Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce has told TalkSPORT of his frustration at the performance of West Ham star Declan Rice last night. England defeated Wales 3-0 to reach the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar, heading through as group winners.
Up next for England is a first-ever international fixture against Senegal. They will take on the Group A runners-up on Sunday evening with a place in the quarter-final of the tournament up for grabs.
Rice is likely to remain an integral figure for the Three Lions. Boss Gareth Southgate trusts him as his midfield lynchpin and he’s started all three of England’s games so far.
The youngster was coached for two seasons by Pearce at West Ham. He was part of David Moyes’ coaching staff at the London Stadium and it’s fair to say that the Forest legend enjoyed working with him.
Last night, however, he did something that frustrated the ex-left-back. Pearce has been sharing his frustrations with TalkSPORT where he was a guest on the Jim White Show.
He said live on air (30/12; 10:36): “I was a bit frustrated with him, to be honest.
“It took him 22 minutes to get the ball and drive with it and try and pass it forwards.
“When I used to play I used to try and do that with my first touch so it was quite frustrating.
“His passing radar is really good, I saw that for two years first hand so it did prove a bit frustrating that he kept going backwards.”
Pearce shows frustration with Rice despite England win
The Reds legend always served his country with distinction. He gave everything in every game he played and that saw him worshipped by fans of club and country.
Forest nearly signed Rice on loan some years ago. Since then, however, he’s developed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.
The West Ham man is clearly tasked with a slightly different role for England. He is asked to be safe and at times it does cause a detriment to the team.
Rice is a quality player though and Pearce isn’t scathing on the 23-year-old. He’s merely aware of what he is capable of and simply wants to see more from him.
Hopefully, England can thrive against Senegal and Rice can truly showcase what type of midfielder he is.