Capello waxes lyrical about Phillips and Rice for Euro 2020 displays

Fabio Capello has waxed lyrical about Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice.

The duo have been superb for England during Euro 2020, helping the side reach the semi-finals.

However, their biggest contribution has been in defence with the Three Lions yet to concede a goal.

Phillips’ performances have kept Jordan Henderson out of the side. The Liverpool man was a key man for under Gareth Southgate prior to the start of the tournament.

Prior to his substitution against Ukraine, the £50m+ 25-year-old was England’s only ever-present at the Euros. He’s also covered the second-most ground of players to play the fewest minute, behind only Koke.

Every Euro 2020 Team's WORLD RANKING 100 Years In The Future According To Football Manager 2021

When speaking about Phillips and Rice, Capello said: “Southgate surprised me with the style in which they’re now defending.”

“[Rice is] a really, really important player. Rice and Phillips are the most difficult midfielders to play against because they run a lot. When you have the ball it’s good and the balance of England depends on these two players.”

Photo by Neil Hall – Pool/Getty Images

TBR View: Leeds ace Phillips and Rice have been England’s players of Euro 2020

All the hype throughout the tournament has been about either the attack or defence.

It seems that Leeds ace and Rice have been forgotten, both of whom have been England’s best players.

Their shielding of the backline has been superb and ensured Southgate’s side are difficult to break.

In turn, England are able to launch attacks with the knowledge their defence won’t be breached. Of the players to start all five games, Rice and Phillips have the second and third-best pass accuracy.

Meanwhile, the duo also prove tenacious, biting into tackles as often as possible. Rice is averaging the second-most tackles, whilst Phillips averages the most fouls.

Sometimes the best players aren’t always the ones easily spotted. Rice and Phillips have been a key reason for England’s run to the semi-finals.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

You may also like…