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Crooks raves about Declan Rice’s brilliance at Brentford

declan rice arsenal 2023
BBC pundit Garth Crooks has named Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice in his Team of the Week following his moment of brilliance against Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal picked up their 9th win of the top-flight campaign at the weekend. They registered a 1-0 victory over Brentford at the Gtech Stadium after Kai Havertz’s late winner in the 89th minute coming off the bench. The result has sent the Gunners to the top of the standings for the first time this campaign but things could have been very different.

Both Rice and Oleksandr Zinchenko made goalline clearances in the London derby. The former had a tougher task at hand as he needed to position himself perfectly to block Bryan Mbeumo’s powerful strike. In his column on BBC Sport, Crooks said that Arsenal got away with a win last weekend and it was due to the ‘pure genius’ moment of Rice in the first half.

The pundit also mentioned that Rice is proving to be as influential as Martin Odegaard was for the Gunners last season, he said: “Mikel Arteta can whittle on all he likes about keeping a clean sheet and the professionalism of his team’s performance against Brentford but Arsenal got away with this win. The way Declan Rice spotted that Aaron Ramsdale was in some difficulty, got behind his goalkeeper and positioned himself perfectly to clear the ball off the line was pure genius.”

“Rice is proving to be as influential as Martin Odegaard proved to be for the Gunners last season. The win takes Arsenal to the top of the table and they now have a decent run of games before they face Villa and Liverpool away and Brighton at home. None of which will be straightforward but if they can remain top going into the new year anything is possible.”

Arsenal spent big money to sign Rice from West Ham United in the last transfer window and he has become one of their most influential players in no time. The goalline clearance at Brentford was his second of the season following a similar one against Manchester City. The Gunners went on to win that game by a single goal through Gabriel Martinelli.

The Englishman has already answered his critics with his performances and he should only get better as he becomes more accustomed to the playing style at Arsenal. Rice has been almost flawless with his displays for the London giants and the only place for improvement could be his goal contributions when he plays from the no.8 position for the club.

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