Declan Rice is proving to be the anchor that holds Arsenal together

Declan Rice, Arsenal’s unsung hero

One player who been unbelievably impressive so far since joining the club is Declan Rice. Anyone who’s been following England or even West Ham knew he was good, but I don’t think anyone realised he was THIS good.

Arteta has clearly worked him magic and is bringing out only the best of Declan Rice. A player that when he’s moving with the ball, truly looks like he’s gliding on top of the pitch. He’s been better than I ever expected him to be, and I’m pleasantly surprised with what we’ve already began to achieve with him in the squad.

Mainly sitting just in front of the backline, Rice offers so much to this Arsenal squad and Arteta’s system. Playing as an anchor for the squad, he looks to keep everything calm and grounded. Protecting the defence, but also always seems to be the one who’s starting the attack, spreading the play as wide as he can and using himself as the path from back to front.

He truly is so much more than I ever saw at West Ham and shows that with a great manager like Mikel Arteta who looks to be bringing only the best out of him, no offence to any of the managers that Rice previously has played under, but Arteta seems to have instantly connected with the midfielder and from what we’ve seen so far, there’s only more to come.

Having him come off against Tottenham in the London derby clearly affected the style of play and without him in the centre we look all over the place. Jorginho is a great player and will be able to do the job of covering Rice when needed but the difference between how the two play and both bring different qualities to the squad.

Declan Rice is truly world class and worth every penny we spent of him. With such a big price tag on his head, pressure was always going to be on his shoulders, but he hasn’t looked at all fazed and has just slipped into the squad like he’s been here for years.

What’s your thoughts Gooners? How impressed are you with Rice so far?

Daisy Mae

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Tags Declan Rice


  1. His defending skills and physicality are great. If he doesn’t get a grave injury, I hope he can spend the rest of his playing career at Arsenal and succeed Arteta in the future

  2. Yes forget about the Madison, Gvardiol and the Caicedo kid, there is no doubt Rice is the signing of the season.

    Such is the impact of Declan Rice to Arsenal a super fan recently stated he could have his own statue at the Emirates by Christmas..

  3. DR is good. That’s why there has been no single complain even from us fans. Same can’t be said KH. Hopefully KH can find and play to his own strengths.

  4. Really striving but it looks like his former side don’t miss him hence no feel too big for him now he is here to steer us higher up. A midfield that contains him and Thomas will be way too much to handle, i can only see Mikel apply such in big games against City,Pool and an important match like a CL final. Top guy!

  5. We have to play 4-2-3-1 in some games n artata shud be normal n stick to our plan no panic if we lose we lose bt we shall be ok with it

  6. What he needs is a true No 8 or perhaps a No 6 to partner him in midfield. Someone who can support him in a way that Havertz or Vieira cannot.

  7. I note we have another cringe worthy statement that MA has brought the best out of DC.

    Get over this obsession that MA ‘s the second coming!!

    Mikel bought him for what he was and he has carried on from there – nothing to do with MA, the guys a natural footballer, brimming with confidence in his own ability.
    That’s why Pep wanted him as well.

    What MA saw was a player who would fit in perfectly with his ideas and so it has been proven.
    We will see an even better dovetailing when Partey is back and for Rice / Partey see Vieria / Petit.

    1. I note we have another cringeworthy statement. From @ken1945

      So poor signings and performances are all Mikel Arteta’s faults …

      But he gets no credit for the good and great signings and performances?

      Would Rice look so good if MA didn’t let him play to his strengths? Do you truly believe MA has contributed nothing to Rice’s game when the player is on record having said how much he has already learned from MA? Have you lived under a rock your whole life and never seen great/good players become poor/terrible under the wrong managers at the wrong club? Do you honestly give MA no credit for convincing Rice to join Arsenal when he could have signed for Pep at ManC?

      Or are you a Sh*tspurs fan here in disguise to troll true Gunners?

      By your argument, Pep should get no credit for anything he has achieved because “he saw players who would fit in perfectly with his ideas and so it has been proven”.

