Declan Rice was ‘outstanding’ in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, hails Jamie Carragher – as Gary Neville says £105m midfielder’s character will prove beneficial to Gunners after their title collapse last season
- Rice was named man of the match after Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace
- The midfielder has made a strong start after his £105m transfer from West Ham
- WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 2 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show
Jamie Carragher has hailed Declan Rice’s performance in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace as outstanding, with fellow pundit Gary Neville suggesting the midfielder’s character can help the Gunners to secure the Premier League title.
Rice was named as man of the match in Arsenal’s hard fought win at Selhurst Park, with Martin Odegaard’s penalty the difference between the two sides.
The England midfielder helped the Gunners to preserve their narrow advantage after Takehiro Tomiyasu was sent off in the second half for two bookable offences.
Carragher highlighted Rice’s role at the base of Arsenal’s midfield, with the £105million summer signing from West Ham providing crucial cover for the defence as well as driving the team forward.
‘Declan Rice was the best player on the pitch,’ Carragher said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
Declan Rice was named man of the match as Arsenal earned a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace
Jamie Carragher labelled the midfielder’s performance in the narrow victory as ‘outstanding’
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‘I actually like him in the role he played more than popping up between the lines. His initial position was to start in that deeper position and drive forward from it. I think that is where he is at his best.
‘He has talked about learning from the manager, playing further forward, maybe playing in pockets. I don’t think it fully suits him but I really liked what I saw.
‘It felt like everything went through him. He was in the centre of the pitch, he was getting the ball, he was switching play – a couple of great 50 to 60-yard passes.
‘But also when he made that run, he slipped a little pass to Nketiah. He was the best player on the pitch. I thought he was outstanding.’
Rice admitted post-match that he had learned so much since joining Arsenal this summer and declared he thought ‘just go out there and have it’ when on route to the tough away match.
The England international admitted there is a focus on him following his £105m switch to the Gunners this summer, with the expectation he can help their title pursuit.
Neville claimed Rice could have the ability and personality to make the difference for Arsenal this season, after the Gunners fell short in the title race against Man City in the final weeks of the 2022-23 campaign.
Rice was crucial as Arsenal protected their advantage after Takehiro Tomiyasu’s red card
Gary Neville suggested Rice’s personality could be a major boost for the Gunners this season
‘I think he will. I said that last week at the end of the show I said I thought he’d be an impact signing,’ Neville said.
‘When he talks about coming to the game tonight saying “let’s have it” then you talk about the quality of that interview, I know its something that is not a football thing in terms of on the pitch but it’s personality and character in the big moments.
‘I’m thinking with 10 games to go when they hit, or if they hit that moment again, he will be a big difference for them.
‘Because I don’t think he’ll be phased by it he’s played in some big games for England and he doesn’t look phased by it.
‘We know he’s got challenges in terms of goals and things he can do better – but – personality character, wanting to be out there, that fight that spirit I think that’s what he’ll bring to Arsenal.’
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