Rice: Football is all about trophies

Declan Rice

Declan Rice may only have recently broken into the first team picture at West Ham United, but he would love to end his first full season in senior football with a trophy.

The Hammers head to Arsenal on Tuesday for a Carabao Cup quarter-final tie with their eyes on a first major final since they reached the FA Cup showpiece in 2006.

18-year-old Rice already has experience of lifting silverware in Claret and Blue, having played his part in the Premier League 2 side’s triumph in the Premier League Cup and Division 2 Play-Offs over the past two years, and now he wants to take that to the first team stage.

“Football is all about winning,” he said. “You want to win a trophy and we’re one game away from the semi-finals of the cup, so why not? Let’s go and try and win this cup and get a bit of confidence from it.

“We’d love to give the fans a day at Wembley. Our last day at Wembley was Tottenham, so everyone was buzzing about that. Let’s hope we can win against Arsenal and get close to another one.”

Declan Rice and Raphael Spiegel with the Premier League 2 Division 2 Play-Off trophy

The Hammers take on the Gunners on the back of a fine run of form, having taken seven points from Chelsea, Arsenal and Stoke City over the past ten days, and Rice says that will stand them in good stead for Tuesday’s cup tie.

He continued: “It was a massive result against Chelsea going into the game against Arsenal. We stayed in the game, we had our own chances and Chicharito nearly scored, but we’re taking confidence from every game into the next one now.

“There’s six or seven teams in and around the relegation zone, so to win at Stoke and move up to 15th will definitely give us confidence going into the two games this week.”

With only twelve senior appearances under his belt, Rice could be forgiven for being overawed by his new surroundings, but he says that is not the case as he prepares to take on Arsenal’s firepower for the second time in a week.

He added: “I never would have thought three or four years ago that I’d be playing against people like Ozil and Sanchez now, but it’s the reality and I don’t really care about who’s on the back of the shirt, I just imagine it’s me playing with my mates.

“I just get on with it and play my own game.”