EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Declan Rice received booing during Arsenal match against West Ham

VITOR ROQUE

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice made his return to London Stadium last night. That is for the first time since departing West Ham United in the summer. The England international received a mixed reaction from the fans. With some applauding and others booing when his name was announced and when he entered the game in the second half.

West Ham had the final victory. Since, they eliminated Arsenal from the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 triumph in the fourth round on Wednesday night.

Despite the mixed reception, Rice expressed his satisfaction at returning to his former club. He took to the social media platform Instagram to convey a message to fans from both sides.

The 24-year-old midfielder was brought on in the 57th minute with Arsenal trailing 2-0. And Jarrod Bowen further extended West Ham’s lead to 3-0 just three minutes later. Despite Rice’s efforts, he couldn’t inspire a comeback for the Gunners, and Martin Odegaard’s 96th-minute goal was the only consolation prize for Arsenal.

Excessive booing didn’t really affect Arsenal player Declan Rice

The ex-West Ham captain spent a great tenure with the Irons, including two years in their youth team. During his tenure, he solidified his status as one of the Premier League’s top players before making a move to Arsenal a few months ago.

Despite his significant contributions to the club, Rice arguably did not deserve to receive booing upon his return. However, as Hammers manager David Moyes pointed out, those fans who chose to boo may have done so with the intention of unsettling him during the game.

Despite the jeers, Rice didn’t seem visibly affected. But he couldn’t exert the influence on the game that he might have wished for, given West Ham’s dominance. Arsenal will resume action on Saturday with an away fixture at St James’ Park against Newcastle United. Eager to get back to winning ways, they aim to sustain their unbeaten start to the 2023-24 Premier League campaign.

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