Declan Rice gives 'honest' assessment of his 'bad game' against Denmark

  • England held to 1-1 draw by Denmark at Euro 2024 on Thursday
  • Declan Rice put in uncharacteristically poor performance
  • Midfielder has opened up on his struggles
Rice will want to wipe Thursday's game from his memory
Rice will want to wipe Thursday's game from his memory / Kevin Voigt/GettyImages

Declan Rice wasn't afraid to admit his display in England's 1-1 draw with Denmark wasn't up to scratch, proudly stating he's committed to being brutally truthful about his performances now.

To put it simply, the 25-year-old Arsenal star had a night to forget in Frankfurt. His sharpness and composure, which typically define his game, were noticeably absent throughout the match. Instead of commanding the midfield with his trademark control and precision, he seemed unsettled and prone to errors.

Ultimately, it was Tottenham rival Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who earned the adulation at the final whistle, praised for his outstanding role in shielding Denmark's defence, while his midfield partner Morten Hjulmand scored the crucial equaliser.

Speaking post-match, Rice said of his own performance: "I probably wasn't the best I could be.

"I'm honest with my performances now. I'm at a stage where I've played so many games well, I've had bad games.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Declan Rice, Morten Hjulmand
Hojbjerg and Hjulmand both outperformed Rice / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

"When we play against those back-fives, no one gives you the space. Everyone expects you to get the ball, and thinks you can play a piercing ball straight through the middle. It’s not like that, it's a completely different picture on the pitch. [It’s about] being patient in the moment, and then the space will open up. 

"We'll be fine, we'll recover well, and we've got one more to go.”

Alongside Rice in midfield was right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, and England head coach Gareth Southgate has conceded that this has been an 'experiment' in the absence of a player like Kalvin Phillips.

It remains to be seen if Southgate will make changes to the Three Lions' midfield, especially with many supporters calling for the likes of Kobbie Mainoo or Adam Wharton to be given a chance.

On Tuesday, England will face Slovenia in their final Group C game, needing only a point to secure their place in the last 16 of Euro 2024.