Gary Neville hints England might be misusing Arsenal star

Gary Neville believes there is a lack of balance in the England midfield at Euro 2024 and hints that they might be using Declan Rice incorrectly.

The Arsenal star is one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s team sheet, and he played in a midfield three in their game against Serbia. Jude Bellingham and Trent Alexander-Arnold supported Rice in the middle.

Although England won the game, their fans expected more from a team with so much talent. The Three Lions might improve as the competition progresses, but Neville thinks they are already underutilising Rice.

Neville’s comments suggest that Rice’s role might need adjustment to better leverage his strengths and bring more cohesion to the midfield. As the tournament continues, Southgate may need to reconsider how to best deploy his midfield talents to achieve the desired balance and effectiveness.

He said, as quoted by Metro Sport:

‘What we have at the moment with England, we have a real shortage of experienced central midfield players that can play in that position.

‘I actually think the problem is not just Trent Alexander-Arnold. I don’t think we’re getting the most out of Declan Rice in that holding role. That’s why Kalvin Phillips played with him and it worked.’

Just Arsenal Opinion

Rice is one of the best players in the England squad, and they will have themselves to blame if they fail to make the most of his talents.

Mikel Arteta has unlocked him at Arsenal, and the Gunners have been enjoying him since then.

Gareth Southgate needs to speak to the Gunners’ gaffer to learn how best to use the midfielder.


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Tags Declan Rice Gary Neville


  1. Some coaches think they know best until they realise at the end of a tournament or a season they should have done this or done that. It is no different from Arteta. If Arteta persisted in deploying Kai Havertz as central forward after the Community Shield game, Arsenal may have won the Premier League. No disrespect to Arteta.

  2. What is Garry trying to say, is he talking for the sake of thinking of something to say in front of the cameras and just mumbling on.
    Not sure what position he wants Rice to play in. It was Rice who should have got man of the match award for mopping up for Trent, Folden and yes Bellingham.
    Folden could not handle the double tight marking, to prove he is not in the same league as Saka when double markedmas he was marked out the game.
    Trent did one good long pass, that the TV keeps playing, but gave the ball away too many times, like Folden only for Rice to win it back again for them by mopping up their mistakes.
    Bellingham, lost the ball also as much as retaining it, but we are blinded by his skill in possession to forget about his mistakes, as they were high up the pitch. Bellingham for all his possession, was not constructive with his sideways passing, and did not create any chances the whole game. But for the fact that he scored the easiest of headers, that was created by Saka, (England’s most missed player, when unfit or not playing) Bellingham did not create any goal contribution passes, he just kept possession leading to nothing constructive.
    Rice should have got man of the match for having double figures in interceptions for tidying up after the three stooges.
    Saka having not started a game for 5 weeks did well and embarrassed the likes of Folden to show him how it’s done when you are double marked. Considering Saka is not fully match fit, he did well to last 70 minutes.
    If Rice is not playing the defensive midfield role and mopping up for Trent, Folden and Bellingham, then who else is going to do that job for England. Gary is just a pundit, but he is talking nonsense.

  3. Little wonder that Neville failed as a football Manager.The lack of “balance” in the England team stems from the absence of a natural left footed left back and a left footed central midfielder.With Shaw and young Wharton in the team the balance of the team would improve substantially and either Foden or the over hyped Bellingham could be used in the number 10 role.As an aside, apart from one error of judgement I thought Marc Guehi had an excellent game.Although he is right footed he fits in well as the left centre back, whereas, I thought Saliba who is a superb right CB looked uncomfortable at times at LCB for France against a very energetic side.Saliba spent most of the match passing the ball to his keeper(13 times at least) whereas on the right he is far more constructive and effective in his passing.

  4. Gary Neville needs to understand that Arsenal have suited players to get the most out of Rice. Gary’s expectations are not realistic at the moment.

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