Keane questions Rice’s ‘football intelligence’

Roy Keane said there were question marks over Declan Rice’s “football intelligence” after the West Ham man again attracted criticism for his performance in an England shirt.

England won 4-0 in Kosovo but there continue to be doubts over how Rice might fare against better opposition.

His defending from corners was a particular concern and pundit Keane pulled no punches in his assessment.

Speaking on ITV, former Manchester United star Keane said: “These are just habits and unfortunately if players keep making the same mistakes then you’ve got to change the players in them roles.

“Looking at Rice, I even think his body language is wrong. You’ve got to do the job.

“You shouldn’t have to tell a player over and over the same thing. Rice seems to be getting his body position wrong.

“It’s just a little tweak – it’s quite easy to fix – but he keeps making the same mistake and that’s when you worry about his actual football intelligence. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes.”

Former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon was alongside Keane on ITV and he too expressed reservations about Rice.

Dixon said: “Still, I look at Declan Rice again, and I know we keep mentioning him, but ultimately that is such a pivotal position.

“You’ve got to have that balance. It’s got to be your protective role and as a supportive role going forward.

“I just think that against the better teams we are a little bit vulnerable.

“Every corner he stands the same in that space at the near post. They know England are vulnerable at the near post.”