Declan Rice
a perfectly no… 17 Oct 19 04:07
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Can someone tell me why the football world has gone cock-a-hoop over this guy, to the extent of the FA getting into a spar with the Irish FA over his selection, and giving him multiple England starts when the brilliant James Maddison is still uncapped?

I mean, does he not look for all the world like a bog average mid table premier league player? A West Ham player basically. He’s never going to win the Champions League is he.

What laz sed

poor mans Sean Longstaff as any fule knos

the new Mark Noble, except he’s got kompromat on Southgate evidently

as presumably have Michael Keane and Danny Rose

No, fair play he’s better than that

He’s still very young and for his age a quality player. I’ve seen him a few times at the London stadium and his performances in claret and blue have been very different (better) to the England performances. 

He's only 20 and he's been very good in the league, and he plays in the position England are weakest at

He's not been bad for England apart from the Czech Republic game, and he'd hardly be the first player to take a while to bring league form over to the national team. 

 

What England need it a regista, a deep lying playmaker. Is Rice that? He looks more like a Henderson style midfield policeman to me, but I have not watches him as much as some perhaps have.

Rice is very much a DM, really good at cutting out passes and disrupting number 10s then moving the ball forward.

Henderson's not that type of player at all though, and it's something England have really lacked against better teams in the last few years since Dier's form fell off a cliff. 

 

Maybe we could do with a specialist DM but I think we lack a regista, or a more advanced playmaker, more. Can we accommodate both? Henderson and Rice deep with Mount at 10 didn’t really work. I admit I don’t really know what Henderson does tbh, apart from look like a prototype Thunderbirds puppet.

Henderson and Rice deep. Fuck me that is grim. Might as well add in Eric Dier for good measure.

Henderson's the new Scot Parker, he looks enough like an England captain ought to that what he actually does is irrelevant. 

Different players for different games, Rice is not always the answer but there are times when some solidity in midfield is needed. I think everyone would like a regista or an advanced playmaker but I'm not sure we really have anyone to potentially do that apart from maybe James Maddison as you said. 

Personally, if we’re playing a wide-ish front three, which we probably should because two of our best forwards are Sancho and Sterling, I think we should be playing two advanced CMs and one deeper. Otherwise the lone No.10 gets a bit lost. Southgate when he does play two advanced midfielders tends to like two “mobile eights”, Lingard or Alli style shuttles who get about and are reasonably technically proficient and a bit of a goal threat without being truly creative. Alli, as he matures, is basically becoming the new David Platt, which isn’t a diss.

I wonder whether the two advanced CM model could accommodate one playmaker and one shuttler. If we play a lone advanced midfielder then I really think it needs to be someone super mobile like Alli, who can do a bit of everything. And if we do that then we need to get the creativity in deeper.
The playmakers we have are Winks deeper and Maddison forward. Mount and Foden may mature into that role too.

Someone else wants him, you say?  Quick, grab him, despoil him, and discard him.  That'll show the irish!

there’ll be pub quizzes in the 2040s where people will be scratching their foreheads trying to name that deep-lying midfielder from the england wc2022 squad

He also has an eerily straight hairline, traditionally the mark of the wrong’un.

Wellerz England Team:

Heaton (Pickford is fucking gash and a chippy mackem peasant)

 

 Alexander-Arnold ???(some other CB) Maguire Tarkowski Chillwell

Winks Longstaff

Sterling Sancho

Kane

State of this.

Rice is a decent player who needs game time at international level to come into his own.  He is not a creative midfielder, that’s not his job.  There are very few who can lie that deep and pick out passes.  Trying to shoehorn him into a makalele role isn’t going to work.

Better option would be have mount operating more deeply than he has been as his distribution is great.  He can still make marauding runs forward but as an AM rather than a support striker.

Pickford

A-A, Stones, Gonez, Chilwell

Winks Longstaff

Alli

Sterling Kane Sancho

 

 

Or maybe you could rearrange the midfield triangle as per my post above, to something like

Henderson

Alli Maddison

 

Although Alli has lost form, I still think he is useful for his mobility and ability to do a bit of everything in forward areas of the midfield, like Platt in his day.

