Outspoken pundit Chris Sutton has had his say on the performance of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in England’s crazy 5-3 victory over Kosovo.
In the Daily Mail, Sutton was keen to praise how Rice responded to the pressure on him going in the game while also finding something to criticise.
He said: “Rice perhaps went into this as the man under the most pressure to prove worthy of being a starter but for the fourth goal, the West Ham man showed what he is about, winning the ball back in midfield, allowing England to break at speed and score.
“There is still room for improvement, however, as he gave the ball away in the build-up to Kosovo’s second goal.”
TBR’s View – Alexander Arnold was worse on Kosovo’s second than Rice
It’s easy – and lazy – for Sutton to pick at Rice for giving the ball away for the goal that got England’s nerves jangling but at the end of the day, the holding midfielder lost it on the halfway line.
That should have given England enough time to get back and recover, but too many players were sucked over to one side, and Trent Alexander-Arnold showed a shocking lack of appetite to get back in.
He didn’t put a sprint in once to cover the England right hand side and that was what ultimately cost England when it came to the crunch. Rice did himself no harm on the night, in truth.