Declan Rice Speaks About Change At West Ham

Declan Rice, West Ham.(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Declan Rice, West Ham.(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Declan Rice believes that there has been a massive change at West Ham this season. The club have just lost to Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad, but Rice has suggested that the result shows how far the team has progressed in the last year.

Rice has pointed out that the team’s major improvement this season has been the consistency in their performances. The midfielder noted that last season the team would only perform well a few games at a time. This season has been a different story.

"“A year ago, no beating around the bush, we were a poor side. We’d have a couple of games when we were good, then have games when we were poor, but now you can see our performances week-in week-out are full of heart and desire and we’re leaving everything on the pitch.”Rice on City defeat."

Declan Rice is superb on the field, and off the pitch he is determined to motivate his players to make something special happen at West Ham this season.

Declan Rice, West Ham.
Declan Rice, West Ham. (Photo by GARETH COPLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

City’s Ruben Dias opened the scoring for the Citizens before Michail Antonio equalised before half-time. John Stones eventually scored the winning goal. However, if the game had ended in a draw, no one would have complained about the result.

West Ham made Pep Guardiola’s side battle for the three points, something many teams have not been able to say this season. Usually, Hammers fans dread visiting the Etihad, but there was immense pride in the team’s performance despite the defeat.

Rice has seen the change in the mentality of the team and even noticed Vladimir Coufal’s reaction to the defeat. The defender held his head in his hands at the full-time whistle as if the team had just lost a cup final. That sort of commitment to the club has lacked in recent seasons.

Vladimir Coufal, West Ham.
Vladimir Coufal, West Ham. (Photo by GARETH COPLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

"“You saw Vladi at the end with his hands on his head and the lads were gutted in the changing room. It wasn’t like that a year ago, but something’s really changed and things are improving.”Rice on Coufal."

West Ham’s loss against the Citizens means that Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea have closed the gap on them. Rice, however, does not want the club to simply hand over the coveted Champions League place that they currently hold. The 22-year-old is determined to see the Hammers qualify for the biggest club competition in the world.

"“We’re not letting this slip now. We’ve got Leeds next, and we’re pushing on, and we’re going to keep working hard. We’ve got 12 games left, and we know what’s ahead of us. We’ve got a good squad here, a great mentality, and if we perform like that, there is no reason why we can’t stay high in the top half.”Rice on European qualification."

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The next 12 games are crucial to the Hammers season. If the players continue to produce the current performance levels then there is no reason why they can’t finish in the top four. If the players switch off for a week or two then it could just as easily fall apart. One thing that is certain is there is a lot more enjoyment in this battle and a relegation battle.