Declan Rice says criticism of England team-mate Mason Mount is ‘very harsh’

- Advertisement -

Declan Rice has labelled criticism of England team-mate Mason Mount as “very harsh” after the Chelsea midfielder faced a social media backlash.

Mount was singled out during the last international break as many pundits and supporters clamoured for Jack Grealish to be more involved for the Three Lions.

Despite the criticism, the 21-year-old has impressed for England and scored the winning goal in the Nations League victory over Belgium in October.

Gareth Southgate’s side head for the return tie in Leuven on Sunday and, with Rice likely to be included alongside his close friend Mount, the West Ham man offered a staunch defence of his colleague.

“We don’t speak about it but I think it’s very harsh,” Rice replied when asked about the negative social media surrounding Mount.

“I witness it here, when I come to train here and I have trained with him since I was a kid.

“So I know what his mentality is like, I know how hard-working and how driven he is and it is no surprise you know that Gareth picks him, Frank (Lampard) picks him.

Southgate has insisted it has never been a straight shoot-out between Mount and Grealish for a place in his team and the pair started together in Thursday’s friendly win over the Republic of Ireland.

Rice, too, believes there is no reason why the duo should be seen as rivals and feels both bring plenty to the international arena.

“I think if you look at Jack and you look at Mason, obviously there’s always going to be comparisons but they pretty much play in two different parts of the pitch.

Mount (centre) scored the winner as England beat Belgium last month.
Mount (centre) scored the winner as England beat Belgium last month. (Neil Hall/PA)

“I think you could see the other night that they can both play in the same team for sure and they’re both great players that I think we should be valuing.

“For the nation and for me as someone who gets to play with these players we’re lucky that we get to play with such talents.”

Rice, who has been captaining West Ham in recent weeks with club skipper Mark Noble dropping out of the side, was also full of praise for England midfield partner Jordan Henderson.

Rice has also revealed what he is learning by playing alongside Jordan Henderson (right).
Rice has also revealed what he is learning by playing alongside Jordan Henderson (right). (Nick Potts/PA)

“If you look at Jordan and what he’s done in the game for his whole career really but especially the last couple of years, nothing is so important for someone like me to be playing next to him, to learn to get better,” he added.

“You don’t realise until you’re playing next to him his leadership qualities and what he actually brings to the team – he’s non-stop and always on at you in a good way, in a positive way.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.