John Hartson believes Declan Rice is “the one” who will save Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal from collapsing in this season’s Premier League title race.
The former Arsenal striker pointed out that Declan Rice, who joined from West Ham United for a record fee this summer, is a “calm person” and “nothing upsets him,” he said Premier League Productions (12/08/23 at 12:15 p.m.).
The 24-year-old made his Premier League debut yesterday by helping Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 – and in truth he should have helped himself score, only for his former team-mate Matt Turner to intercept him in between parry stays with his Forest debut.
It’s a positive start for the Gunners, but they know their performances up until March of last season weren’t too much of a problem.
That’s what they’ve been doing for the last six or so weeks, and after holding a whopping five or at times even eight point lead at the top.
That collapse killed them, ironically also a game against Rice’s West Ham, but Hartson believes he will put an end to that now.
“Nothing is going to upset him,” Hartson said. “He looks calm. He appears up for the challenge and is looking forward to being at Arsenal given the responsibility of working for the club.
“They were so close last season. They were at the top of the league for months. In the end it just fell away.
“He’s going to be who that player is going to be. ‘Right, we’re not doing that this year’. I think he will accept the challenge.”
pressure on rice
The England midfielder now eats with the big boys and his head is set to take more of the spotlight this season.
Even if he doesn’t feel like he’s doing much wrong, he’ll be criticized, so he needs to prepare for that.
While many aren’t saying Rice will join the team, the question is if he has the quality to get them across the finish line.
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