This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
West Ham United co-chairman David Gold has aimed a scathing attack at Roy Keane over his comments towards Declan Rice, as reported by Claret & Hugh.
Rice often receives criticism when he goes away on international duty with England and this time was no different, as he was slammed by many fans.
However, it was Keane who was among the harshest towards the 20-year-old, as before the 4-0 win against Kosovo, he said: “What 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 could go on.”
Gold was far from impressed with this, as he told Claret & Hugh: “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.”
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Whether or not Keane’s comments are motivated by Rice’s decision to pick England over Republic of Ireland is an entirely different discussion.
However, it can certainly be said that he has been harsh on the 20-year-old, who has been backed by both Manuel Pellegrini and Gareth Southgate by consistently being selected.
Rice’s performance during the Kosovo game worked to dispel Keane’s comments, as he completed 98% of his passes – hardly “sloppy in possession”.
It doesn’t seem as though Keane will be changing his mind anytime soon, so Rice will need to find a way to block his criticism out, if he hasn’t done so already.