There is a certain section of England’s fanbase that has not taken to West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, despite his excellent performances for club and country over the past 18 months.
The 21-year-old has been criticised for his lack of movement and his passing range despite having shown with the Hammers that he is a superb holding midfielder. Those critics were out in force once more after England’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium on Sunday and West Ham supporters on Twitter were having none of it:
Their ignorance is our gain.
— DMLDN (@DarkModeLDN) November 16, 2020
we know the truth, hopefully it will put any top 4 clubs off, but I suspect it won't
— PhilPride (@PhilPride2) November 16, 2020
Those who don’t rate rice, probably have a strong dislike to West Ham.
He is clearly very valuable.
— barry (@barry22845403) November 16, 2020
Rice is one of the best DEFENSIVE midfielders in the country but people that don't understand football will say he's trash because he doesn't take people on and play splitting passes like an ATTACKING midfielder
— Slim (@aaronwal221) November 15, 2020
Honestly the amount of people who don’t rate him are going to eat their words I’m sure of it.
— Chris (@MR_bucket5) November 15, 2020
I recon he has a shout for future England captain tbh
— Ben Steel (@BenStee96086226) November 16, 2020
It's mad to think that not only when you actually watch the game you can see he's quality, but he's also top or near top for every defensive and midfield stat in every game he plays for club and Country.
— Bill (@Briggs0102) November 16, 2020
I feel like people also give him way too much stick for his age. He's too young to judge him as if this is it, and it's very clear he's levels above the player he was a few years ago.
That's what excites me the most. He doesn't stop improving.
— WHUgameday (@WHUgameday) November 16, 2020
These people know nothing about football
— Paolo (@ellingford_paul) November 16, 2020
England supporters have tended to use certain players as scapegoats in the past and it is a tremendous shame that Rice has been the subject of such undeserved criticism. The fact that the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United have taken a keen interest in the midfielder pretty much sums what people in the game think about the player.
In any case, if he continues to be underrated, Irons fans will be very happy to keep him at the London Stadium.