Date: 12th October 2019 at 10:00am
Written by:

OPINION

Friday night was certainly one to forget for Gareth Southgate and his England side.

A lacklustre performance against the was deservedly capped off with a 2-1 defeat in , and there was little to be positive about on an evening when the Three Lions looked bereft of ideas on the front foot and worryingly fragile in defence.

And somewhere in amongst that horror show was , not that you could necessarily tell.

The 20-year-old put in an unusually anonymous display, and he came in for criticism from none other than Roy Keane as a result.

The ex-Manchester United legend, speaking as a pundit for ITV, as quoted by the Daily Mail, was quick to  jump on the youngster for a poor showing, as well as midfield partner Jordan Henderson.

He said: “They’ve been really sloppy, Henderson and Rice.

“They might as well sit with us in the studio.”

In many ways, this is class Keane – tempestuous, frank, perhaps even a little grumpy, but never far short of the truth.

The fact of the matter is that Rice has had better games in an England shirt, and he’s certainly had much better matches in the of West Ham.

And so in many ways, despite the cutting verdict from Keane, there isn’t a great deal to be worried about.

Everybody has bad days at the office, and we’re talking about a player here who has averaged a pass completion rate of 89.5% so far this season, as well as 3.8 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game, as per Whoscored. 

Rice will know he wasn’t at his best last night, but the key thing now is for him to pick himself up, dust himself down, and learn from his mistakes.