Teclis did you use a random sentence generator for that?

 Trying to shoehorn him into a makalele role isn’t going to work.

Mega lol @ the "makelele role" being a deep lying playmaker

 

John Stones? Would rather have an actual defender chz

He's great a jumping out of hotel windows if the rumours are to be belived

Wellers?  Do you know anything about football?  I watched maka playing many many times. He played a deep defensive midfield screen in front of the back four and picked out passes.

Joe Cole said once “maka could find me anywhere, even if I didn’t know where I was myself maka could always get the ball to me.”

That is precisely what the makalele role is ffs.

Stones and Gomez should be England’s CB pairing for years to come. 

Are there any other defenders named after bands that could be included to make up an all musical back four?

Total bollocks Tecco.

His passing and technical skills were famously average. He did, on the other hand have 1) an unbelievable engine 2) an almost sixth sense when it came to positioning 3) one of the cleanest tacklers in the game. The Rob Andrews of football.

As for Tarkowski, if we want a big amiable simpleton ambling around at the back like a drunk at a wedding breakfast, why don’t we just pick Hanners. And Maguire runs like he’s answering the phone in his towel.

So wrong.  Go ask any Chelsea player he was with if he was any good at distribution.  For that matter look at some stuff on YouTube.  And amusingly re: technical skills, he repeatedly made use of the cruyff turn.

And saw it with my own eyes, live, rather than in a pub like you who clearly never went to a game.

 

Rice looks way out of his depth in international football. He was the clear weak link against the Czechs and his other performances for England haven't been much better. Surely we have better?

That kind of bollocks would have had Raheem Sterling out of the squad a couple of years ago. He's 20 and a lot of people that know what they're watching think he's very talented, give him a chance to grow into his role. 

never went to a game.

Lollers. 

Go ask any Chelsea player he was with if he was any good at distribution

I just texted Jon Obi Mikel, he said Makelele barely made a pass of more than 10 yards in his life. 

I mean, does he not look for all the world like a bog average mid table premier league player? A West Ham player basically. He’s never going to win the Champions League is he.

*Laughs in Jordan Henderson*

Mikel funnily enough was a natural number 10 and played there for Nigeria. 

Sadly he got mourinhoed

Jose got results tho, so... *shrug*

He’s lost it now however IMO.  Spent force in management because he, much like wenger, never evolved.  Sir Alex did, much as I can’t stand him, and that’s why he’s the greatest club manager ever.

Mikel is one of those players who got was creative as he matured, like Alli. I don’t think it was all Jose.

That kind of bollocks would have had Raheem Sterling out of the squad a couple of years ago. He's 20 and a lot of people that know what they're watching think he's very talented, give him a chance to grow into his role. 

Young players are generally a bit inconsistent, but Sterling had shown that he had the potential to become a really great player since he was 17. He was fantastic for Liverpool when he broke through and was an important part of that side that went so close to winning the league.

£50m for him looks like an absolute bargain now. He may be the best English player currently playing and plays every week for the best team this country and this continent has ever seen. Who would you have above him from the current England squad?

Has Rice ever really done anything that makes you think he is going to be a real star? England look really lacking in the midfield prospects department at the moment generally with the exception of Maddison who looks special.  

I mean yes, as has been said repeatedly in this thread he's been excellent for West Ham in many games against top tier opposition. There's a reason he got called up for England after half a season of first team football. 

He's a defensive midfielder, you really have to watch him play to get an idea if he's performing or not. 

He's a defensive midfielder, you really have to watch him play to get an idea if he's performing or not. 

At this level, you need a lot more from your defensive midfielder than you used to. It isn't just about breaking up play with good positioning and tackling and helping to mop up long balls. You also want someone who is able to play in tight spaces especially if you are going to be receiving the ball from the CBs a lot. First touch and close control seems to be an issue with English players generally. How many of them can play through a press the way the likes of Modric, Kante, Fabinho and Fernandinho can? The last two are pretty much the perfect modern defensive midfielders, though former is past his best now it seems.

