By Saikat Mandal

22nd Nov, 2022 | 7:30am

West Ham United star Declan Rice 8/10 as England beat Iran at World Cup - Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton was blown away by the performance of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice as England managed a thumping 6-2 win against Iran in their World Cup opening game on Monday (21 November) in Qatar.

While writing his column for the Daily Mail (22 November, page 75), the popular pundit has given Rice an 8/10 rating, showering heaps of praise on the Hammers midfielder.

It was a memorable day for the other midfielder who started alongside Rice, Jude Bellingham, who got the country off the mark in this World Cup with a fantastic header from Luke Shaw’s cross.

“West Ham’s captain helped maintain control in midfield. On the rare occasions England lost the ball, he was there to sweep up and win it back. Forever in the right place at the right time and showed why he’s a must-start,” wrote Sutton.

World-class

Rice was superb during the Euro 2020, but Kalvin Phillips, who was at Leeds United at that time, stole the limelight. 

A lot has changed since. Rice has gradually emerged as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, making a whole lot of changes to his game. 

He was always a great tackler, but now he brings a lot more to the table. He can control the pace of the game in midfield, is an intelligent runner into the box, and is a fantastic passer as well. 

The stage is nicely set for him to show his class to the global audience, and the Hammers fans have full belief that he will continue to impress in this tournament. 

Against Iran, Rice completed 95 passes and made one tackle as well. 

Rice has been a great player for the club, but the Hammers may not be able to hold on to him beyond the summer. 

The Hammers could sell him to the highest bidder, but that’s for the future.