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) /
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5. He’s A Fake. If you’ve seen him in promos over the last week or so, he’s all over the place gallivanting in his new uniform. Saying “Come on you Gunners” every chance he gets. He puts out this sappy thank you letter to West Ham fans, but rubs their face in it, in the same week. Who does that? If the decision was indeed difficult he would have told them to play down the promos out of respect to his former team and former fan base who he still holds near and dear. But I guess he doesn’t care. Modelling the home and away kits all over social media just seems that much more important.

6. Loyalty. Rice has acknowledged it himself that after being dumped by Chelsea’s academy he was lost. West Ham gave him hope. They made him believe in the type of player he would eventually be and helped him rise through the academy ranks and join the senior team rather quickly. There was no line forming to sign Rice up for his services. It was West Ham’s vision, they tailored the team around him. They moved him from defense to midfielder, recognizing his strengths. So what do you do to the team that propped you up and took you from the scrap heap? To a team that was willing to offer you a blank check? You leave.

7. Bad Teammate. Cresswell, Antonio, Ogbonna, Fornals, Zouma, Bowen, Soucek, Coufal, Benhrama, these are just some of the vets on the team. You’ve built something with these guys. Do they mean nothing at all to you? You can say the Conference League was closure for this team and things would change going forward, but you can also say let’s build off this. Last year’s Conference League winners, Roma reached the Europa League finals, that’s progress. I guess it’s Champions League or nothing for Rice and forget about building something with your fellow teammate who you’ve gotten this far with.

8. Afraid of Being the Underdog. One thing that reverberated within fans after he made the comment “We’re not Man City” was that he thought we could never achieve that. At one time Man City wasn’t Man City. It took them new ownership and a lot of money and time to get to where they are now. Along the way, players that were part of making Man City fans proud are immortalized. While Rice will forever be tied to this team for winning silverware, his efforts will eventually fade as fans remember the journey and not the players especially if those players abandoned them. Should every player just say “If you can’t beat them join them.” Should fans accept that mentality or should we believe that our club can one day reach the heights? It always bothered me that he never thought so.

9. Mercenary Mentality. At the age of 24, on a team that has shown progress just about every year of your career, that progress is every bit yours. Rice was a huge part of a special run. Now what? You join a team where their progress was not yours. You were brought in to be the last piece of a team that can’t seem to get it done. I’ve spent my entire life watching the New York Yankees. No one remembers that Jose Canseco spent time on the Yankees or that Jack McDowell was their ace at one point. Why? Because they didn’t win. If Rice never wins in North London, he will be forgotten. Arsenal fans will look at him as the guy that couldn’t get them over the hump. And if he does win he came in late, he was a part of their thing. Just like Roger Clemons was. Just like Alex Rodriguez. It’ll never be “his” title. But to a new generation of athletes, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, the list goes on and on making history doesn’t seem to matter. Winning the easiest way possible just seems like the better way to go. I mean no one will ever think of the Golden State Warriors dynasty and think about Durant. He was a mercenary and it seems Rice is ok with being one too.

10. All About The Money. In the end, Rice was just a dollar sign. It became how much he was worth and who could afford him. That number, 105million will follow him around more so than winning a trophy with the team he professed to love. Fans have said “we wish him luck, he’s a legend in my book,” but honestly 105 million made us not care as much. If West Ham sets themselves correctly with this new-found money, that’s all anyone will care about. There’s a part of me that believes Declan Rice is holding his head up higher for the money he was sold for rather than the trophy he won. The money allows him to model the new kits and rub it in everyone’s face guilt-free.

All 10 points made above make him seem superficial and disingenuous. A player with no backbone. He no doubt played a huge role at West Ham. One that he was willing to walk away from. Now its time to walk away from him.