England v Poland: Declan Rice says Gareth Southgate’s side are ‘entertaining’

Too Much Social Media Abuse – Rice

Conference location: Wembley Date: Wednesday March 31st Kicking off: 7:45 pm BST
Cover: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, text commentary on the BBC Sports website

Declan Rice believes England are “an entertaining team” when he responded to critics claiming that Gareth Southgate’s side are overly cautious.

The West Ham player was once again partner of Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips, who was midfielder in England’s 2-0 win against Albania last weekend.

“I think you can’t attack in Gareth’s head,” said the 22-year-old.

“You can’t give it your all all the time because the opposition is quality and can hurt you.”

Although the tactic against Albania paid off, a similar game plan failed in two Uefa Nations League games against Denmark last year, which ended in a goalless draw and a defeat. It was Rice and Phillips who also started in these games.

“Nobody makes a fuss, we all go out and know our jobs,” Rice told BBC Radio 5 Live on the eve of the World Cup qualifier against Poland on Wednesday.

“There’s a lot of talk about not needing two midfielders, why not playing six attackers? I kind of understand why the manager sometimes doesn’t. There has to be that balance between the two.”

Rice said England’s system helps the team have more possession and that “there are many things to be positive about”.

“We are in control of the ball, we try to move the ball very quickly, move the teams from side to side and then look for openings,” he said.

“I think we’re a really fun team. I think people keep complaining and saying we’re not, but I think we’ve really improved as a group over the last few years.”

Rice has flourished at West Ham this season, placing the team fifth in the Premier League. He said he doesn’t want to be recognized just as a holding midfielder who is suspending the game.

“If there is one thing that I could say that I have improved the most this season, it would be trying to get the team on the pitch a little with the ball,” he said.

“I think as a midfielder you are always labeled for just passing, keeping the ball moving and doing the dirty work. I don’t want to be labeled just like that.

“”[Former Manchester City midfielder] Yaya Toure is the one I studied.

“I think he was probably the best at knowing when to pass and play short balls. He also knew when there was space to go in and get the team onto the field.”


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