Henderson and Milner drive me mad because of their lack of ability in tight areas (which is why the tend to drift wide meaning we are sometimes overrun in the middle). Even Gerrard wasn't great in tight areas. Scholes was pretty good. 

Not everyone is going to have the passing range of those players I have listed, but you at least need to be able break the lines with quick vertical passing. 

Can Rice do all that? Not seen much evidence that he (or any English midfielder really) can.

Pancakes - when Raheem Sterling played for England as a teenager he might have been raw but he looked like he belonged at that level because of his speed of thought and his rare ability to nearly always beat the first man. Rice on the other hand looked ponderous, he doesn't read the game well enough, his touch isn't crisp enough at this level and he's yet to show anything positive in half a dozen England matches. He screams Championship all over.

There seems to be some acceptance on this thread of the idea that international football is a higher level of the game than playing in the Premier League. How odd, especially when we’re mostly talking about European qualifiying rounds.

I think it’s that the individuals have to be better to cope with the English dross around them as opposed to the multimillion pound multinational teams they have around them week in week out.

There seems to be some acceptance on this thread of the idea that international football is a higher level of the game than playing in the Premier League. How odd, especially when we’re mostly talking about European qualifiying rounds.

It's the bit that comes after that is the problem. 

 

 

Surprised Maddison hasn't been capped yet.

Speaking of attacking midfielders, it always surprised me England never called up Jari Litmanen. He was class.

Yeah he's finished now, but mid/late 90s, at his peak, that's when he should have been called up. Could have made the difference at Euro '96.

Surprised Maddison hasn't been capped yet.

Can't be long now, surely. I would have him in the starting XI on current form. 

You probably have to accept Henderson's limitations and have him in there too for the amount of ground he covers. Not sure who else you would throw in there with them though. 

So long as you lot keep picking teams that don’t risk any injuries to Chelsea players for the sake of meaningless international nonsense I’m v happy.

WHAT DOES HENDERSON ACTUALLY DO

What is he good at?

I accept he’s probably a good player as he has captained Liverpool to the European Champions League under a coach who does not suffer fools. However, when talking about him, football pseuds (like us) are always keen to emphasise what he doesn’t or isn’t. Oh he isn’t a holding midfielder (really?). Oh no he’s no playmaker. He doesn’t do the passing from deep thing. He’s no Steven Gerrard (even tho that is blatantly what he spent his entire youth and early career wanting to be).

WHAT IS HE AND WHAT DOES HE DO?

will take a look

 btw all, the podcasterati seem to think the reason Maddison hasn’t been capped yet is that Southgate and many of the squad think he’s a bit of a tool

which is weird because he looks too big to be a gegenpresser

Slur Alex said he ran funny. Still didn't stop him lifting the CL.

He's a grafter. Like Dirk Kuyt. I loved Dirk.

No point in having 11 Mos, Bobbys or Sadios.

Re Maddison, he was pictured in the tabs pissed in a casino *while England were playing* on Friday night. 

I think it was a dirty protest. I think he readily took the chance to withdraw through illness, in disgust at being made to sit on the bench several times while lesser players got game time. I sympathise tbh. Greatest English creative midfield talent to emerge since Joe Cole and Southgate’s making him sit on the bench while he plays Henderson Rice and the fifteen year old Mount fgs

WHAT DOES HENDERSON ACTUALLY DO

What is he good at?

I accept he’s probably a good player as he has captained Liverpool to the European Champions League under a coach who does not suffer fools. However, when talking about him, football pseuds (like us) are always keen to emphasise what he doesn’t or isn’t. Oh he isn’t a holding midfielder (really?). Oh no he’s no playmaker. He doesn’t do the passing from deep thing. He’s no Steven Gerrard (even tho that is blatantly what he spent his entire youth and early career wanting to be).

WHAT IS HE AND WHAT DOES HE DO?

He does to be fair. His long passing is excellent. It is his short passing that is the issue and his close control. 

Klopp's midfields are functional. Compress the space, press and win the ball back and then get it to the forwards which in our current system basically includes the fullbacks as well as evidenced by their incredible numbers of assists. 

