I’m not sure what’s going on behind the scenes at the moment but from my point of view, I hope the club is or will push the boat out to sign Declan up to a new deal. Then it’s down to him to decide if he’s committed to West Ham or wants to move on. We’ve just got to put something to him regardless of who might be interested.
The Chelsea situation is surely helping us keep him at the moment but depending on what happens between now and the end of the season, this situation could go a long way to deciding his future. It might be that Chelsea have a new owner by the end of the season and that could put things up in the air when it comes to his future.
You would hope that Moyes and the club are telling Declan that they want to build a side around him for the next five years because he is a player that you can build a team around.
I think securing European football for next season will also go a long way in persuading Rice to stay because this is also a World Cup year and he will want to make sure he is playing week in, week out leading up to November to make sure he gets picked. The two clubs that appear to be most linked to Rice are Chelsea and Manchester United but both have their own problems right now. They are not as settled as they would normally be.
Man United still don’t know who their manager will be and once they do appoint someone, they will take time to bed in and they might not even want Rice as part of their plans. As for Chelsea, if they do get new owners, will they plough as much money into the club as Roman Abramovich has done over the years?
You’ve seen this season just how mature Rice is and he’s taken to being captain like a duck to water, then there’s how well he’s been playing this season for West Ham and on the international stage as well.
When he plays for England, I think most fans know there’s another level for him. Only he will know if he is being restrained with England but at this moment in time, I’m sure he’s happy to be involved, contributing to the side and just being on the pitch.
Sticking with England and one of the big talking points from the international break were the boos Maguire received. Whenever he puts on an England shirt, he does OK. It’s a strange situation because the majority of players have to get into the England squad on club form but there are some players where performances in an England shirt carries enough credit.
Unfortunately though you are going to get fans who do this sort of thing for whatever reason. All he can do is keep playing and play his way through it. It happens to all of us during our career at some point.
I can remember getting booed – sometimes even in the warm up when I hadn’t even kicked a ball! There’s always someone who doesn’t like you. On the International stage though everyone has different ideas of who should start. People also don’t agree on how the team should be set up, and even when you get a good victory, people will say you should have scored more goals. It’s hard to keep everyone happy.
Turning back to West Ham, I felt the second leg against Sevilla was set up perfectly for us after the first leg but I did think it would go to extra time just because of the nature and importance of the game. The first goal was vital, and the atmosphere on the day really set the tone.
The winner coming from Yarmolenko though, you couldn’t write the script for his goals against Villa and Sevilla. It’s been fantastic for him. To go out there with everything that is happening in his home country – it’s some achievement to do what he has. He is, however, likely to leave on a free in the summer along with Ryan Fredericks. If we get into Europe again though, maybe that will entice people to come to us.
Some people from abroad might feel coming to us and playing regularly will improve their chances of making their nation’s World Cup squad.
April is a huge month for us. Not just in the Europa League but also the league games. The majority of our league games this month are, on paper, winnable so I am hoping we can put in some good performances and maintain our fight for a place in the top six. As long as we keep playing well and winning games then the top six is achievable for us.