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Declan Rice: Cooking Again

Tell.

Active Member
Meh after seeing some of you lot turn on Ødegaard for a few bad performances early in the season it’s no surprise to see Rice who has been world class for us and motm in our biggest games against City and Pool being in the firing line now.
This is what happens at the highest level though. Our greatest ever players were heavily criticised for failing to deliver in Europe. It comes with the territory.
 

Tnegs

Well-Known Member
This is what happens at the highest level though. Our greatest ever players were heavily criticised for failing to deliver in Europe. It comes with the territory.
I think there is a difference between criticizing a player which he does deserve for those performances and saying he’s not good enough/too limited for this level which is IMO utter nonsense.
 

lomekian

Essays are my thing
Pretty strange this place.

You have all these guys asking why Rice needs Jorginho and why he looks tired without realising it’s the same fking question they just have it backwards.

It’s Jorginho that needs Rice just as much as the other way round. The amount of ground Rice has to cover to make up for Jorginho’s lack of mobility is mind boggling. When we’re up against teams with genuine threat and dribbling ability this deficiency is just laid bare.

We cannot afford to carry someone as immobile as latter day Jorgi for this long, he’s a great player but he is well past it and it’s a damning indictment of our squad building that we are where we are frankly.

Play Rice as God intended him to be played. At 6. And he will do just fine.
Jorgi is fine as a rotation level player - but unfortunately Partey being injured all year has elevated his status. Both need replacing ASAP tbh.
 

lomekian

Essays are my thing
I would say Rice is more than just a water carrier, due to his positional intelligence, which allows him to intercept and cut off passing lanes effectively. This type of player has always had a place in English football. However, my point is that his best attributes do not align with our style; so why invest so much in him? People overcomplicate football, but fundamentally the game boils down to simple principles. What style have we been developing in recent years? Possession-based. What is the main technical component of this style? Passing. What is Rice's best technical attribute when in possession? Driving with the ball. Is he an elite passer i.e. Rodri, Alonso, Busquets? No.

It’s baffling then, that an astute coach like Mikel, who extensively analyzes football, fails to recognize the essential player profiles needed to maximize his game model. In possession-focused teams, the number 6 role is crucial, yet Rice lacks the close control and passing accuracy to justify such a hefty price tag. His struggles were evident during the World Cup; take, for example, England's match against Senegal in the round of 16.

Now, because he was so costly and has been significantly overhyped, Mikel is hesitant to substitute him during games. I’ve maintained this position all season, slated both here and on Twitter. Yet now, these same people are beginning to question him. He's getting paid a lot of money and lives comfortably but, I actually feel sorry for Declan.
One could equally take his performance against France where he was excellent.

1) Mikel doesn't substitute him because we have no other defensive midfielders who can cover ground (or stay fit tbh), not becuase he was expensive
2) It is more accurate to say that Rice is a very good passer, but under Moyes and Southgate has been more asked to be a long passer than a short passer, and he's having to play a very different style with us. He struggled a bit at first, then improved significantly, and as he's become visibly fatigued as somewhat reverted to type. The main thing is though he is known for being an excellent learner, and is starting from a strong overall base.
3) We bought him because he is a duels monster with fantastic reading and positional intelligence - qualities we sorely lacked. However over the last couple of weeks he's started to look frazzled mentally and physically and is missing asignments he normally makes in his sleep.
4) Its right to critique players, particularly those so expensively acquired, but there are a number in this discussion who said f*** all for the months where he and the team were flying, but have been very vocal a the start when he was adjusting and have suddenly reappared in the fortnight they can champion the correctness of assertions made several months ago, conveniently ignoring all that happened in between.

As for Rodri, Alonso, Busquets....I'm sure if you could find one who was buyable, Arteta would go all in on them this summer.
 

lomekian

Essays are my thing
Obvious he struggles a lot progressing the ball, and needs a player next to him in deeper positions helping him out.

We had no chance when Havertz and Rice both dropped back one.
More accurately, he struggles to progress the ball to the areas Partey excels at. Frankly, it annoys me that we don't use RIce's ability to hit the wide men early more.