Henderson is pretty good at all of that. His weakness is when we are pressed ourselves (he responds by pulling wide so he has space and time on the ball which leaves us open in the middle) or when a team just lets us have the ball and sits deep (because his short passing and creativity is not great).

Henderson is best when the game is back and forth because his good on transitions. Win ball --- quick pass to forwards / flanks --- GOALS.

The more time he has on the ball the worse he is. 

Ah, I forgot. Henderson use to play for Sunderland. That's why Laz h8s him.

 Greatest English creative midfield talent to emerge since Joe Cole and Southgate’s making him sit on the bench while he plays Henderson Rice and the fifteen year old Mount fgs

____________

If I were him I'd seek out Jari Litmanen and have a chat. He's know a thing or two about being overlooked by the England manager.

The best team this country and this continent has ever seen

You are arguing that this Man City team is the best club team in the history of European football? Please confirm I have misread this. 

The debate about england’s midfield is somewhat otiose given that the Stockport Iniesta will be bossing it for the next decade and a half. Doesn’t really matter who else plays in the midfield (or indeed the rest of the team).

‘You are arguing that this Man City team is the best club team in the history of European football? Please confirm I have misread this.’

sorry, is that an even vaguely controversial statement?

Well yeah, they’ve never won the champions league for a start.

Secondly, Barca weren’t too shabby 2011-2014.

Man City are a terrific team and I have no doubt that one day a new name will be added to the cup with the big ears and the next one is likely to be them.  But they need to prove it outside of obliterating shitty prem teams.

Man City are phenomenal, but Barcelona in that 2009-11 era are still the pinnacle for me. 

I had a season ticket at Arsenal from mid-90s until recently. I would put Man City alongside the other 3 best domestic sides I’ve seen - Arsenal 2002-2004, Chelsea 2005-2007 and United 2007-2009 or so. All fantastic teams, albeit very different.

That Barcelona team was just a joke - never seen anybody play the game like them. The sheer intensity and relentless quality was frightening, seeing them live was something else. Xavi and Iniesta were on a different planet. 

Even lamps said that the 2011 Barca team was the best he had ever seen and he actually played at Man City lol.  Bastard ;)

That Barce team was the best hands down. They completely outplayed a decent united team twice in those finals. 

Didn’t help them in the 2012 semi finals tho did it.  Snark ;)

 

No but they were unlucky and possibly on their way down in terms of their cycle. 

You are arguing that this Man City team is the best club team in the history of European football? Please confirm I have misread this. 

I thought I had put a "and what may be" in there to be fair.

It could be argued that they are the best ever though. Their points tallies of 100 and 98 are insane. On paper they are objectively the best PL side ever. As for Europe...

The one thing missing is the CL of course, so Pep's Barca side probably does have the better claim for best European side ever. Liverpool under Paisley, Sacchi's Milan. They would be all up there for me. Zidane's Madrid has the CL titles to crow about of course.

I think the 99 treble-winning side is overrated. They only won one CL title and the PL was weak in 99.

Invincibles only got 90 points and failed in Europe. 

If I had to choose one, I guess I would have to go for Pep's Barca. 

The Zidane RM team is a weird one. 4 Champions League titles but weren’t great domestically. 

Like Liverpool tbf - pure cup side.  Every game in the cup is a final.

The 99 treble winning side is the best achievement - by a mile. But nowhere near the best team. Only a very good team could still be in the running late on in all 3 trophies, but the luck they had is unrivalled. Bergkamp’s penalty miss at Villa Park in the last minute, Arsenal blowing it at Leeds in the last few days, those few minutes of madness in Barcelona. Could very easily have ended up with nothing.

Arsenal’s Invincibles are the opposite. Much better team, but didn’t win as much as they should have. Bottled the FA Cup semi against United after missing three great chances early  on, bottled the CL quarters with the help of two Lehmann howlers.

I’d rather be remembered for winning trophies than for being a great side.

