Declan Rice sends message to Mikel Arteta over his best position
Declan Rice has informed Mikel Arteta that he sees himself primarily as a defensive midfielder, emphasizing this after Arsenal’s recent victory in the Champions League.
Nevertheless, the midfielder acknowledges feeling “excited” when operating in a more forward role as a No.8, as he did during the 2-0 win against Sevilla.
During this match, Arsenal dominated at the Emirates, with Rice delivering another impressive performance, thwarting Sevilla’s advances toward David Raya’s goal and contributing to the creation of opportunities for his teammates.
Throughout this season, the 24-year-old has showcased versatility by playing in both the deepest midfield position (No.6) and a marginally more advanced role (No.8), the latter with Jorginho supporting behind him.
There’s ongoing debate regarding the position that suits him best, and Arteta has received a clear response from the player himself.
However, in all fairness, the player appears content to play wherever the team needs him, showcasing a willingness to adapt as required.
“I think my best position is probably as a number 6. My biggest strength is breaking up the play and taking the ball from deep.” Rice told TNT Sports post-match.
“I do get excited when I play number 8 though. I get to show the other side of my game. I didn’t stop running tonight!
“I’ve just been taking it game by game. I don’t want to be boring but every time I put the shirt on I try to start well.
“I want to do the best I can for the team. There’s more I can still add. But it’s been a good start. I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Following the victory, Arsenal only require one point from their remaining two group stage games to secure a spot in the Champions League round-of-16. This win was crucial, especially after experiencing consecutive losses.
“Tough game. We knew what to expect and we knew it was a big night. We wanted to get three points on the board, that was key,” Rice added.
“After the upset in the cup and on the weekend, a club like Arsenal can’t be losing three games in a row. The manager made that clear. Sometimes when you’re playing against a back five it’s hard to break down but we kept persisting.
“Our next game here is at home. We’re close to the knockout stages and once you get there it all starts again. That’s how you push on and stay focused.
“We love it. You see how passionate Mikel Arteta is. He’s living the game through us. He’s so energetic. It really fires us up for the game.”
Declan Rice sends message to Mikel Arteta over his best positionDeclan Rice sends message to Mikel Arteta over his best position