|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||West Ham United|
2019 05 28 Retrieve
[Declan Rice urged his team-mates not to pass up the opportunity of winning a first piece of international silverware for England since 1966] It’s massive, not only for me but for the whole squad and the nation. It’s a chance to win the first Nations League and an opportunity to win a trophy for England for the first time since 1966.
It’s massive for us as a nation and the players are aware of that - it’s up to us to do the business. Netherlands are a really exciting team. Everyone saw that in the Champions League with Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek for Ajax. But in our squad as well we’ve got fantastic young players who have performed at such a high standard this season. We know the game is going to be tough but it is one that we are confident ahead of. We beat Croatia and Spain to get here and put in good performances - we will do that again against the Netherlands
[And the West Ham midfielder, named as part of Southgate’s final 23-man group for the tournament, already feels like a valued member of the squad] I felt comfortable here since the moment I walked through the door for my first camp back in March. All the lads, most of whom I know from playing against them, made me feel welcome. One thing I can say is that Gareth has really got this squad together
If you look back to the start of the season at Liverpool, I was dragged off at half-time and then missed a few games before returning against Everton. It’s been a whirlwind season for me and one that I have dreamed of; one I never thought would happen. I’ve just got to take it all in my stride. Consistency is key. I’ve kept myself in good shape to play in pretty much every game this season and I have a manager who has put trust in me. I’m the youngest player in the squad but my team-mates have given me the confidence to go out and perform at the level I’ve been performing at.
2019 06 04 Retrieve
[Declan Rice is prepared to play dirty in England’s bid for Nations League glory, with Frenkie de Jong needing to be contained in a meeting with the Netherlands] He is a fantastic player. I am relishing the chance to put myself up against him. You cannot give him too much respect on the pitch because that is when he starts to dictate the game. You have got to be dirty, up in his face and try and disrupt him from playing his game. I am sure as a team we will do well to stop the Dutch. This will be, if I am involved, the biggest game of my life. We are in the semi-finals against a great side.
[Declan Rice enjoyed a productive 2018-19 campaign at club level] With the season I have had, most people would have seen that for a young age I have done really well. But this is another level. You are playing against world-class opposition and you need to be on your game
Most people would have thought that was tough to take on, with loads of papers in Ireland writing about me and Irish players speaking about me. But it is always going to blow over and I am so laid-back, I do not really take much notice of it. I am just focused on what I have got to do for club and country. I have had to be mentally strong and I have been like that since I was a kid
2019 06 07 Retrieve
[Declan Rice admitted he was ‘gutted’ after the Netherlands progressed to the Nations League final at the expense of England] It’s gutting, it really is, it really is gutting. It’s tough. I’m lost for words. First half, we went out there and tried to play our stuff and we obviously had the lead, which I thought was deserved. Holland didn’t really create any chances at all in the first half and then, the second half, we just kind of sat back and we didn’t do what we did in the first half. We didn’t get up in their faces and make it difficult. They obviously got the equaliser from a corner, which is gutting because we work on them day in, day out, and obviously [we had] that VAR controversy again, which was really tight and might have changed the game a bit. Holland won and we cost ourselves the game with two mistakes and I’m gutted about it.
[The West Ham midfielder went onto defend John Stones for his costly mistake] Look, he is a great player, John Stones, and that’s his game, he takes risks. It doesn’t matter that he’s done that, we’re all behind him. We all know we make mistakes in football. The manager backs him, we all back him and it’s one of those things in football where, if you make a mistake, you’ve got to pick your head up and go again. I’ve made plenty in my time and it’s one of those where you’ve got to lift your head and go again but it was tough to take.
