Arsenal legend blames Gareth Southgate's tactics for Declan Rice's poor form

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Arsenal legend blames Gareth Southgate's tactics for Declan Rice's poor form
Photo: @England
Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit claims Declan Rice looks "unrecognisable" in an England shirt at Euro 2024 - and Gareth Southgate's tactics are to blame.

England crawled to a 1-1 draw against Denmark in their second group game at Euro 2024 and, whilst the result wasn't too bad, the performance of the team left a lot to be desired.

It was another unconvincing performance from Southgate's men all around, with the team already having come in for questioning following their opening 1-0 win over Serbia.

READ MORE: Jamie Carragher likens Declan Rice to Roy Keane

Petit was not at all impressed with the performance in the England midfield, with Southgate again opting for a defensive central pairing of Rice and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Frenchman admitted that he perceived a distinct lack of unity among the squad as a whole - something which he believed was negatively impacting players like Rice.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the European Championship and World Cup winner said:

I think Declan Rice is trying to find his best position on the pitch.

Because, again, when I look at what he was doing with Arsenal, it's a bunch of teammates, of friends, and they are all playing with closed eyes all the time because they have a trust and confidence in each other.

I don't think this is the case because the balance of the team is not right. When you play in the midfield, you can be everywhere but nowhere in the meantime.

This is exactly what's going on with Declan Rice. Sometimes, when I look at him, especially yesterday when I looked at the game, I'm thinking he should be deeper, he should be higher, he should be pressing, he should be more present in the midfield.

Even with the ball, sometimes he loses some easy balls. I don't recognise it. I think the confidence is not right, but I think the balance of the team doesn't help him.

Despite boasting a talented crop of individuals who continue to shine across the Premier League and elsewhere in Europe, much of that quality has seemed to evaporate as soon as their Three Lions shirts were donned.

Phil Foden is another wonderfully gifted footballer who's talents are going wasted under Southgate.

Look at the partnership between Declan Rice and [Martin] Ƙdegaard. He can have the same partnership with Phil Foden.

I'm trying to work out what Southgate wants, with and without the ball. I don't get it. If I am a midfield player [under Southgate], I am asking, "What does he want from me, really?"

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