WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
d. Moyes out
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham

Irish Hammer 6:11 Tue May 31
Declan Rice POTY
Nothing we don't already know, but its something to read anyways !

West Ham player of the season: Declan Rice, the complete midfielder

In a season where Declan Rice won the majority of his midfield battles, on reflection the only difficulty he had was deciding which young supporter received a coveted souvenir.

The midfielder is deservedly West Ham United’s player of the season. Yet he also wins the unofficial category for being the man of the people. Win, lose or draw, after every away game Rice will applaud the fans who made the long or short trip. After acknowledging their support, without fail, he will always give his jersey to a young fan.

Lenny, a six-year-old supporter, attended the 4-0 away win against Norwich City with his father Steven Wilson and grandad Peter Deery. At the end of the game Rice gave Lenny his shirt.

“The stewards let Lenny stand by the first row,” Deery told The Athletic. “Rice came over towards the fans and gave his shirt to Lenny. He was so happy because Rice is his favourite player. I’m not a fan of young kids taking cardboards with them asking for players to give them their shirts. That’s not our thing so it was natural the way it happened.

“Rice probably gave Lenny his shirt because he was the cutest one out of the lot of them! On the journey back he was so over the moon. We plan on getting the shirt framed. That’s the impact players like Rice have. I was a bit emotional after, knowing how happy Lenny was. I felt like a celebrity for five minutes because a lot of people started shaking my hand and congratulating my grandson. Rice is a fantastic player and I can tell he’s also a lovely person.”

The 23-year-old will always be a fan favourite. He was named Hammer of the Year for the second time in his career. Jarrod Bowen was a close contender, but Rice’s consistency in all competitions gave him the edge. The midfielder also came third in the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year awards, behind Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

There have been many memorable moments from Rice this season. Who could forget the equaliser he scored against Kidderminster Harriers in the fourth round of the FA Cup, or his terrific solo goal against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League group stage win, or even his strike from outside the box in the quarter-final victory against Lyon.

His underwhelming first-half performance in the season opener against Newcastle United was a reminder he is human after all. But Rice was so impressive after the break he was named man of the match. In 2021-22 he highlighted once more why he remains a sought-after talent and why the club are keen to tie him down to a long-term deal. Rice’s efforts this season were deserving of a Europa League winners medal, and top-four finish — but his impact on and off the field left a lasting impression.

“The one thing I’ll say about Declan is he’s a better person than he is a player,” said retiring captain Mark Noble. “We all know how good Dec is — he’s probably one of the best in the world at the minute. As a captain, he’s made my job and position a lot easier. When you’re a senior pro and a young player comes in and takes your place in the team you could become bitter over that, but for me with Dec it’s completely different because he trained with us as a 16-year-old kid — and from early I knew he was going to be a top player.

“He’s actually even better than I thought he would be, if I’m honest with you. He’s grown, he’s matured as a leader and I think we all agree at some point he will captain England. I would be very surprised if he didn’t — that’s how highly I think of him.”

Rice has enjoyed an excellent season for West Ham (Photo: Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)
The one area Rice has improved is the offensive end. The midfielder attempted 47 shots this season, the most in his professional career. In 2020-21 he registered 30, 2019-20 35 and 2018-19 23. Rice scored five goals in 50 cup and league appearances this term. He has been challenged by manager David Moyes and members of his coaching staff to score more goals. So far it has had the desired effect.

As the table below shows, in 2021-22 the England international attempted the most dribbles (74) of his career. He also successfully completed the most dribbles (50) of his career — and there is an improvement for chances created (24). There are a few examples of how Rice is developing into a box-to-box midfielder. His assists (4) and forward passes (583) have also seen a significant improvement.

Rice's improvement offensively


Dribbles Attempted

Dribbles Completed

Chances Created


Forward Passes

























“Rice is trying to take himself to the next level,” said Moyes. “He’s a terrific player, he’s getting better. So from that point of view, we have seen a real development. You mustn’t forget he is still 23 years old, and a young boy with a big future and a big career ahead of him. One step at a time but he is doing really well for us.

“The thing about him is his ability to surge away from people, the power and speed. It is a great trait he has got and we would like him to use it more. He had a bit of a ribbing because he does not score enough goals so he’s beginning to stand up and we will have another very good goalscoring midfield player.”

Of all the midfielders in the league, Rice is top when it comes to progressive carriers. This is what Moyes is referring to when he highlights Rice’s ability to surge past opposition players.

He is just as impressive defensively. Only Manchester City’s Rodri (292) won possession back for their team this season more often than Rice (286). The midfielder is fourth in the league for tackles attempted (80) behind Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas (93), John McGinn, of Aston Villa, (106) and Brentford midfielder Christian Norgaard (109).

Noble said: “If you ask any pro, you realise how good someone is when you train with them. Social media at times can run wild and everyone has an opinion, whether that’s good or bad. His performances, especially after the Euros, were great. He was the best player on the pitch in the final for 70 minutes. I’m not being biased, I truly believe that.

“He’s dragged this team to the position we’re in now. He will always have doubters. I tell him that all the time. He will always have people giving him stick because of the position he’s in. But he’s a true credit to our academy and England and we should cherish players like that.”

Each season Rice continues to improve. He is nowhere near his prime, and just judging by the past nine months, you get the impression the best is yet to come.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

On The Ball 9:09 Wed Jun 1
Re: Declan Rice POTY
Your posting of these articles is much appreciated, Irish. Always good reads.

one iron 8:26 Wed Jun 1
Re: Declan Rice POTY
dec will stay till next summer,but if gsb get the 150 mill or near ,he will go in this window

Mex Martillo 7:59 Wed Jun 1
Re: Declan Rice POTY
I hope he stays with us, I think he will.
Thanks Irish

chim chim cha boo 3:08 Wed Jun 1
Re: Declan Rice POTY
In his last couple of games he looked tired and one or two of his tackles went a bit wrong and I stood there quite surprised.

Then I had a little think about it. One or two tackles in a whole season? Superstar statistics.

Fuck the goals, as great as they are, if he could improve his work with his head he'd win more Ariel battles defending AND scoring.

I sit next to Colin Hart the boxing commentator and he says he's the best player he's seen in our colours since Bobby Moore and he's been watching us for seventy years so I won't argue.

Cheers Irish, hope you are well mate.

Charoo 6:16 Tue May 31
Re: Declan Rice POTY
Give him an able partner and watch him kick on again.

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