2019 06 25 Retrieve
[Declan Rice may be sparking talk of interest from Manchester United and Man City, but he has hinted that his immediate future lies at West Ham. Rice, though, is seemingly planning to form part of West Ham’s plans in 2019-20] Had loads of people asking this. I WILL be keeping 41 for this season
2019 08 04 Retrieve
[Declan Rice thinks anything less than European qualification this season should be a deemed a failure for West Ham] We have to be aiming for Europe with the squad we have now. Anything below that is a failure and most of the players would say that. We finished 10th, but we had so many chances to finish seventh. We have to improve our away form and our consistency
If you had said to me then I would have played three times for England, played nearly every game, won man-of-the-match awards and club awards, I would have said: ‘No chance’. I am really happy thinking about it, but I know I have to build on that this season
[Rice went a month without playing for the Hammers after that defeat to the subsequent Champions League winners] I was in a horrible place flying home. We had been blitzed and I was dragged off at half-time. I played badly and was thinking I was not ready for the Premier League. There were a lot of Championship clubs interested in taking me out on loan. But the manager said I was not going anywhere and that I would play. I got my chance again at Everton. I took it and I have not looked back. If you had said to me then I would have played three times for England, played nearly every game, won man-of-the-match awards and club awards, I would have said no chance. I am really happy thinking about it, but I know I have to build on that this season
2019 09 05 Retrieve
[Declan Rice believes he is good enough to play for Manchester United, but thinks the time isn’t right to consider a move away from West Ham] Don’t get me wrong, I think I’ve got the ability to play for a club like that. But it’s all about the timing and I don’t think the timing is right for me at all. I’ve still got so much to learn. I’m loving it at West Ham, the connection between me and the supporters is special. I’ve become one of the fans’ favourites and the manager likes me
[He indicated there was a chance he could remain at West Ham long term] I’ve signed a contract here for the next few years and I’m looking forward to playing this season and the season beyond, so we’ll just see where it goes. To be called a West Ham legend in the future, maybe, would be a real honour
[The defensive midfielder was substituted at half-time while the Hammers were 2-0 down against Liverpool at Anfield] I wanted to go to Aston Villa under Steve Bruce. I remember speaking to Ryan Fredericks on the plane on the way home, and I was thinking that I should go on loan. Being dragged off at Anfield and then being left out of the squad for the next couple of matches, it really made me think. West Brom, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa wanted me. I was pushing for Villa the most. I remember speaking to the manager here, saying that I should go on loan. He just laughed it off and said, ‘You’re not going on loan!’ He said, ‘You’re going to stay, and you’re going to play’. He told me that I had to get back into the team
2019 09 09 Retrieve
[Declan Rice says ‘Immaculate’ Mason Mount capable of scoring as often as Chelsea legend Lampard] I’ve said to loads of people, he could score in every game if he wanted to. The positions he gets himself in, I can tell he’s training with Frank and they are working really well together because he’s like a second striker, making those runs which Lampard used to. He’s pretty much immaculate. He’s playing the same way Lamps used to play. I am not surprised he is doing that for Chelsea and he is going to keep doing that there for years. Since we were young, in training and games, we have always been egging each other on to get better.
We have always had a winning mentality. We always want to do well. We went our separate ways but always stayed in contact, dropped each other a message now and then, and it just shows the type of character he is that he has come on and done excellently, and he has started at Chelsea like that. It was special [to see him debut]. From the moment he was lined up to come on, I had a smile on my face. When he ran out and the reception he got, it was really special. I don’t know how he was feeling but I felt like a proud best friend. It was really special for him and his family
[On playing alongside his good friend] We never spoke about it until this summer. The season he had at Derby was outstanding, he did really well with the Under-21s and the call-up from Gareth [Southgate] was waiting for him. When we were on holiday together this summer, we said, ‘What if it happens?’ with a smile on our faces. When the squad came out the other day, we had a phone call to each other, we were really happy and we have been enjoying it in camp as well. That’s the main thing. I think this would be the last way of us playing together. You would maybe think we would rekindle [our partnership] at a club somewhere but for it to come with England is really special. It is the best way to do it
[Rice himself impressed as he completed the full 90 minutes on Saturday in what was just his fourth appearance since committing himself to England over the Republic of Ireland] It is not a lot of time at all. When you get the tournament, you need to be in the best frame of mind for the team. Gareth’s got decisions to make for the squad but, with seven games to go, everyone is fighting for a place and it is healthy and everyone wants to do well. I know I have got to get better for sure. We have had a good start to the season at West Ham. I know I can go up another level. It is only the start of the season. Tonight, I have probably had the most touches of the ball I have had all season, so I want to keep getting on the ball as much as I can, keep it ticking, intercepting the ball, reading the game well - pretty much my all-round game I am trying to improve. I am looking forward to Euro 2020 and hopefully by then I have gone up another level
2019 09 09b Retrieve
[West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has spoken about abuse from fans after opting to play for England over the Republic of Ireland - but says his parents were the only ones worried] I’ve had a few bad bits. I’ve had people saying they’re going to come to my house, people online. There’s a few bits that I could go into. Threats to my family, threats to me. You’ll click on their profile and they will just be like a fake profile, so you don’t know if it’s true or not. But you know what, thinking about it now, I was never actually scared about it. There are always fans that are going to be giving you abuse and whatnot about it. You just have to look at it and laugh, think, ‘Yeah, alright, as if you’re going to come and do that’, that kind of thing
