Sunday 20 October 2019

'They might as well sit with us in the studio' - Roy Keane takes aim at Declan Rice as England are beaten

England's Tammy Abraham comes on as a substitute to replace Declan Rice
England's Tammy Abraham comes on as a substitute to replace Declan Rice

Roy Keane picked out former Ireland underage international Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson as players who failed to show up as England slumped to their first defeat in the qualifiers in 10 years against the Czech Republic.

Gareth Southgate's men led through a Harry Kane penalty after just five minutes but the Czechs bounced back with a goal from Jakub Brabec four minutes later. Zdenek Ondrasek hit the winner for the home side five minutes from time.

Speaking on ITV, Keane took aim at Rice - who was eventually hauled off - along with Liverpool skipper Henderson and Tottenham defender Danny Rose.

"I think it's been poor," said Keane. "I don't think England have got going. They had a lucky break, a penalty after five minutes, and you're thinking they're maybe going to kick on from there.

"They've been really sloppy, Henderson and Rice – they might as well sit with us in the studio.

"Danny Rose is strolling out there. Gareth needs to give him a bit of a rollicking. I'm sure he will do."

His criticism of England's performance did not relent after the final whistle confirmed their 2-1 defeat, as he suggested Southgate's side looked off the pace from the first whistle.

"I don't think England looked right from the start of the game, and that can happen in football," he added. "You go away from home, it's going to be difficult. But they didn't look right, they didn't seem sharp.

"There was a lot of bickering going on before the end, which is fine, because players are upset, and they're pointing the finger at each other, which is fine.

"You're five minutes away from getting a draw, which is not the end of the world, and there's almost a bit of arrogance from England.

"They got what they deserved. Started slowly, never quite recovered. No intensity, no fight in parts of the game. When you start the game slowly it's a long way back.

"It is self inflicted. We've seen that in the previous couple of games, and they've got nobody to blame but themslves.

"Sometimes you have to lose to win, as long as you're learning your lessons. But what I've seen from this team over the last year, and there's no need to panic, but they don't seem to be learning from those sloppy mistakes. Against a better team, you will suffer for it.

"Gareth's record has been outstanding, but my concern always for these players is that they don't learn. You can't keep waiting for these lads."

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