Monday, May 20, 2024

Arteta lauds “tremendous performance” by Rice

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Declan Rice as Arsenal’s record signing produced a midfield masterclass before helping his side to a last-gasp win over Manchester United with his first goal for the club.

Rice, with the help of a slight deflection off United substitute Jonny Evans, struck six minutes into added time before Gabriel Jesus wrapped up the points five minutes later with a composed finish to make it 3-1. The Gunners had fallen behind to Marcus Rashford’s fine strike on 27 minutes but cancelled it out straight from kick-off as Martin Odegaard polished off a slick move.

Rice’s influence on the game was a major talking point in the post-game press conference, with Arteta saying: “I think it was a tremendous performance.

“When you look at how a holding midfielder needs to dominate his area and the presence that is needed, how he breaks up play, how he glides the team together in many moments when the team was stretching a little bit. he was really dominant.

“And then, obviously, he produced a magic moment to win us the game so I’m really happy with him.”

It’s unclear whether Arsenal had rehearsed the corner routine that led to Rice’s goal but Arteta inferred that might have been the case. All the same, in a pressure situation, he was thankful to have someone with the ability to finish as he did.

“We did it yesterday, but yesterday your heart rate is at 80 and today it’s at 190, so to produce the same level of quality when the pressure is on in that moment is just unique. You need to have that quality and that composure and he showed it today,” reflected the Spaniard.

He also believes the midfielder, who only scored 15 goals in 245 appearances for West Ham, can add more goals to his game.

“For sure and when you see the technical ability that he has and how executed it in this moment, his range when he’s shooting from range, his accuracy, the power that he generates with no space, with both legs, he can do it with both feet.

“He’s got the timing to arrive in the box, the position will determine a lot with how many goals he will score because at the end it’s about how consistent you are arriving there.”

Arteta also had warm words for Rice’s leadership skills, something Arsenal fans were keen to see transfer from the London Stadium where he was captain.

“He’s very natural. He’s a great kid,” said Arteta. “I think he’s got a good mixture between being extremely demanding with everybody and himself and then a bit of banter as well. Being around the boys and the staff in a really humble way, I think he’s fitted in brilliantly.”

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Kentish Gooner

Great performance from the lads 💪🏻

Var will solve the problem

It’s the other new signing that he needs to pay special attention to. I think Arteta is doing a disservice to Kai by putting him in the firing line. Kai needs to be eased into a team that’s playing free flowing football and winning with ease. Right now the entire team is not in full gear and putting a player lacking confidence and asking him to deliver in a team like this isn’t fair to player. We are nowhere near there yet but starting to remind me of Arteta’s persistent with Willian when Pepe was just starting to playing better.… Read more »


You know Havertz is our highest paid player? By some considerable margin.

Arsenal F.C. 2023-24 Payroll Table | Spotrac

Feels odd so many excuses are being rolled out for someone taking home the biggest paycheck of anyone in the team.

Var will solve the problem

I’m okay with whatever he gets paid. I’m not of the opinion that he is shit. He is just low on confidence and he should get all the time he needs to mentally be in a safe space where he isn’t afraid to make any mistakes. Missing an easy chance or misplacing a pass leading to a goal can be easily overlooked when we are 3- 0 up Instead when we are at 0-0. Had we not won today, the headline would have been all about Kai. He should not be under the spotlight like this when we already have… Read more »


gabriel, martinelli, odegaard, white salaries need to be reviewed

Mikels Arteta

On the plus side, think about when he’s starts getting things right.


If, not when


Apart from that fluffed chance I thought Havertz was quality. Never stopped running. Great touch, passing, should have had a pen. He was a big part in us winning the game.

djourou's nutmeg

he’s indeed fitted in very well, can’t remember the last time i felt so comfortable about our midfield after seeing partey missing. progress!


We certainly had plenty of practice with corner kicks today, hard to remember a match against a top six team in which we’ve had so many, the majority coming from Martinelli’s drives. Was thinking before that last one we were due to score on one and would be a shame to draw the match given our dominance on the number of corners (and possession around their goal vs our goal). Rice has been everything he was built up to be, just doesn’t make mistakes. Nothing overly spectacular, but is always there to put out the fires and makes the right… Read more »

Emi Rates

When Rice scored I went from fairly irritated to all warm and fuzzy inside.


Great player and a very likeable human indeed.


My heroes of the game be Rice!! What a signing. Nelson too.. just thought his pace injected much needed energy. Bet MU finished the game like, Jesus!! Pun intentended. Lol. But seriously, Rice Rice Baby!!!!

Teryima Adi

That goal- what a jollof Rice 😃


Is it me or there was a handball from Martial just before Kai and Nketiah missed the sitter?


Nketiah didn’t miss the sitter, it was taken away from him by Martinez even before he could shape his body for the shot

Dr. Gooner

He’s the best midfielder in the game right now. THE BEST.


I believe Rice will improve and with time we’ll see the best version of him

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