Hammers chief Gold defends Reds target after criticism from Keane
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.”