Sunday, March 3, 2024

Rice: I’m seeing football in a completely different way

It’s not even two weeks since Declan Rice started working with Mikel Arteta but he says he’s already seeing football in a “completely different way”.

Signed from West Ham for a fee that could hit £105 million, you’d be forgiven for assuming the England international knows his onions when it comes to kicking a pigskin on grass. After all, he’s played at two major international tournaments and recently captained a side to European glory.

As it turns out, life at Arsenal is a revelation on several fronts.

“It’s honestly crazy,” he told Sky Sports ahead of Wednesday’s friendly with Barcelona.

“I’m already seeing football in a completely different way. You think you know football growing up and when you play, but when you meet managers like Mikel, you realise you don’t really know anything about football. There are different styles and different ways of playing that I’ve never experienced before.

“Of course, the way I played at West Ham is completely different to the way Mikel plays, so it’s going to take some time to adapt. But I’m really eager to learn to improve, to ask questions, to do one-to-one training to improve and try and get it as quickly as possible.

“Hopefully once all that starts to click, Arsenal will be amazing. And of course, I want to go up a few levels as well, which I know I can. So yeah, it’s really important that I adapt.”

While Rice admits he needs time to adapt to a new philosophy, he’s been told that shouldn’t come at the expense of who he is as a player already.

“I don’t need to change anything that I’ve done in the past. What I’ve been good at is what’s got me here.

“Because I’m in a completely different new game model, I don’t need to change how I play at all. I just need to add some stuff to my, to my arsenal, shall I say.

“So, hopefully with the manager’s guidance, learning the way of playing, adapting because it’s completely different already. It’s a completely different set-up to anything I’ve ever had.

“It’s going take some time, but I’m sure once I’ve learned it all and I’ve improved myself, then I feel like I’m going to go up the levels, which I know I can get to.”

Given the money Arsenal shelled out for Rice, it’s hardly surprising the fee is regularly mentioned in despatches. Understandably, he’s trying not to focus on something that is completely out of his control.

“I can’t control what I’ve been bought for. That’s obviously determined on how well I’ve played consistently over the last couple of years and what West Ham obviously set the price at.

“I’ve not really thought about the price tag once. I’ve been brought to Arsenal for a reason: that’s to perform, to play football, to try and add to the squad, to try and win trophies. I’m not going to get involved in price tags.

“Of course people have always got opinions. You can’t please everybody. Someone’s always got something to say, but what’s important is that the manager, you’ve got his support, you’ve got your family’s support, people that are close to you… that’s all that matters.

“I won’t try to think about that too much and to be honest with you, I haven’t already. It’s football. A lot of players have been bought for 80, 90, 100 million pounds. It’s our profession, it’s just down to us to perform. So yeah, over the six years, hopefully, I can repay that price tag.”

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Chris

Well done Declan, nice interview. ‘Eager to learn ‘can only make him and us better

Daveo

I really hope we start the season out with Rice at #8 (Xhaka role) and Partey as #6. Not a knock on Havertz, but he has more adapting to do to pick up the #8 role, as he’s mostly played as a striker (Chelsea) or second striker or #10 (Bayer). He’s got some adapting to do, and he’s super versatile as an impact sub and cup starter early on.

I also just have this gut feeling the Partey-Rice-Odegaard midfield could be other-worldly.

Ebo

Totally with you. I’d love to see what Havertz brings in that position but judging by preseason so far that concept doesn’t appear fully cooked yet and/or he might have some recovering to do to shake off thar Chelsea stench and gain his confidence back fully. Hopefully he can do that in the cups and CL group stage and coming off the bench for a bit.

Mikels Arteta

I didn’t catch the whole game against Barca, he seemed to do well. Got himself a poachers goal

goonshow

Yep – how lightning fast was his reflex to leg that blocked ball into the net??

Ebo

Did he do well in midfield though? That’s the question. I feel like he can easily start at 4 different positions, just arguing maybe we shouldn’t rush him being the 8, make that transition slowly for both him and the team. That said if it happens to go well in the remainder of preseason why not.

BillyKrystal

This guy is hungry beyond belief. He w wants it all and is joining us at the perfect time. Let’s be patient, there will be growing pains, but just on mentality alone Rice is the standard for a modern footballer. Supreme confidence that doesn’t teeter over into being a dickhead. A thirst for knowledge and new challenges. I think if Rice and Partey get lucky with some natural chemistry it could be far and awaY the best midfield tandem in the league.

Billy

Sorry Declan. We lost to United so that’s it, it’s all over I’m afraid……or so the internet reaction told me.

jeremy

United just got beaten by Wrexham, so we are all fucked!