      1. When you’ve supported the club as long as I have mate, then try telling me about football.
        It’s my opinion that MA was shrewd enough to buy a complete footballer proven PL player and full England international.
        He then integrated him into a squad that finished 2nd in the PL (should have won it) and let him play his natural and proven game.

        If you took the time to actually read and digest my post, you would have recognised that I praised MA for knowing what a great player he is… just as Pep did… and he made sure DR ended up at the club he wanted to sign for anyway.

        That’s not magical – it’s common sense and MA has got plenty of that!!

        So why don’t you pull your neck in, crawl back under your stone and learn how to read and digest an opinion?!

      2. @UmairMixa
        If Arteta is so “adept” at bringing out the best in players. Than why didn’t he bring out the best in Pepe, Willian or Runarsson, to name a few?Jus askin…🤔

        1. Quite correct NY_Gunner, he’s a perfect example of being blinded by MA and not recognising simple facts – Declan Rice would have been a success wherever he went, such is his pedigree.

        2. He did bring out the best in Xhaka, Odegaard, and Martinelli. He’s helped Saka grow, and White and Vieira. He is trying to nurture Nelson, Nketiah, Havertz, Smith Rowe, and Sagoe Jr.

          No manager has a 100% record. Every manager has hits and misses. You might as well ask why Alex Ferguson didn’t get the best out of Djemba Djemba. Each player has different personalities, different priorities, and some things just happen in certain times at certain places.

          I am not saying Arteta is perfect … but he has been very good for Arsenal during extremely tough times. Don’t forget he had to manage a club like Arsenal (his first managerial job) through Covid, get rid of nearly an entire squad full of toxic, has-been players, and rebuild one which could challenge for trophies … AND re-establish the connection between club and fans.

          No, he’s not the second coming … but look at ManUtd and Chelsea, and tell me we aren’t better off sticking with Mikel, and therefore should give him the benefit of our trust.

          1. So what’s all the above got to do with Mikel buying DC?

            I’ve not said the opposite to anything that you have written in your second post have I?

            You accused me of living under a rock and being a “Shitspurs fan here in disguise to troll true gunners” because you didn’t take the time to think about what I’d written, when IN FACT, I’m complimenting MA for signing the player, recognising his pedigree and letting him play to his natural abilities… while disputing that, somehow, it needed some kind of magic to achieve that!!

            Before insulting others, think!! Just for your information, I’ve supported The Arsenal for nearly 70 years, what about you?

        3. Another cringeworthy statement!

          Declan Rice could easily have failed in a team like the current iterations of ManUtd and Chelsea.

          There are no guarantees in football!

          You are the one who cannot understand THAT simple fact.

  8. Rice is good; very good. However, when Partey played 6 and was in good form, we didn’t struggle to score goals as we have been doing of late.

    The Partey/Xhaka partnership didn’t make us have the longing for a striker. Partey made all our attackers look better. He actually moved the ball forward faster.

  9. Rice is good, very good but he needs Partey next to him. Rice is just the glue that sticks the midfield. He isn’t dynamic or great at killer passes. Partey is!!!!!! Together we have a winning combination.

    1. I would be amazed if MA didn’t play TP and DR together Reggie.
      I personally wouldn’t choose one over the other, but I wonder just how many times we will see them together – taking in to account TP’s injury history?

  10. OT Just read what Declan Rice has said about Kai Havertz and it’s worthwhile digesting what he says about his teammate – all positive vibes.

    1. Part of what the new Arsenal is all about mate, that and of course winning enough games to earn us trophies. i love the way Emile was consoled after team mates and coaches saw him in tears.

      1. I happen to think that’s what The Arsenal has always been about mate – that’s why it’s very rare for an ex player to Diss the club and why we say “once a Gooner always a Gooner.

        It’s not happened overnight, despite what some might think!!

  11. In terms of dressing room harmony it is new. Been missing since after about 2007-2008 season which Mikel himself experienced as a player and sorted it as a manager by getting rid of players who don’t embody such so as to enable him achieve what we now look increasingly likely to achieve. Happy days ahead.

    1. So without any dressing room harmony, we finished in the top four, won fa cups and played in europe via the CL after the 2007 /08 season?

