Date: 11th September 2019 at 8:00pm
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West Ham United captain Mark Noble might have to have a word with his fellow Hammers midfielder Declan Rice, according to Football London correspondent Sam Inkersole.

The 20-year-old has come under plenty of scrutiny after producing a mixed performance for England in their 5-3 victory over Kosovo on Tuesday night, which prompted him to defend himself on his personal Twitter account.

Inkersole has given his take on the situation: “Putting himself out front and centre like that might be good for the media but maybe not so much for Rice himself. He’s a talkative chap, active on social media and conducts plenty of interviews.

“It might take someone like Mark Noble to tell him to reign it in a tad and focus on his game, which you know Rice will do because he’s already recovered from setbacks.

“Rice has an enormous ceiling. Manuel Pellegrini knows it, West Ham fans who watch him every week know it as well.  Rice did his job for England in both games and that should be the end of it, irrelevant of the misplaced pass against Kosovo.”

OPINION

I don’t think there’s any need for Noble to tell Rice he needs to focus on his game more, do you? When you’re a regular for England and one of the best young players in the Premier League, you’re probably working pretty hard on the training ground. Yes, putting yourself out there for media scrutiny leaves you open to the merciless world of football fans, particularly on social media, but Rice will know that. He’s aware of the vitriol that can come your way from football supporters, he’s experienced it plenty of times already in his young career. He doesn’t really need to rein anything in, does he? It’s not like he’s a Jesse Lingard type, putting lewd videos on his social media account and generally acting far younger than he actually is. With Rice it’s the opposite, and so there’s really no need for the captain to come and speak to him and tell him to be anything other than himself. That’s only going to damage the youngster, something which you really don’t want to do.