[England will be expecting to take another step towards qualification against Kosovo on Tuesday, an achievement which would provide vindication for Rice’s choice of allegiance] It was tough, there has been some abuse. But it’s more for my mum and dad, they’ve been more worried than anyone else. I was always quite strong-minded but my mum, with me being the youngest [of three brothers], was a bit worried. But I’m good, I don’t take any notice of it. I just try to keep focused
2019 10 13 Retrieve
[Declan Rice has dismissed speculation he could leave West Ham for Manchester United as all talk until something happens] I signed a five-year contract with West Ham last year, which will keep me at the club till I’m 24. And for me this is the best place to be right now. I am playing for a manager who has given me my chance and played me week in, week out. I’m improving every week and although I see all this speculation, I don’t really think about it too much. It’s all talk until something happens - and nothing has - so I’m just focused on West Ham, doing my best and making the fans happy
2019 12 09 Retrieve
[West Ham midfielder Declan Rice says his side have been rubbish recently. The Hammers lost 3-1 to Arsenal at London Stadium on Monday] That pretty much sums up our 16 games. First half we went 1-0 up and were frustrating them. Then second half they score two in six minutes. It is frustrating. We’ve missed a chance to move up the table. It is heartbreaking. We are in the rubbish at the moment. When one goes in we need to learn to keep our heads up. They have great players but they are all preventable goals. We need to look at ourselves. We are making the same mistakes. We are playing good football as well but making too many mistakes. We have to win our home games. It is horrible to hear the boos. We want to make the fans happy. But we have lost big games here. Now is the time to stay together. Games come thick and fast and we need to regroup. The manager is great, the players love the manager. We work hard all week and sometimes you wonder why we can’t transfer that to the pitch
2019 12 29 Retrieve
[Pellegrini sacked by West Ham after Leicester City defeat] People were talking about us being top-six contenders and now we’re so far away. Fans are coming to the game pretty much not wanting to come. We need to pick up fast
2020 01 10 Retrieve
[West Ham’s Declan Rice claims the entirety of the Premier League doesn’t want VAR after the midfielder’s side controversially had a goal ruled out in the dying stages of the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United] We are fuming. All the lads are livid. This is a tough place to come, credit to them they ground it out. We created some chances and missed some chances. The goal at the end was a tough one to take because a point on the road would have been good for us.
I’ve just watched it back. He has knocked the ball into my hand. If you are running with your arms like that with the rules as they are now it is handball but it is not intentional. It is a kick in the teeth. I think it is the thoughts of every Premier League player, not just me - pretty much every one doesn’t want to have VAR in the game.
There have been so many decisions this season that have been absolutely crazy. They were celebrating VAR like it was a goal and football should not be like that. We are not too happy but it is in the game now and we have to get on with it. I can’t get over it, he knocked it into my hand. It is not intentional handball. I was buzzing. I ran 20 metres up the pitch, slipped the ball in for Snods
2020 04 13 Retrieve
[Declan Rice has hinted that he would be open to making a move to Chelsea] Yeah I’d love to, I’d love to play with him [Mount] at club level again. One thing we’ve always said as kids we’d love to play with each other at club and international level but obviously you never know because of different paths and things like that
2020 04 19 Retrieve
[Declan Rice has previously hinted that Chelsea could be his preferred destination] Yeah I’d love to, I’d love to play with him [Mount] at club level again. One thing we’ve always said as kids we’d love to play with each other at club and international level but obviously you never know because of different paths and things like that
2020 04 19b Retrieve
[Mount’s father Tony has revealed in the recent past] Mason and Declan are best friends. They always have been and still are now. They talk to each other all the time. When Declan got released at 14, we were all devastated. Debbie [Mount’s mother] was in tears and Mason was gobsmacked
2020 04 26 Retrieve
[West Ham star Declan Rice has opened up on his shock Chelsea exit at the age of 14] I had to overcome a massive disappointment of being released by Chelsea at the age of 14. That was everything I ever knew to be honest. From nine to 14, training there Monday to Friday, playing games and to get told you won’t be a part of that anymore was a major shock. I never thought it would have to happen but it did. And then I had the fortunate chance to sign for either Fulham or West Ham and chose West Ham and started a whole new chapter. I knew it was going to be tough, but always as a kid I wanted to be a professional footballer. Nothing was ever going to get in the way of me working as hard as possible to become that. I was just so driven and wanted to be the best I could be. I had to make sacrifices, move away from home, move into new digs, and now all the decisions that I made have played out really well
If you are looking to go straight back into it, you’re going to look at so many injuries. That’s what clubs are saying. You need at least three weeks of high intensity interval training to get yourself back in shape with the football. It’s been tough because you are used to seeing your teammates, going out every day and doing the day to day things. To have that taken away from you is really tough. But on the other side of it, given the position we are in at West Ham, it’s nice to not feel the pressure of going out and playing for three points every week. It’s nice from that perspective not to have that stress. But really not only me but the whole of the Premier League want to get back to it now to be honest
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[Having Mason Mount as a best friend also helped. The pair don’t just get on well, they also push one another to improve as players] Since we were young, in training and games, we have always been egging each other on to get better. We have always had a winning mentality. We always want to do well. We went our separate ways but always stayed in contact, dropped each other a message now and then. It was special [to see him debut]. From the moment he was lined up to come on, I had a smile on my face. When he ran out and the reception he got, it was really special. I don’t know how he was feeling but I felt like a proud best friend. It was really special for him and his family
2020 07 18 Retrieve
[Declan Rice try to add goals to his game] In the warm-up I scored two bangers! Lads tell me to shoot more in training. Goals are something I need to add to my game