The Mentor’s Influence
West Ham’s former Under-23 head coach, Liam Manning, played a pivotal role in shaping the career of Declan Rice during his formative years at the club. Manning’s guidance was instrumental in Rice’s development, especially when the young talent faced challenges transitioning from school to professional football.
Support Through Setbacks
Rice’s journey wasn’t without its hurdles. When Manuel Pellegrini removed him from West Ham’s first team, it was Manning who rallied the future England midfielder. This moment of adversity highlighted Rice’s resilience and dedication, qualities that would eventually propel him to stardom.
From Potential to Premier League
Under Manning’s watch, Rice evolved into a versatile player, adept at both centre-back and central midfield positions. His Premier League debut in 2017 and his pivotal role in the youth team’s success exemplified his rapid progress at West Ham.
A Crucial Turning Point
A significant turning point came after a tough match against Liverpool, which saw Rice demoted to train with Manning. This setback proved to be a defining moment, showcasing Rice’s exceptional work ethic and love for the game, traits that Manning believes set the foundation for Rice’s impressive career.
City’s Challenge Ahead
Now managing Bristol City, Manning acknowledges the formidable task his team faces against West Ham, a strength he attributes to the influence of David Moyes. Despite Rice’s absence, having moved to Arsenal, Manning recognizes the lasting impact of his former protégé on the team.
Rice’s Enduring Legacy
Manning insists that Rice’s success is a testament to the midfielder’s own efforts and the strong bond he formed with West Ham’s supporters. While coaches can offer support, Manning firmly believes that the credit for Rice’s achievements lies with the player himself.
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