      Let’s hope this “new harmony” will produce the same, or even better results then.

      1. Yeah we did but i think it will only get better now the connection is there between players and fans. One of the reasons i look at spuds project under conte and ange and utd’s managers post Alex including ETH and i wonder how they will be able to achieve long term success without doing the right thing first no matter what it takes but unfortunately they don’t which calls for celebration as a rival fan on my part.

        1. Let me take you back to Manchester City, before they were taken over by the oil country.
          They had crowds of over 30,000 fans, while floundering in the third tier of English football, but that didn’t bring success until the money rolled in.

          Yes, MA has brought the club and fans together, but that doesn’t guarantee success, it’s part of the jigsaw and to say we didn’t have that after 2007 / 8 while winning trophies and top four finishes is incorrect…and MA certainly didn’t invent it.

    2. Vamos it is hopeless debating with the like of ken as he is just plainly a hater. Nothing is good coming from Arteta.

      1. Ackdshay, I don’t hate anybody my friend – I happen to believe that MA is doing a great job…. most of the time.
        But, unlike you and your ilk, I point out his errors as well as his successes.
        So, my friendly Gooner, are you prepared to do the same?

        1. Sure ESR getting snub is ridiculous, not keeping kierney as 2nd choice lb and an aversion to rotate or make early subs.

          1. Well, there we are then and I’m not going to say your a “hater” just a Gooner who is pointing out some errors… in your opinion.

  12. DR is everything I hoped he would be. He does what he does so very well but he does not stand out on a flashy way. He sees situations before they happen and deals with them. He gave Zinchenko the freedom to roam and probe the opposition yesterday. He does not have to score goals IMO to a ‘great’ midfielder, he has quickly become the teams foundation and engine room enabling the rest of the team flourish.

  13. DR is a World class midfielder excels as both a lone 6 or 8. Worth every single penny of the 100m. Really want to see a duo of Partey and Rice with Odeggard in front of them. Monster midfield probably suited for away big 6 matches and CL knockout phase.

  14. Never said he invented it nor did i say it’s the only thing that guarantees success, all i said is he brought it back after lacking way back since the nine year trophyless seasons while of course making top four in a rather less competitive era where 84 points is more than enough to win the league. It is important to note that we eventually fell short of top 4 right from Wenger’s last two years till the 2021/22 campaign under Unai and Mikel which has been improved to tittle challengers and fourth favourites to win CL this campaign despite being away for seven years and i’m confident there is more to come thanks to a well laid plan.

      1. Again, you fail to point out that, in Wenger’s last two seasons, we won the fa cup, finishing 5th and 6th, while UE finished 5th and got to a European cup final.

        No mention of the 8th 8th 5th seasons, or the 3rd and 4th round knockouts in the fa cup.
        Not even a mention of the European results after UE or the absence of ANY european football for the first time in two decades since UE left.

        You see, that’s the difference, let’s all praise MA for what he’s doing and he’s doing an awful lot right – but let’s not whitewash the mistakes or say things that are so silly, like we had no harmony in the dressing room from 2007.
        COYG eh Ackshay and Vamos – let’s all hope MA becomes THE most successful manager in The Arsenal’s history – that’s what we all want isn’t it?

        1. For Ken
          How you could be called a Spurs fan or a troll is beyond me.
          Like you I am not blind to MA’s faults. Equally to AW’s and UE’s faults.
          That makes us Arsenal and MA haters according to some.
          My view is that they lack maturity which I am sure will come with time.

          1. Thanks IGL, I’m beginning think that we’re going to have another stupid name calling for or against the manager once again.

  15. Alright, Whatever rocks your boat. mind you i mentioned where Mikel finished in the standings in his earlier years meanwhile won an FA cup as well to buy the faith and time to achieve what we are today and isn’t done yet. He was not left to continue for no reason, there was a culture transformation going on as at then we finished 8th twice and i insist it’s dated back since wenger’s years till 2021/22.

    1. It’s not what rocks my boat or yours though – I applaud MA for winning the fa cup in his first season, especially as there was no harmony in the dressing room!!
      😭armony is what we all want, so let’s leave it at that shall we?

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