'England can do without Antonio' - forward's West Ham teammate Rice confident Three Lions have plenty of replacements

By Sports Desk March 31, 2021

England international, Declan Rice, is confident the Three Lions have plenty of firepower to choose from in light of West Ham teammates Michail Antonio’s decision to represent the Jamaica national team.

The 30-year-old striker, who has Jamaican parents, announced his decision to change nationalities a few months ago and is expected to join up with the Caribbean team at the end of the EPL season.

The powerful forward was called up by England in 2016 but has never made an appearance for the country.  Despite consternation raised in some quarters, regarding the prospect of England losing the forward, Rice believes the team has plenty of cover and tipped his teammate for success with the Reggae Boyz.

“He’s such a handful. I see it every day in training. He’s so strong. He holds the ball up well. He makes efficient runs in behind. He’s a defender's worst nightmare,” Rice told the UK Dailey Star.

“But look he’s chosen his allegiance with Jamaica now. I’m sure he’s going to have a great time there,” he added.

“We’ve got other strikers that pledged themselves to England that haven’t got in the squad lately who can easily fill the boots of Antonio, so, we’re well prepared with strikers.”

The Hammers star Antonio has seven goals and five assists so far this season, as West Ham are locked in battle for a top-four finish.

 

Related items

  • JFF boss Ricketts frustrated by decision not to allow fans for World Cup qualifiers JFF boss Ricketts frustrated by decision not to allow fans for World Cup qualifiers

    Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has expressed disappointment with the government’s decision not to allow fans to attend the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Mexico, and possibly Costa Rica.

    The Reggae Boyz will return to action against El Tri on the 27th of January, in a crucial World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium.  The team has played the majority of home matches so far with empty stands, impacted by the government’s Covid-19 management protocols.

    The exception came against the United States in the last round, where up to 5,000 vaccinated fans were allowed to attend the fixture.  The JFF was hoping to have the same number of fans, if not more, but the recent increase of coronavirus cases, however, meant they had other ideas.

    “Covid will be here if not forever, for a very long time so you just have to put things in place and figure out how best you are going to navigate this pandemic,” Ricketts said.

    “We must live with Covid, so we must adhere to the protocols and be as careful as we can, but we must also understand that life goes on.”

    The Reggae Boyz have been the only team in the octagonal round that has been affected so severely by coronavirus restrictions, with many other teams sticking to the practice of limiting the numbers of fans allowed at the venues.

    Jamaica, however, has the lowest vaccination rate of all the countries participating in the qualifiers.

     

      

  • Mali 2-0 Mauritania: Eagles ease to top spot in Group F Mali 2-0 Mauritania: Eagles ease to top spot in Group F

    Mali took top spot in Group F at the Africa Cup of Nations after coasting to a 2-0 win over Mauritania in their final pool fixture.

    The Eagles needed simply to better Gambia's result to lead the standings and did so as their rivals won only 1-0 against Tunisia.

    Mali were already through regardless, though, and so there was little jeopardy even before Massadio Haidara's second-minute opener – the earliest strike at the tournament so far.

    The Lens left-back scored a scruffy first international goal when Moussa Doumbia touched a right-wing cross into his path.

    Mauritania never truly looked like responding, although Ibrahima Kone's penalty was ultimately required to pip Gambia, the forward thrashing in after a clumsy foul on Doumbia early in the second half.

  • Gambia 1-0 Tunisia: Late Jallow strike earns Scorpions another win Gambia 1-0 Tunisia: Late Jallow strike earns Scorpions another win

    A superb 93rd minute strike from Ablie Jallow gave Gambia a dramatic 1-0 win against Tunisia, though both teams had already been guaranteed a place in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations regardless.

    Gambia ended the game being leapfrogged for top spot in Group F by Mali on goal difference, who beat Mauritania 2-0, and they will play Guinea in the round of 16, while third placed Tunisia will face Nigeria.

    A relatively uneventful game in the main saw plenty of chances but few of note, with Tunisia's Ali Abdi going closest in the early stages as he cut inside from the left and saw his deflected shot fly just wide of the near post.

    Ellyes Skhiri fired wide of the far stick with a well-hit effort on 41 minutes but shortly after Tunisia had a penalty when Seifeddine Jaziri was tripped by Pa Modou. Tunisia had missed their first two spot kicks of this tournament, which became three when Jaziri saw his penalty saved well down to his right by Baboucarr Gaye.

    When the half-time whistle came, ill-tempered reactions by both teams as they headed off the pitch led to referee Fernando Guerrero Ramirez producing a red card to Tunisia's substitute goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha.

    Gambia showed a bit more intent in the second half with Jallow firing wide before Musa Barrow hit the woodwork with a fierce free-kick, but it took until the closing seconds of stoppage time for the deadlock to be broken as Jallow took down a cross from the left and fired the ball hard and high past Bechir Ben Said to win it for the Scorpions.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.