice) Played the vital Jordan Henderson role really well: simply breaking up play and then moving the ball on to a team-mate unerringly.
“I just fear he could be made a scapegoat in the future as people ask: “What does he actually do?”
Whilst the TalkSport pundit had some nice things to say about Rice in the column, you can’t help but feel a touch of bitterness in the air around his remarks.
Cascarino appeared 90 times for ROI during his playing career whilst Rice, rather controversially, decided to swith his international allegiance to England despite already having three non-competitive caps for Ireland.
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The 56-year-old made his clueless dig at the Irons midfielder a sly one, but it undermines Rice’s place in the side.
The fact of the matter is that the academy product offers much more than just “simply breaking up play and then moving the ball on to a team-mate unerringly.”
Any true observer of Rice on Monday would have noticed that.