Gareth Southgate has confirmed West Ham star Declan Rice is in his England holy trinity with his actions during the win over Wales.
There has been much derision of Southgate and West Ham captain Rice since England’s 0-0 draw with USA.
The usual Declan doubting doughnuts were out in force as they always seem to be after a disappointing Three Lions result or performance.
West Ham’s talisman has been unfairly criticised by those who failed to realise Rice was dutifully carrying out Southgate’s tactical orders in rarely venturing forward and by keeping it simple so England could work on building out from the back.
West Ham have a rich history providing players for England.
And supporters won’t need reminding of the club’s influence in England winning their only ever World Cup back in 1966 with West Ham’s legendary trio of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters leading the charge.
The current Three Lions have three irreplaceable players of their own in the side that has cruised into the last 16 of the Qatar World Cup with a comfortable win over Wales.
And Gareth Southgate has confirmed West Ham star Declan Rice is in his England holy trinity with his actions during the Wales victory.
On 55 minutes with England 2-0 up, Southgate made it perfectly clear who his three key players are.
The England boss brought off irreplaceable Spurs striker Harry Kane, rapid defensive ace Kyle Walker and of course West Ham’s man in the middle Rice.
The move was a clear signal that Southgate simply cannot be without those stars when England face Senegal in the last 16 on Sunday night.
One wonders where the Rice doubters will be this evening? Presumably crawling back under their bridges.
The West Ham midfield destroyer was immense as England completely dominated Wales in a much better overall performance.
You do have to wonder about the football intelligence of those who continue to question Rice in an England shirt after everything he has done with West Ham and the national team in recent years.
Let’s hope he can go on and emulate Hammers legend Moore and co by lifting the famous trophy next month.