In an interview with ITV, Roy Keane claimed that West Ham’s Declan Rice and Leeds player Kalvin Philips are “not technically that great on the ball.”
On Wednesday night, England advanced to the final of Euro 2020, with the Leeds and West Ham midfield combo pairing up once again.
With their superb performances, both players have silenced many doubters during this tournament, since England has only conceded once.
While Roy Keane argued that the defense combination provide Gareth Southgate’s team that “energy,” he also made a comment about their technical abilities that supporters will find offensive.
“I think the two lads in midfield gave them a lot (of energy),” said Keane. “Even when they are not technically that great on the ball.
“They give them great protection to the back four. So, you can look at what you want from your team and England have a bit of everything.
“Defensively, they have been very, very good. They have energy. They have a world-class striker. People like Sterling, who is on fire. They have got strength in depth.
“And when you are playing at home, with the fans behind you, it gives you a great chance.”
Phillips has a different job for his country than he does for Leeds, but he has consistently demonstrated his technical abilities on the domestic scene.
He and Rice may not be able to move as quickly as Raheem Sterling or as fluidly as Jack Grealish.
They are, however, underappreciated on the ball, and they came through in one of their most crucial games yesterday.
Now they must prepare for the most important game of their lives, the European Championship final versus Italy on Sunday.