A reaction was required after the disappointment of losing to West Ham United in the FA Cup and Newcastle United in the League a week prior.
As Rice echoed – “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”.
To get back to winning ways, Arteta’s team scored one goal in each half. As a result, the Gunners currently lead Group B by a margin of four points, and they will soon welcome, French outfit, Lens to the Emirates.
Victory will see Arteta’s men guarantee their place in the final 32 of the Champions League after a six-year absence, where they reached the Round of 16 during the 2016–17 season. A challenge that Rice is relishing – “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”.
Declan Rice has played a number of positions over his already stellar career, including defensive midfield, centre midfield, and centre back. When asked which position was his favourite, he highlighted – “I think my best position is probably as a number 6. As a number 8, I do get a bit excited. My biggest strength is breaking up the play and taking the ball from deep.
“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 [against Sevilla].”
Rice’s thoughts on how the passion from Mikel Arteta has transpired amongst the squad, “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.”
Arsenal’s next match is against Vincent Kompany’s Clarets at the Emirates, where they will try to go closer to league leaders Manchester City, who currently hold the advantage by three points.