Saturday, May 25, 2024

Rice to captain England, Saliba set for France start despite Deschamps concerns

Declan Rice says he was left “speechless” by Gareth Southgate’s decision to make him England captain on the occasion of his 50th appearance.

The Arsenal midfielder will wear the armband when the Three Lions play Belgium at Wembley on Tuesday evening.

Kyle Walker captained England at the weekend the absence of the injured Harry Kane but he picked up a muscular problem in the 1-0 defeat to Brazil and has left the camp.

“I’m speechless to be honest,” said Rice facing reporters on Monday.

“I’m absolutely lost for words. When he [Southgate] said to me last night ‘you are going to be captain,’ I gave him a hug, shook his hand and said ‘thank you very much.’ I owe him a lot.

“Since I first came into the team, he has always made me feel at home. I always felt so comfortable playing under him. I’ve really grown in confidence so on my 50th cap, to walk out at Wembley in front of family, my friends, it is an absolute honour. I think you can see my face I am speechless.

“I think I’ve grown so much as a player and a person since I first came into the group at 19. I was probably a bit of a nervous player when I first came into the England squad but as time has gone on, I’ve played more Premier League games, more games at higher levels, big major tournaments.

“I think I’ve grown into it in the side. I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it. Fifty caps is a pinch-me moment.”

Rice was also pressed on the Interlull’s topic of the week; Ben White’s absence from the England camp.

While it’s now no secret that a bust-up at the World Cup between Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland and the defender has led to a breakdown in relations, Rice opted to play devil’s advocate. Given he was sat next to Southgate at the time, it’s hardly surprising.

“Obviously, Ben, if you know him as a person and as a player like I do, he’s such a good guy. He’s such a good guy and he’s an unbelievable footballer,” said Rice. 

“Gareth dealt with it this week, spoke about it. We’ve obviously not been going into the training grounds, so I haven’t spoken to Ben on a one-to-one level about it.

“It’s hard to know really, what’s going on. Obviously, Ben made this decision. He obviously doesn’t want to play for England at this moment in time. Gareth has had a conversation with him about it and there’s not much else I can really say to him.

“Playing for England, the greatest honour you could ever have. So hopefully, with the quality that he has and the quality he can bring to this side that we can get him back in.”

Across the Channel, William Saliba looks set to start for France against Chile, according to journalist Julien Laurens. At the same time, head coach Didier Deschamps has made some strange comments about the Arsenal defender that suggest the pair’s relationship is a little strained.

“He is having a good season, but he also does things that I don’t like so much,” Deschamps told a pre-game press conference.

“For France, he has limited game time, but when he plays, that hasn’t necessarily gone well. The hierarchy doesn’t favour him at the moment, but he is here. Dayot Upamecano has had game time and perhaps William has had less.

“With certain players, I make sure to persevere, because it can be confidence or little blockages that can shift. Some don’t have any concerns, some need game time. William has had less game time, so that doesn’t allow him to be very calm.”

Saliba has made 12 appearances for his country since his debut two years ago, half as a substitute.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What is he even talking about? Saliba is the key cog in the PL’s best defense, what else does he need other than experience?


Some of our players have super weird international coaches, is what I have come to learn. How can you PUBLICLY say that of a young player! Ridiculous.

Bleeding gums Murphy

I’m really happy Saliba hardly plays. I’m fuming that the complete fraud Southgate is gonna play Rice again after 93 minutes Saturday. He will play him whole game. I’m English but the sooner we get rid of this joke Southgate and he goes to man United the better.

Henri Like-a-new-signingsbury

Southgate is the devil


Pleased for Declan, but gutted from an Arsenal perspective. Would hope he’d maybe get rested for 45 mins at least in this pointless friendly fixture.
I wish Southgate could be like Deschps and ignore our players.


I read those Deschamps comments in a super-villain French accent. By the end it was fitting because that sounded rather harsh and a bit sinister.


I’d like to get hold of whatever Deschamp is taking !

Johnny 4 Hats

Well he played for Chelsea so I’m guessing it’s coke.



Putney Swope

Deschamps isn’t entirely wrong. Saliba hasn’t looked as secure has he has with Arsenal for France but I think that comes down to lack of consistent playing time.


It’s probably all down to trust issues. You play much more confidently if the coach has his complete faith in you. It’s not exactly rocket science, especially at the back.

William Nilliam

Just get him back in one piece please 🙏


We’ve seen this movie before.
Aime Jacquet Vs Nicolas Anelka.
With Henry, Trezeguet watching…


Football remains the ultimate colonialist game. Old white men with an almost absolute stranglehold over so much power in the game. Here is but one more example of an old white man exerting power and privilege.


