West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has given a calm and measured response to some criticism on Twitter. He vowed to learn from a mistake against Kosovo during England’s 5-3 win in European qualifying.

Rice produced an impressive performance despite his one mistake. The 20-year-old sat behind Ross Barkley and Jordan Henderson and just in front of the back four. As he does for West Ham, he went about his job.

Unspectacular but solid, Rice broke up play and got England moving. But he often does the unappreciated work that goes unnoticed by modern-day fans. This is why Twitter user ‘matt’ (a.k.a. @shoutinghorse) decided to tell him not to pass to the opposition.

Rice responded: “We all make mistakes. Part & parcel of the game. I will learn from it & improve.”


Declan Rice shows leadership credentials

(Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

With this measured response, Rice showed just why plenty of West Ham fans think he could be a future captain for club and country. The midfielder has a wise head on young shoulders and he practices what he preaches; he does learn from his mistakes.

Of course, the criticism was completely unwarranted. Rice completed more than 90 per cent of his 74 passes last night and the Kosovo goal was the first misplaced pass he had made all night. It was in the opposition half and England had ample opportunity to clear before that with Michael Keane and Trent Alexander-Arnold equally at fault.

It has become too easy to fire an offensive message to players these days with the rapid rise of social media. And some fans seem to be willing rival clubs’ players to make mistakes on the international stage. But the way that Rice dealt with the criticism must be commended.

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