Watching Rodri shine in the final and win the title of Best Player of the Champions League last season, Arsenal fans have the right to expect when they also own a talented, personality-filled and passionate midfielder like Declan Rice.
“I believe we can compete with the strongest” – Declan Rice thinks Arsenal can win the Champions League this season. That is the original headline that FourFourTwo wrote in a fit of excitement, after interviewing the English midfielder in early October.
The Gunners actually just returned to the prestigious tournament after 7 consecutive seasons of absence and have never been crowned at the top of this field. They reached the final once, falling to Barcelona in 2006.
Meanwhile, Rice has only lifted the Europa Conference League trophy with West Ham. He also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League with The Hammers but never played in the Champions League.
They clearly interpreted Rice’s meaning a bit too much, but in fact he did not hide his great ambitions: “A club like Arsenal deserves to be in the Champions League and I feel like anything is possible.” go out. Look at Inter last season – they went all the way to the final and no one expected that. Therefore, any team with enough desire and potential can go on a similar great journey. I believe we are capable of competing with the best.”
Now let’s return to reality: Looking at the performances from the beginning of the season of Rice and the Arsenal team, we see that that lofty dream is not completely unfounded. They even just defeated the Champions League champion in the most recent round of the Premier League! The Gunners are also currently ahead of Manchester City with 2 points more; They and their great rival Tottenham share the top spot in the rankings.
Meanwhile, Declan Rice was the best player in the big match against The Citizen, on the day Rodri was absent. Rice is currently an irreplaceable pillar in the midfield, helping the Gunners stay undefeated in the first 8 rounds. The statistics of just 1 goal cannot fully describe his great influence. Not wearing the captain’s armband, but the Three Lions player has a loud voice worthy of one of the leaders.
In fact, former captain Cesc Fabregas continuously praised the team’s rookie in the latest interview: “Declan Rice has matured and become more complete. Now, I think he can be the one to make the winning shots. Even Declan Rice can kick high on the edge of the penalty area like what Rodri did. Obviously, Declan Rice has a similar level.”
There are many pieces to the puzzle that make Declan Rice successful today and some of them are completely different from the average English player.
To this day, I still keep in touch with the gym teacher and we are really good friends. He is also a football lover and always tries to bring the best results to his team. Maybe it’s because of the presence of people like that that I like school football so much.
I still vividly remember the memory of reaching the final of the Surrey County Cup – the fiery “big match” with Whitgift school of Croydon area. This team even has a few boys from Chelsea and Palace.
A friend of mine from the school recruitment team also went to try out at Chelsea after that final. He was the best person on the field that day, but the trial results were not as expected and he could not progress further. That reminded me how difficult it can be to create a breakthrough.
All in all, it was a special time that I will always cherish. When you’re a kid full of energy, all you want to do is rush outside and play soccer.
So that’s why I was, am and will always know better than all the people who have helped me over the years to achieve my dream now.
Practicing at the youth center but growing up playing street football, loving and playing with school football – Declan Drice is truly very different from others in England’s disciplined and methodical football scene. But, it was that difference that helped him nurture his love and achieve his current success.
Besides, the attitude of gratitude and living first and foremost with those who have helped him also portrays a humble guy. That trait is important in carefully navigating and expanding your potential. (Because as mentioned, he understands how difficult it is to create a breakthrough).
Remember Fabregas’s words: “Declan Rice is more mature and perfect” – that’s exactly what the junior planned and did.
“This is the perfect fit. Being from London and playing for Arsenal – I think this is the best move for me at this stage of my career. On the other hand, I also feel the love and abundant energy that everyone gives me. In addition, coach Arteta also had a great impact on this choice.”
Closer to home, Rice believes that the opportunity to work with Mikel Arteta can help him make important strides.
“I know I still have to improve in many aspects and Mikel is the best coach who can help me ‘level up’. Before that, I studied well under David Moyes. Now, I can add more skills or hone my playing strengths. I am eager to learn things like never before, improve my weaknesses and look forward to coach Mikel bringing out my full potential. All of these things are the reason why I joined Arsenal.”