By the way, City getting 198 points in two years is phenomenal. But you have to factor in the trend of PL winning sides getting more and more points as the years go by, reflecting the ever-increasing financial imbalance. United and Arsenal shared the first few 38-team PL titles with 75-80 points. Arsenal’s 2011-12 team was absolutely diabolical, yet got 74 points. It’s inflation. 

@nb123

 

Great post. Agree with pretty much all of that. The Treble is obviously a fantastic achievement, but yes, loads of luck and the PL was a bit shite that year. Man Utd were very lucky in the CL final. I thought they were awful that night. Still, fair fucks they won all three big ones and no-one has done it before or since in this country.

Arsenal were always a bit odd. Perhaps Wenger was simply not flexible enough to win in Europe. He stuck to Plan A and that is usually not enough. I don't think Wenger has ever been very good tactically to be honest. 

I’d rather be remembered for winning trophies than for being a great side.

Indeed. That is why Paisley is still the best manager for me. Win, win, win all the time. Trophy after trophy. Arguably Kenny's team was more talented, but Paisley was phenomenal tactically and a ruthless bastard too. The strength of the league Paisley dominated was wild too. 

Take the point about point inflation, but no-one has ever absolutely pissed the league like that 100 point season. Also showed enormous bottle to hold Liverpool off last season. Liverpool would  have won the PL every single year apart from last one and previous one with that 97 points total. Still makes me sick that. 

The Zidane RM team is a weird one. 4 Champions League titles but weren’t great domestically. 

Yes, completely nuts and the reason why I would not put that them in that top bracket with Sacchi's Milan etc. 3 CLs in a row is preposterous though. 

It is mad that the only three managers to have 3 European Cups are Paisley (yep) Ancelotti (fair fucks) and... Zidane (sorry, what?) 

Still makes me laugh a bit tbh.  Sorry m7.  If it’s any consolation I do think Liverpool have been shit unlucky to stumble across a magnificent team and an outrageously good manager but unfortunately slap bang in the middle of the Man City dominance era.

It’s like Andy Murray who had he been born a couple of decades earlier would be the all time greatest ever tennis player but then like.... roger and Rafa.. lol.

I feel your pain.

The OP does realise that Rice and Maddison play in completely different positions, right?

Andy Murray is a good analogy for this Liverpool side actually. 

The OP does realise that Rice and Maddison play in completely different positions, right?

On ROF, all midfielders are the same apparently. 

On Rof Makelele is apparently notoriously bad at passing.  I would generally ignore Rof when it comes to football, I suspect a lot of them have never been to a match in their lives.

‘On ROF, all midfielders are the same apparently.’

heh.

 

‘I suspect a lot of them have never been to a match in their lives.’

it would seem so, teccers.

Makelele is one of those players where you can judge whether a person knows anything about football based on their opinion of him.

Other examples include Firmino and Didier Deschamps. 

I know right.  People make me smile when they say all maka did was screen the back four.

No! Lol.

His distribution was incredible.  When joey Cole, fabregas, ineiesta, xavi, scholes, and a billion others said that his distribution was fabulous I sort of would rather go with their opinion than random roffers.

Agree cheesey, those points hauls are brilliant and to be fair Liverpool are a class side who have been massively unlucky. Miles better than for example the Chelsea sides who have won titles in the last few years, the Leicester winners etc. Their time will come, this year by the way things are going.

Wenger was awful tactically, hence why he couldn’t do Europe. Bizarre that one of his worst sides domestically got to the final in 2006 and would likely have won with 10 men had the linesmen spotted the offside. Keown worked with the defence that season and we were gritty as fuck keeping clean sheet after clean sheet playing Flamini, Senderos and Eboue at the back. 

Ferguson was limited tactically. Two CLs isn’t exactly a bad return, but nowhere near reflective of how relentlessly dominant they were domestically. At various points in his career, his tactics revolved around chucking 4 strikers on whenever he needed a goal. It worked to bag late winners against Southampton etc, but not enough to win the number of CLs that their dominance warranted.

Tecco, I’d bet I’ve been to more Chelsea games than you have pal and I only go to the Newcastle away games.

I have a really funny story about keown, fuck I wish I could share it publicly.  Lol.

