Ham­mers chief Gold de­fends Reds tar­get af­ter crit­i­cism from Keane

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT | UNITED SPECIAL - By PAUL CLARKE

WEST Ham owner David Gold has hit back at the crit­i­cism which United great Roy Keane lev­elled at De­clan Rice ahead of Eng­land’s 4-0 win over Kosovo.

The Ham­mers’ mid­fielder was re­called by Gareth South­gate to the Eng­land team for their fi­nal Group A clash af­ter miss­ing the 7-0 vic­tory over Mon­tene­gro which se­cured the

Three Lions’ qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Euro 2020 tour­na­ment.

The 20-year-old hadn’t started for Eng­land since their shock 2-1 de­feat to the Czech Repub­lic last month, but was brought in for the en­counter in Kosovo.

Rice is a long-term tar­get for United as Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer looks to re­shape his mid­field and M.E.N. Sport un­der­stand the club holds an in­ter­est in the play­maker.

How­ever, Keane was quick to crit­i­cise Rice when asked what he must im­prove to be­come an Eng­land reg­u­lar.

“Where he needs to im­prove, there are plenty of as­pects when you think about it,” Keane told ITV on Sun­day. “Over the last few months he has had a lot of praise, I worked with him when he was with the Ire­land squad.

“Where does he need to im­prove, where do you want me to start? His po­si­tional play, I don’t think is con­sis­tent enough, he doesn’t stay with run­ners, he’s sloppy in pos­ses­sion.

“I can go on. He’s one of those play­ers, a cou­ple of months ago ev­ery­one was en­joy­ing him and loved him. He’s one of those play­ers that’s now played his way out of the team be­cause he’s not been con­sis­tent for West Ham.”

How­ever, Gold has since coun­tered

those com­ments with thoughts of his own on the tal­ented mid­fielder – im­ply­ing proud Ir­ish­man Keane is still frus­trated Rice switched from Ire­land to Eng­land.

“Keane needs to get over it. De­clan made his choice and I think that is what’s be­hind it as far as Keane is con­cerned,” Gold told West Ham fan side Claret and Hugh.

“It’s pretty shame­ful when a for­mer pro­fes­sional talks the way he did about a young man. It was low, out­ra­geous, un­fair and ar­ro­gant to pick him out from all the Eng­land play­ers.

“It wasn’t even an anal­y­sis of the boy who is 20-years-old who has barely started his ca­reer in the in­ter­na­tional team.

“This isn’t the first time he’s done it. De­clan has cho­sen to play for Eng­land and Roy Keane needs to get over that.”

De­clan Rice

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.