Ultimately, very few players can be elite at everything, and if Partey hadn't fallen apart, that would have been a formidable and very well balanced central midfield with physicality, power, ability to cover ground and ability to progress centrally and out wide.

Its why I wouldn't be surprised if we retain Partey for the last year of his contract if he shows he can get up to speed before the end of the season. He wouldn't generate much of a fee if any, and he's still better than most options when fit. Of course, either way we need another 6 or another 8 regardless.
 

Clrnc

Established Member
Trusted ⭐

Player:Tomiyasu
Rice is a top 6, but if you ask him to be an 8 and progress with the ball you are asking for trouble. His lack of technical ability has shown up badly in Europe, by both Porto and Bayern. Lesser players were running rings around him. It genuinely made me laugh when I see Rice trying to dribble and get past pressure and by his 3rd touch it's a tackle to salvage the dribble. What we ask him to do fully exposes his weaknesses.

Anyway the goal was on him


A fundamental miscomm. Martinelli let go of his man because Rice held his hands up and shouted.
 

Thrice

Well-Known Member
A fundamental miscomm. Martinelli let go of his man because Rice held his hands up and shouted.
Rice was marking Goretzka. Maybe his positioning confused Martinelli, but the goal's on Martinelli because Rice had no chance to get to the ball there. And how would he be even able to signal anything at Martinelli in that split second?
 

MikelHadADream

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
More accurately, he struggles to progress the ball to the areas Partey excels at. Frankly, it annoys me that we don't use RIce's ability to hit the wide men early more.

Ultimately, very few players can be elite at everything, and if Partey hadn't fallen apart, that would have been a formidable and very well balanced central midfield with physicality, power, ability to cover ground and ability to progress centrally and out wide.

Its why I wouldn't be surprised if we retain Partey for the last year of his contract if he shows he can get up to speed before the end of the season. He wouldn't generate much of a fee if any, and he's still better than most options when fit. Of course, either way we need another 6 or another 8 regardless.

True, but the areas where Partey progresses the ball is kind of fundamental for the way Arteta sets up his team (two advanced 8s), so it’s an issue with Rice in that position in the current set up (especially with Havertz as an 8). Rice either has to improve a lot in this area, or we need to find a new way of playing (which is what I’d like to see).

I think we’ll keep Partey because no one else will take him tbh.
 

GoonerJay24

Well-Known Member
One could equally take his performance against France where he was excellent.

1) Mikel doesn't substitute him because we have no other defensive midfielders who can cover ground (or stay fit tbh), not becuase he was expensive
2) It is more accurate to say that Rice is a very good passer, but under Moyes and Southgate has been more asked to be a long passer than a short passer, and he's having to play a very different style with us. He struggled a bit at first, then improved significantly, and as he's become visibly fatigued as somewhat reverted to type. The main thing is though he is known for being an excellent learner, and is starting from a strong overall base.
3) We bought him because he is a duels monster with fantastic reading and positional intelligence - qualities we sorely lacked. However over the last couple of weeks he's started to look frazzled mentally and physically and is missing asignments he normally makes in his sleep.
4) Its right to critique players, particularly those so expensively acquired, but there are a number in this discussion who said f*** all for the months where he and the team were flying, but have been very vocal a the start when he was adjusting and have suddenly reappared in the fortnight they can champion the correctness of assertions made several months ago, conveniently ignoring all that happened in between.

As for Rodri, Alonso, Busquets....I'm sure if you could find one who was buyable, Arteta would go all in on them this summer.

Well the French didn't press like the Senegalese, so his game wasn't under the microscope as much.

You make decent points but ultimately, you don't pay £100m for positional intelligence and duels. Especially for a team expected to dominate possession, have to offer more than that.
 

GoonerJay24

Well-Known Member
True, but the areas where Partey progresses the ball is kind of fundamental for the way Arteta sets up his team (two advanced 8s), so it’s an issue with Rice in that position in the current set up (especially with Havertz as an 8). Rice either has to improve a lot in this area, or we need to find a new way of playing (which is what I’d like to see).

