Why Declan Rice is named London’s Player of the Year (month by month review)

Declan Rice this week was awarded the Premier League Player of The Year for London. It’s the second time the midfielder has received the honour.

It means it’s two years in a row a Gunner has taken the honour after Odegaard got the accolade this time last year.

Rice beat teammate Saliba to the trophy as well as Bowen, Porro and Vicario.

To show my respect let’s look at the 25-year-olds last year and a bit.

January 2023

7 months before it happens Rice is strongly linked with Arsenal with reports indicating the player is excited by the project Arteta is offering and would prefer that move to a return to Chelsea. Despite willing to make him the highest paid player in their history, it’s believed that David Sullivan Is resigned to losing his captain in the summer.

February 2023

A winless run sees Rice subtly question his managers tactics, including at times asking him to be a makeshift centre back in a back three. The end of the month sees West Ham climb out of the relegation zone with Rice scoring in a 4-0 win over Forest.

March 2023

In perhaps the only spell of the year where he faced any criticism, some pundits question if the constant speculation on his future is impacting on Rice’s form?

Roy Keane says on ITV: ‘ I don’t think he’s kicked on; I think there’s a lot of good PR from West Ham regarding his price. He needs to do a lot more. He doesn’t score enough goals; he doesn’t assist enough goals.’

Rice feels compelled to publicly apologise to supporters after a 4-0 defeat at Brighton.

Rice scores for England in Italy, the Three Lions first away win against the Italians since 1961

April 2023

The likes of the Daily Telegraph describe Rice’s goal in Europe as ‘the standout strike of Rice’s career’.

Domestically though, a 5-1 humiliation at home to Newcastle leaves West Ham only out of the drop zone based on goal difference.

This leads to protest from Iron supporters before kick-off at Fulham.

The turning point is 2-0 down to Arsenal, Rice intercepting possession off Partey which leads to a penalty. The irony being this is Rice hurting his future employer’s title dreams.

May 2023

In his last match at the London Stadium as a Hammer, Rice says farewell with a goal.

For the third consecutive season, the 25-year-old is named Hammer of The Season.

His League stats for the campaign show that the midfielder won more possession and made more interceptions than any other player.

June 2023

In his final game for West Ham, Rice becomes only the third captain in the club’s history to lift a major trophy, playing the entire 90 minutes of their win over Fiorentina.

July 2023

One of football’s worst kept secrets is confirmed as Rice becomes our highest paid player ever after West Ham finally accept a bid of 100 million with 5 million potentials add ons. The Hammers hold firm in terms of the structure of payments.

Man, City at the 11th hour submit a bid but quickly cancel negotiations with it believed the player making it clear that North London is his first choice.

August 2023

Rice makes his Arsenal debut as we win the Community Shield.

He wins over his new fanbase (and upsets his old one) by singing along to ‘North London Forever’ on the opening Saturday of the Prem season.

It’s also evident how much it means to the player to keep a clean sheet at Selhurst Park with the Gunners down to 10 men.

September 2023

In one of our highlights of the season, Rice’s first Arsenal goal beats Man United which leads to the Emirates serenading the  player at full time with ‘Rice Rice Baby’. He seems overcome by emotion.

Rice also makes his Champions League bow, our return after 6 years away.

October 2023

Rice’s second goal for Arsenal comes at Chelsea, who released him as a youngster and who he grew up supporting.

Internationally, Rice helps England qualify for the Euros.

November 2023

The most surprising aspect of the month is the reaction Rice gets on his return to the London Stadium.

The majority of West Ham fans boo their ex-skipper when he comes on as a sub in the Carabao Cup.

Wins over Sevilla and Lena mean we qualify for the Champions League knockout stages as group winners.

December 2023

Rice gets another late winner, this time at Luton.

A 1-1 draw at Anfield means Arsenal are top on Xmas Day but we then drop silly points in our final two games of 2023 which could yet prove costly.

Rice has another miserable reunion with West Ham, conceding a penalty at the Emirates.

January 2024

Arsenal only play three games this month, but a crucial tactical switch is allowing Rice to take more set pieces. This run of assists starts at home to Palace.

February 2024

In arguably his greatest performance in an Arsenal shirt Rice is outstanding in our win over Liverpool which keeps us in the title race.

A week later he gets the last laugh over West Ham, making two assists before curling a shot in from 20 yards.

Despite again getting abuse, Rice shows class.



  1. A legend once said Arsenal should have paid £20 Mill more to aquire the Englishman service.
    Maybe Wrighty was right, but I think he was merely justifying Declan Rice price tag.

    One of the factors Arsenal invest in young talented players is the very high ceiling they sport, when said player happens to be also British, now this is where the legend talks begins to gain traction.
    Now he is not just an ordinary player, the political and other implications dynamics has will change significantly, so the legend could be well onto something here.

  2. When you look at how much a rubbish/average central midfielder costs these days, Rice is an absolute bargain!

    He’s helped me get over the loss of Partey.

  3. Rice was far and away the best signing of the summer and good price for his quality too imo

  4. The fact that no one, not even Arsenal’s harshest critics are talking about his HUGE transfer fee is the biggest compliment to Rice. Someone said he is one of Arsenal’s best signings of the Emirates era and I agree.

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