Plenty of England fans took to Twitter on Saturday to say that Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips should have started ahead of West Ham’s Declan Rice against Iceland.

Phillips, 24, is awaiting his debut England cap after being called up to the Three Lions squad by Gareth Southgate for the first time.

However, his international debut failed to come in Reykjavik as England won 1-0 in their opening UEFA Nations League clash courtesy of a late Raheem Sterling penalty.

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West Ham enforcer Rice has often been criticised for his performances in an England shirt.

Roy Keane absolutely destroyed the Hammers defensive midfielder last year, saying: “His positional play I don’t think is consistent enough, he doesn’t stay with runners, he’s sloppy in possession. I can go on.”

England fans have found it hard to take a shine to the former Ireland international, who switch allegiances to play for the Three Lions in 2019.

Stats by WyScout show that just 18 of Rice’s 69 completed passes against Iceland went forward and only 13 of them were played into the attacking third of the pitch.

Rice’s lack of forward-thinking often leaves England fans frustrated, especially when they’re playing against inferior nations like Iceland.

And that is why many England supporters are annoyed that Phillips didn’t start against Iceland nor replace Rice as a substitute at some point.

Here is a selection of their tweets:

England play against Denmark on Tuesday night in the final match of this international period and we hope that Phillips will at least get some game-time, if not start the match in Copenhagen.

Rice is yet to impress for the Three Lions so hopefully some fresh impetus will see an improved display against the Danes.

In other Leeds United news, fans were wowed by this fringe player’s display against Pacos de Ferreira on Saturday.


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