Cascarino Controversially Claims Rice Should Be Partnered With City Star At World Cup

Cascarino Controversially Claims Rice Should Be Partnered With City Star At World Cup

Ex-Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes West Ham midfielder Declan Rice should play alongside Manchester City’s John Stones in a back four for England.

The talkSPORT pundit claims that the Three Lions need to move away from a back three if they want to play well at the World Cup and he feels Rice’s pace could help make the change in system easier to implement:

“I really think the best person to play in a four, because he’s quick as well, is Declan Rice at the heart of England’s defence. Absolute centre-half. Playing alongside someone like John Stones, having that pace is going to be really important to England in a back-four. Declan could play that position blindfolded. He’s a natural defender. I keep envisaging Harry Maguire on the left side of a three – it’s a place where Kylian Mbappe plays – if Kylian Mbappe even gets close to being in a one-on-one, Harry Maguire’s in total trouble.”



It’s a surprising suggestion from Cascarino; one which is unlikely to be heeded by manager Gareth Southgate whose conservative philosophy means such a bold tactic wouldn’t be considered.

Rice did start out as a centre-half in the academy, and he has played a few matches there at senior level, but he has made his reputation in midfield.

Moving him out of position would be a huge gamble, especially with the World Cup just around the corner. It’s probably not something that will be tried against Germany in the Nations League tomorrow night.