Well it wasn’t so much about him as about the rest of the squad winding him up and it resulted in wenger making a really really bad signing of a defender.

Who, due to injuries actually got one game at arsenal (here is a trivia question - who was he?) Anyway...

The opposing striker (think it was maybe Dwight Yorke?) As they were walking down the tunnel turns to Ray parkour and goes “don’t know where you got that defender from but I’m scoring a hat trick against you second half”

I think he might have done or might have just for two.  Can’t remember.  But the origins of him being signed were... well they were bad.  And it was a windup of keown that went horribly wrong.

His distribution was incredible.  When joey Cole, fabregas, ineiesta, xavi, scholes, and a billion others said that his distribution was fabulous I sort of would rather go with their opinion than random roffers.

literally none of those players said that.

how about we listen to someone who knows about football, Arrigo Sacchi

It was about exploiting qualities. So, for example, we knew that Zidane, Raúl and Figo didn’t track back, so we had to put a guy in front of the back four who would defend. But that’s reactionary football. It doesn’t multiply the players’ qualities exponentially. Which actually is the point of tactics: to achieve this multiplying effect on the players’ abilities.

In my football, the regista - the playmaker - is whoever had the ball. But if you have [Claude] Makélélé, he can’t do that. He doesn’t have the ideas to do it although, of course, he’s great at winning the ball. It’s become all about specialists. Is football a collective and harmonious game? Or is it a question of putting x amount of talented players in and balancing them out with y amount of specialists?

Ferguson was limited tactically. Two CLs isn’t exactly a bad return, but nowhere near reflective of how relentlessly dominant they were domestically. At various points in his career, his tactics revolved around chucking 4 strikers on whenever he needed a goal. It worked to bag late winners against Southampton etc, but not enough to win the number of CLs that their dominance warranted.

Agreed. Fair fucks to Ferguson for recognising his limitations and getting the right help in most significantly Quieroz. For all his success he never really evolved beyone 4-4-2 two quick wingers and whip it in which was fine in the 90s, but after that.

I also find it significant that every time a good side emerged it would take titles off Man Utd until the lobbed loads of money at players. Blackburn, Arsenal, Chelsea, City (and very nearly Keegan's Newcastle and Benitez's Liverpool) took titles during his reign. 

Arguably the only properly good side he regularly got the better of was Wenger's Arsenal. 

 Winning only twice as many European Cups as Liverpool did in his very long career at Man Utd is not good enough. Got pumped in a couple of finals too. 

No don’t get me wrong, im being hyperbolic about his passing. He could of course knock the ball around at a reasonable level, but to say his distribution was excellent is just hilariously wrong.

he understanding of positioning and defensive timing though was second to none.

From that same drunken night I spent with footballers... 

Did you lot hear about the keegan era where they would play around on horse racing using videos placing bets with the bookmakers etc.

Well some genius decided to nick the videos and work out who all the winners were for every race.  And they were all betting real money.

the “bookmakers” were sheringham and shearer.  

And our genius went around everyone’s Hotel room telling them which horse won which race.

so you can imagine what happened.

The SaS were distraught, how could they go back and tell their wives they had just lost about £3million pissing about on betting.  They were dreadful in training they were so upset.

So someone (wish I could remember who) took them aside and let them in on the joke.  They were so angry they were properly fired up for the next match. Lol.

In my football, the regista - the playmaker - is whoever had the ball. But if you have [Claude] Makélélé, he can’t do that. He doesn’t have the ideas to do it although, of course, he’s great at winning the ball.

Wellers totally failing to understand the difference between distribution and being a playmaker (i.e. creativity) which is what Sacchi seems to be talking about there. No-one said that Makelele was the sort of player who would thread perfect through balls or play incisive one-twos. He was able to move the ball quickly and effectively(i.e. had good distribution) and find those more creative players consistently though. 

Wellington please fuck off.  Stop talking bullshit.  I can, tediously go through the quotes and find what they said.  

Joe Cole actually said it to me personally.  He has repeated it on Chelsea tv.  I will try to find you a link.