Perhaps it is racist rather than colonialist since Saliba was born in france? Or maybe Deschamps is just a football manager who has to make decisions people don’t like.


Exerting white colonialism by selection Upamecano over Saliba?


You nailed it right there. Look at the diversity of football players. Now look at the diversity of football coaches and administrators. Notice the difference
That’s white privilege, or are you saying non white people just don’t make good coaches and administrators?


I think Phillipe Auclair summed it up nicely on the arsecast about 10 years ago when talking about pundits: ‘good horses don’t make great jockeys’. The link between good players automatically being qualified to be good at something completely different wrangles me, whether we’re talking about them being coaches, administrators, pundits, or even referees, scouts etc. I’d argue international game is even more symptomatic of this problem than the club game, but you might do well to remember Deschamps has won one World Cup and finished runner up in another. He also did very well with Monaco and Marseille early… Read more »


I’m well aware of Deschamps success. But he’s acting like a knob, with the arrogance of knowing he’s basically irreproachable by publicly deriding a young star player. My comment is about the privilege and status he receives while non white coaches continue to feed of scraps and must behave impossible perfect and have impeccable success to even be seen, while in administrative positions, they status is bought or bias again given to white ex players. Football remains a very colonial sport. This only gets worse as nationalism continues to rise in Europe and across the world.


It is widely accepted in the us that successful pro and college coaches are rarely above average Players. In the nfl there are head coaches that didn’t play past high school. There are exceptions of course but I have attributed it to the inability to change the mind set from player to coach

Bleeding gums Murphy

That’s nonsense my man. It’s the danger of internet I guess.


The only internet danger here is comments like yours unfortunately.
Do yourself a favour, let go of your pre-conceived notions and learn the reality of the footballing landscape. Conveniently this story below has just dropped today (I didn’t see it until now, after my original comment):
“A BFP report in 2022 found that while some 43% of players in England’s Premier League are Black, only 4% land coaching jobs in English professional soccer. There are currently only two Black managers in the Premier League.”


Black coaches and scouts are getting all of the opportunities thrown at them by the uk football leagues at the moment. Perhaps you are unaware of that.
Is it racist that only black people are in the100m Olympics final each time?


To your last line question: No, but this comment is… Your insinuation is very clear and distributing.

Black coaches and scouts are indeed getting all the opportunities thrown at them, but as the article (and the many reviews of English football and football from other Euro countries) shows, it’s the quantity of opportunities thrown that is disappointingly lacking. Sorry that pains your status as the victim and your own home fragility.

Bleeding gums Murphy

You have mugged yourself sir. Own it and move on you will feel better


shut up.


What going on with these international managers? What kind of public crusifying is that?
Do they expect the players to play for them afterwards?

Dr. kNOw

Deschamps has low-key reached Raymond Domenech levels of loco. Unfortunately, he’s more likely to be sectioned than be sacked.


Still bristling from being put to the sword on their home turf by the Germans Deschamps wasn’t about to say he was wrong in picking his starting 11, not the greatest endorsement of Willy playing his next international game but i hope he doesn’t want to prove a point and gets injured, Declan on the other hand has every reason to be proud, on his 50th cap being the first Irishman to lead out the England international side as captain since Eoin Morgan.. get over yourselves I’m kidding.. when Harry O’Kane decides to retire from international duties their will be… Read more »


How on earth could saliba lack confidence ? It’s not like his coach publicly called him crap and favours inferior players. That would be super weird behaviour. Oh wait….


Arteta must be a moron. He’s got white. Saliba and Gabriel in his back 4. None of them respected or rated by the esteemed collection of international managers that coach their countries. What a fool !!!

“If you want the best defence in the league and the lowest XGA you can’t be having those clowns. “ said three absolute spanners not fit to lace Mikel’s boots.


Well, the good thing is we will soon be able to directly compare Upamecano and Saliba. I predict a penalty concession or red card for the former. Does he even have a cool song??


Declan Rice’s response to this is wholesome AF. Love him.


there’s a lack of elite managers in international fotball….when was the last time a true wc manager operated there? And why would they, so much less time to make the team do what you want them to do…
Wish wenger would of taken france. Anyway think germany will be prime candidates with Nagelsmann


I really hope Ben White pulled out of the euro squad so he can go and watch the tournament live as a fan. The media would implode


Did any English player play as many minutes as Rice?
Does any one agree that Southgate is an excellent choice at manu? How low can he take them? Will he start McGuire?

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x