Richie Sadlier has hit out at Kevin Kilbane’s criticism of Declan Rice, calling the ex-Irish international’s comments “monumental bollocks.”
On Monday, Declan Rice was left out of Martin O’Neill’s Irish squad for their upcoming internationals against Wales and Poland, with the Irish manager explaining that Rice had been contacted by England about representing them instead.
Although Rice has not fully committed himself to either party his apparent indecision has been met with substantial backlash from fans and ex-players alike.
Kevin Kilbane tweeted following the squad announcement “I’d rather be ranked 150th in the world and never qualify again than have someone who has played but needs time to THINK whether they should play for us again. Well done to MON for transparency.”
I’d rather be ranked 150th in the world and never qualify again than have someone who has played, but needs time to THINK whether they should play for us again. Well done to MON for transparency. https://t.co/6oXlwXEpaP
— Kevin Kilbane (@kdkilbane77) August 27, 2018
The former Everton man then went into more detail on Off The Ball Tuesday night.
“I’m not happy with this, genuinely not happy with this,” Kilbane said.
“This is poor. This is not on. Three caps, all the messages, kissing the badge. The messages and the signals all indicated to him being fully with us essentially. Why play in the first place? Why start playing for us? I don’t buy it.
However, one man who appears to understand the dilemma that Declan Rice finds himself in is Richie Sadlier.
Speaking on the Second Captains podcast, Sadlier dismissed the comments of Kilbane going so far as to call them “monumental bollocks”
“I think that’s bollocks,” began Sadlier.
“Monumental bollocks. You’d rather never qualify? I’m sure the point he’s making is, ‘I would like players fully committed to playing for Ireland and that should be the base level’.
“But allowing yourself a couple of weeks to think about it, to listen to all arguments, just maybe out of respect to hear Gareth Southgate, listen to your agent, listen to other family members, listen to whatever voices are in this conversation.
“Listen to them all, and at the end of it come (back and say), ‘You know what, I’m going to stick to the thing that I always thought was the case. Now I know. There’s no sense in my head that I have rushed this or panicked because I listened to everyone. I’ve seen the whole board and I know all my moves and in every scenario, this was the decision that made sense to me, so I’m going to make it. Give me the Irish jersey, call me up’.
“Are you saying we don’t want that outcome now because he had that little bit of space? Surely not.”