McClean doubles down on Rice take and many England fans agreed with it

McClean doubles down on Rice take and many England fans agreed with it

James McClean has doubled down on his accusation that Declan Rice isn't a world-class midfielder after England drew 1-1 with Denmark on Thursday night.

Rice and the rest of his England colleagues failed to deliver a notable performance once again in the Euros, and the display has left many with more questions than answers.

Before the Denmark game, McClean took issue with Rice's displays and said that the hype attached to his name was overblown.

"For me, he’s not world-class. To me, world-class is someone who gets to know every side of the world. I don’t think he does that," said McClean, speaking as a pundit on RTÉ Sport's coverage of Euro 2024 this week.

"I don't think he gets on the Man City side ahead of Rodri. I know Toni Kroos is now retiring, but to me, Toni Kroos is world-class. He dictates the game; Rodri dictates the game; I don't think Declan Rice does that.

"He's not someone who is going to get on the half-turn and play passes forward. He is very good at what he does."

McClean's comments angered many fans of the midfielder on social media before the Denmark game. After last night's game, many fans who initially disagreed with the Derry native's take then agreed with sentiments about Rice. "Maybe James McClean was right about Declan Rice after all," said one X account, while another said, "On tonight's performance, I think James McClean was right."

McClean himself was omce again asked about Rice's display at halftime and once again claimed he wanted to see more than what Rice is currently offering, which is safe football with no risk.

"I made a comment about Declan Rice that people have got their knickers in a twist about, but for a £100 million player, I want to see more than just five-yard sideways and backwards passes," said McClean on RTE on Thursday.

"He attempted one forward pass in the half, and it went straight into the goalkeeper's hands. I want to see him do more, break lines, but in the battle in the first half, Denmark just won it very comfortably."

Unfortunately, Rice failed to deliver on McClean's request. He and his teammates will next play Slovenia on Tuesday in their final group game.