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James McClean rips into ‘OVERRATED’ ex-teammate Declan Rice, insisting he isn’t world class

James McClean rips into ‘OVERRATED’ ex-teammate Declan Rice, insisting he isn’t world class as he spoke on RTE Sport.

He has publicly criticised the hype surrounding Declan Rice during the Euros this summer, though a lot of fans have hit back and claimed he’s just bitter that Rice chose England over Ireland.

McClean expressed his opinion that Rice is overrated by the English media, emphasising that while Rice is a good player, he does not consider him to be world-class.

He compared Rice unfavourably to other midfielders like Rodri and Toni Kroos, suggesting that Rice does not have the same impact on the game as they do.

McClean’s comments have sparked a debate among fans and pundits about Rice’s abilities and the level of praise he receives.

The Wrexham player said: “I think with Musiala, he justifies the hype. I think Declan Rice is very overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a very good footballer, but the way the english media wax lyrical about him, I think its completely over the top.

“Like, for me, he’s not world class. World class to me is someone who gets on every single side in the world and I don’t think he does that.

“I don’t think he gets in the Man City side ahead of Rodri. To me Toni Kroos is world class, He dictates the game, Rodri dictates the game, I don’t think Declan Rice does that. He’s not someone who’s going to get on the half turn, play, passes forward. He’s very good at what he does.”

Interviewer: “So he is not a different type of player, James?”

McClean: “Well, they play the same role, so, you know, they play the same role, so why can’t they do the same thing?

“So if you’re going to give them this much of a hype and, you know, reputation, and surely he should be able to do what they do is to get the ball in half turn play, pass it forward and dictate the play. I don’t think he does that. He’s good at what he does. He sees danger and he puts out fires. But, you know, for the hype that that surrounds him, then I don’t think. I don’t think it’s justified.”

James McClean continued his criticism of Declan Rice, during in the first half of England’s Euro 2024 clash against Denmark. 

Speaking on RTE Sport at half time, McClean said: ‘Denmark’s won the midfield battle in that half.

‘I made a comment about Declan Rice that people have got their knickers in a twist about but for a £100million player I want to see more than just five-yard sideways and backwards passes.

‘He attempted one forward pass in the half and it went straight into the goalkeeper’s hands. I want to see him do more, break lines, but in the battle in the first half, Denmark just won it very comfortably.’

This is how fans reacted as James McClean rips into ‘OVERRATED’ ex-teammate Declan Rice, insisting he isn’t world class…

@DavidBoweEire: Only people that think he’s “world class” are England and Arsenal fans. He’s a very good player, world class? Definitely not

@Sjjsks82928341: No its obviously just the fact we are bitter we do not have him in our ranks Martin should have capped him when he had the chance and secondly why are they talking about England when they were not playing today 😂😂

@oxfordtoafrica: He is one very bitter and twisted man. Enjoy League One and Wrexham, as Declan enjoys some Champions League games!

@LeSouness: Sounds like something a bitter nobody in the game would say about a man who decided to play foe his spiritual home England rather than the backwater of Ireland; the pioneers of the European slave trade. God bless Great Britain.

@121Clueless: I completely agree. Rice is very average. Arsenal are an incredibly poor side, and Rice just about makes the team each week.

@jonnygould: His name is Declan but he chose England. That’s your beef, isn’t it? 😉

@Jamie_Hudson_: He’s playing for Wrexham and was pocketed by Col U defenders.

@clacher_james: What a surprise irish people don’t like rice 😂😂😂 how’s Ireland doing in this tournament?

@StretfordEnd_10: Honestly, some footballers shouldn’t be allowed to have the chance to talk. 😂 What he is saying is that there is only ever ONE world class player in any position at any one time in world football. Okay, Jimmy.

@galway89: He’s contradicting himself throughout this. Rice can’t pass like Rodri or Kroos, correct, but they can’t carry or win the ball back in the same way that Rice can. You don’t have to be completely analogous to another world class player to be world class yourself.

@maxxedout247: I love it when players of limited ability talk about players better than them in this way.

@Neil85059534: i agree he’s maybe not world class but he’s not overrated

@MichaelFord1983: He says he’s overrated because of the English media hype him up to be something he’s not. I think it’s a fair comment until he wins something big. He does escape criticism for England imo. Done good with Arsenal though and has improved them.

@doubledeccer41: jesus christ this is rough. i’ve only been using rte to watch the match and turning it straight off and i’m now thankful i’ve been doing that because this is shocking, like watching an apple talk to a pear

@manutdirishreds: The English media definitely won’t like his opinion and I agree with James. Declan Rice is a good player but nowhere near world class. The word world class is used too much these days for average players compared to the real world class players we seen of years gone by.

@MossMan800: Imagine being this full of hate that you’ll openly go on TV and make yourself look like this 😂😂

@LJE1885: Just salty because he chose not to play for Ireland. Gimp.

@RyanYoung_03: The amount of players they could hire as a pundit and they pick a nobody like him 😂😂

@MelOreilly1970: I bet Declan’s tossing and fucking turning at night worrying about what these pair of peasants think about him.

@Lewis_1210: Weren’t saying that when Ireland was begging him to play 😂. This dude plays for Wrexham and is from Ireland, comes as no shock he’s sour towards the player that turned down Ireland Irish are still sour grapes about it 😂

@marcusbowers89: Mate have a day off! Declan Rice is absolutely world class at what he does! Arguably Englands best player in the first game and again arguably England’s most important player IMO? Who plays if he don’t? Because I can safely say whoever it would be, weakens us!

@deano7villa: Can’t stand the cunt, but kind of have to agree 🤢 Rice is great at what he does and played well the other night. But far from world class atm.

@__sharpy__: I like the Irish and it’s in my blood but get fucked off man be right up his arse if he’d chose you, comparing him to Rodri and Kroos especially is embarrassing, it’s a watch this space sketch with Rice, he’s had one season at a top club and took them to another level already.

@anas_488: No lies told! He’s absolutely spot on but of course Arsenal fans will be in their feelings

@JP__267: There’s a degree of truth in this but because James McLean has made his views on *literally anything English* very clear, it shouldn’t be taken seriously

@DennisD74181301: That’s fine – I’m more than happy with this very overrated player. He’ll be the mainstay in our midfield for years!

@toughy92: Anything for a bit of attention

@JoshuaDavis94: If you’re calling him world class then fair enough hes overrated. But I don’t think most people rate him as world class just think he’s a really good player. Maybe I’m wrong

@Johnboy270783: I always wondered what this guy had between his eyes…. the answer is not much 👌🏼
Gareth Thomas GAFFA. BLM. Anti Brexit, REMAINER

@rhonddaborn: As a Welshman I would say Rice is about the best England have in his position. And one of the best in the Prem.

@paulswainAFC78: What a clown, as if anyone values his opinion, English hating prick.

@Russ_Inns: James McLean plays for Wrexham and scored 3 goals in 37 games. How tf he landed a seat on that couch is beyond. Terrible footballer and an absolute walloper

@daniel_treharne: This shows how little they have seen him play. Arsenal fans thought he was overhyped and over valued by West Ham fans and now they see him every week they get it. Is he better than Rodri, probably not but you can have more than one world class player per position.

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