I think we’ll keep Partey because no one else will take him tbh.

Yh, the only solution now is to find a new way of playing. We've signed the player for this amount; coach needs to build the team around his strengths. I think he'd pair well with a player like Frenkie De Jong
 

Penn_

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
He tells everyone himself where he should play.

"I think my best position is probably as a number six. That's where I'm most comfortable. As an eight, I get a bit excited, dribbling with the ball.

"When I'm playing there, my job is to create but that's not my biggest strength. My biggest strength is breaking up the play and taking the ball from deep and trying to dictate." Rice told TNT Sports post-match.
 

North5

Here since 2009. Unlike Cornavirus.

Country: England
Bit of an enigma this guy. He has been a big positive but he is also incredibly reluctant to be creative in case he loses the ball. That pass to an offside Saka was what you regularly expect from an elite player in his position but he never does it. Shows he can, then just doesn't bother.

He needs to be "unlocked" like Tets did with Xhaka. The guy is still young playing probably the most complex position in the game. He's the best off the ball 6 in the world and he has great long ball technique. Just needs to adapt to a more progressive game.

People are such mugs just throwing a young player under the bus who has been performing at an outstanding level 90% of his first season with us.

We'd be FAR worse off without him this season and that's a fact
 

MikelHadADream

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
Yh, the only solution now is to find a new way of playing. We've signed the player for this amount; coach needs to build the team around his strengths. I think he'd pair well with a player like Frenkie De Jong

I agree. Rice is a top player but has limitations (like the majority of players do).

I look at Real Madrids famous midfield three and think we should look to replicate it, with Rice the destroyer, someone like FDJ as the deeper playmaker and Ode as the number 8.

Would require Arteta to shift from his current way of playing though which I feel is unlikely. Would also require more goals from the front 3.
 

Riou

In The Winchester, Waiting For This To Blow Over

Country: Northern Ireland
Watching how excellent Xhaka was in the second half v Leverkusen, just made me pine for that Rice-Granit midfield even more.

C'est la vie, I guess 🙁
 

Maybe

You're wrong, no?
I look at Real Madrids famous midfield three and think we should look to replicate it, with Rice the destroyer, someone like FDJ as the deeper playmaker and Ode as the number 8.
Wonder if Real Madrid fans wanted Casemiro to play like Pirlo, something that we see on this forum where fans want Rice to be something he is not and criticize him for that.

100% agree, we already have 2/3, shame Arteta and Edu blundered big time with Havertz but let's hope they fix that this summer
 

MikelHadADream

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
Wonder if Real Madrid fans wanted Casemiro to play like Pirlo, something that we see on this forum where fans want Rice to be something he is not and criticize him for that.

100% agree, we already have 2/3, shame Arteta and Edu blundered big time with Havertz but let's hope they fix that this summer

Was really interesting how they used Casemiro. When they had the ball Kroos dropped deep to get the ball off the defence, with Casemiro pushing up. In defence Casemiro was the anchor man.
 

Maybe

You're wrong, no?
Was really interesting how they used Casemiro. When they had the ball Kroos dropped deep to get the ball off the defence, with Casemiro pushing up. In defence Casemiro was the anchor man.
I'm just not sure if someone like Kroos would do for us, controlling the game would be fine but I feel we struggle with the output as soon as Saka has a bad game so potentially we would need more Cazorla type player who can also dribble and break the opposition lines with a moment of magic.

The other option is to get someone like Kroos and do heavy investments in CF and LF positions, but hard to know what our budget is for something like that
 

MikelHadADream

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
I'm just not sure if someone like Kroos would do for us, controlling the game would be fine but I feel we struggle with the output as soon as Saka has a bad game so potentially we would need more Cazorla type player who can also dribble and break the opposition lines with a moment of magic.

The other option is to get someone like Kroos and do heavy investments in CF and LF positions, but hard to know what our budget is for something like that

Yeah, to have a midfield like that you need strikers that will be getting 50 odd goals a season between them, which we obviously don’t have.
 

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