YaGunnersYa

Admittedly it was against their youth team, but I was pleased to see Manure get pulverised by the Wrexham All-Stars soccer franchise

Me2

Seems to have the right attitude in every way from the way he showed respect to West Ham to the way he conducts himself in the media – Kylian Mbappe could learn a lot from him 🙂

Heavenly Chapecoense

Ironically, Mbappe was known to always say or do the right thing. He started getting somewhat bad PR because PSG bet everything on him and he was viewed as wanting to be more powerful than his club. If you are a ballon d’or candidate, you cannot just stay in Ligue 1 for 8 years.

BillyKrystal

I think part of the issue for him is he blew up on the world stage as a 16 yr old with Monaco in a time where being a teen phenom brought much more scrutiny than it did even 5 yrs prior. I also think his team as it were took it as a sign that they needed to build his brand NOW and maximize everything to the hilt. Instead of letting him be a normal footballer. Even Neymar with all the cynicism around him wasn’t as well established at his age. Messi was a floppy haired kid who wouldn’t… Read more »

One Beat Off

The fundamental principles of economics, supply and demand, also applies to the world of football. This means the price of a given footballer is set by objective parameters. The pundits, bloggers and passive football enthusiasts know this but we continue to set our expectations by it. It is nonsense and useless evidence and setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Frosty

I really like his grounded yet determined positive attitude… I am a bit concerned that it’ll take a while for him to get with the program… It may be the case that we play a little conservative in the beginning, until he’s more comfortable. But hey, whatever’s needed to rack up the points!

Blueberry

We still have Partey and Jorginho. Rice can take his time observing

Fatgooner

As well as his footballing talents I’m sure Arteta had taken into consideration Rice’s leadership abilities.

Good.

After last season’s pathetic bottle job we desperately need someone with leadership and cojones to take this bunch of losers to the next level.

Let’s see…

PGunner

I’m starting to think that you don’t actually mean what you say, you’re simply just playing up to your ‘brand’.

To call the squad a bunch of lovsers is ridiculous and you know it FG.

We’ve just had our best and most fun season in ages, so if you truly do feel like that (which again, I don’t believe you do) then you must live a rather miserable existence.

Still, got me to bite I suppose, so worked on some level.

Blueberry

Humanity will stop fighting among themselves and come together only when faced against a greater evil.
~Fatg probably

Fatgooner

Cor! It was really fun and exciting watching us blow the title over the last quarter of the season – especially as we haven’t won a title in 20 years!

I can’t wait to watch us do it again next season!!!

wrightstuff8

I think you’d be a lot happier supporting Bayern Munich or PSG Fats. Guaranteed League win each year, there’s just no need to support 2nd place losers.

Gooner49

Have a conspiracy theory Fat Gooner is actually just Elliot from the Arsenal Vision podcast looking to anonymously wind people up

mjc1892

I always think it’s Piers Morgan..

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

Have it on good authority that he’s actually one of that miserable lot from across town, that lot whose owner might shortly be wearing orange jump suits.

goonshow

Is there still time for Spuds to change their away strip? I’m thinking bright orange with vertical black ‘bars’ ?

goonshow

I still believe you’re 100% right.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

😃

onenil

He chose the Red pill and now he sees football in a completely different way.

Cranky Colin

Moyzee always seemed like a nice guy, but he belongs in Jurassic Park when compared with Mikel.

Fuzz

There are a lot of ways to cook Rice

Heavenly Chapecoense

Man U knows one of the recipes, apparently.

Teryima Adi

Jollof Rice is awesome.😄

Rising Dough

Good stuff from Declan. I’ve always felt that fan & media expectations arising from huge transfer fees are incredibly unfair to the player. The player doesn’t set the transfer price, nor does he benefit from it. How often have the pressures of expectations undermined a lesser player’s confidence, leading to a downward spiral in performance and an unhappy divorce? And it’s the player who gets the brunt of public criticism, not management. Even though fan expectations for the team are rightfully higher this year, it will be a tougher road, as Arsenal are now a target. We may or may… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

In the Amazon series last year, Arteta referred to all the money Auba was getting. Just to say that managers too get fooled by what you cost or got paid.

Chris

Is it just me or does the photo above make it look like Rice has “done a Freddie” and dyed his hair red?

OdalGooner

He’s just yet to learn that all our other players need to dye their hair to keep it from being red. It’s a sign that you’ve become part of the Arsenal. You’ve been absorbed in something so great, your entire body responds. Even your hair – it turns red.

One of our biggest expenses as a club is actually keeping Mikels hair so gorgeously black. “Agent fees” my arse – it’s all hair dye!

HKGooner

Straight comments accompanied by full confidences. Nice! Looking forward for the future that lies ahead for our beloved club. COYG!

Henry

Such an intelligent boy, same level of our Bukayo

Oddo

We flatten Barca

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