Ten Declan Rice negatives to help West Ham fans move on

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: Declan Rice #41 of Arsenal walks across the field during a game between Arsenal and Major League Soccer at Audi Field on July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: Declan Rice #41 of Arsenal walks across the field during a game between Arsenal and Major League Soccer at Audi Field on July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
1 of 2

The impact of Declan Rice’s departure has no doubt hurt the West Ham fanbase.

Some supporters have wished him well others have wished him nothing but the worst. Either way, we need to move on. So here are 10 points that will help you put him in the rear-view no matter how you feel and get ready for the season.

Ex-West Ham hero Declan Rice
Reasons for West Ham not to miss Declan Rice /

1. He’s Not a Leader.  If the West Ham dressing room felt a bit disjointed last season it’s because of Rice. Throughout Mark Noble’s tenure as captain, he went out of his way to meet with and welcome every new teammate whether they were a transfer or promoted academy players. Something Rice did not do in his short time as the team leader. You can potentially understand why it took some players a little longer to get acclimatised. Additionally, Rice would often say the wrong thing, going as far as: “We’re not Man City. We’re not going to win the Premier League.” What kind of captain would say that about his team? Lastly, on the leadership front, he criticised his manager through the media but never actually had the stones to have a closed-door meeting with David Moyes and look him in the eye.

2. Immaturity. He’s only 24 so we should temper expectations on his maturity. However, once you are groomed by Noble and given the honour to captain a team, then your focus should have to be stepping up and leading by example. Put your big boy pants on and tie your shoes and become a leader of men. If you couldn’t do it then you should have passed on it. Instead, he embraced the role and had favourites. Something that should never be practiced is having favourites when you are the captain.

3. Career Indecisiveness. Early on he couldn’t figure out what national team to play for. He started out representing Ireland where he would have carried the team and lifted them to better heights. Instead, he saw another path to the English team. Not sure how you can go from Ireland to bitter rivals England, but he did just that. Two years ago he wanted to be the defensive midfielder that attacked more, taking it away from his teammate Tomas Soucek who seemed to have found the knack for scoring goals in the box. Soucek has spent the last 2 seasons regressing and being stripped of something he was good at, becoming less valuable while having his confidence destroyed. Lastly, but we’re skipping over so many other examples, is his desire to leave West Ham. First, it was Chelsea to go play with his best friend Mason Mount. Chelsea was the team that dumped in his early years. It was West Ham that allowed him to continue to develop in a premier league academy. Then there was Man City and whispers about Manchester United, it never stopped until Declan and his new club dragged out the signing. Still can’t understand how any captain of a team can go play for a bitter rival the very next season.

4. The Big Club Illusion. All the things that Declan wanted in a big club, West Ham were doing in the last 3 years. They moved into a stadium that immediately made them contenders. With 63,000 fans attending each game, many other teams can’t match that, not even some top 6 teams. Not even Arsenal. West Ham were willing to pay Declan Rice whatever he wanted. There seemed to be no issues with funding as they spent over 200 million last year in transfers, only 2 other teams spent more. They brought in world-class players like Gianluca Scamacca, Lucas Paqueta, Nayef Aguerd, Jarrod Bowen, Kurt Zouma, etc. all in the last 3 seasons. West Ham reached a semi-final at the Euros and won a trophy this year. These were great signs of progress. Why leave an ascending team who are trying to do everything they can to be an elite team? Leave them for a squad that led the league all season and choked down the stretch. On second thought that sounds like exactly the type of team she should play for, one with no backbone.