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Declan Rice was told "F**k me, you’ve improved" by David Moyes after West Ham return

Daniel Marland

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Declan Rice was told "F**k me, you’ve improved" by David Moyes after West Ham return

Featured Image Credit: A League Of Their Own & Alamy

West Ham United captain Declan Rice has revealed David Moyes' first words to him were 'F**k me, you've improved' after returning to the club.

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Moyes was Hammers manager between 2017 and 2018, guiding them to Premier League safety before departing at the end of the season.

He worked with a teenage Rice during that period and he was just breaking into the first-team as a central defender.

West Ham appointed Manuel Pellegrini to replace Moyes, but he was back in the London Stadium dugout by the end of 2019 with relegation a serious threat once again.

Moyes and Rice after West Ham's 1-0 win over Wolves in February. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Moyes and Rice after West Ham's 1-0 win over Wolves in February. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Those 18 months had seen Rice transform into a defensive midfielder, key part of the team as well as a full-fledged England international.

It was a completely different player standing before Moyes and on a new episode of A League Of Their Own, Rice told the story in hilarious detail.

When asked what Moyes' first words were, the 23-year-old immediately replied: "F**k me, you've improved! It's a great story. "Obviously I had him [as manager] at such a young age. [Slaven] Bilic was my first manager, then he obviously got the sack. "Then Moyes came in, I was only 18 at the time, then we appointed [Manuel] Pellegrini for two seasons, and I fully established myself.

"And then when we got rid of him, Moyes obviously came back and he was walking around the gym saying hello to everyone, and honest words, he looked me in the eye, shook my hand and went, 'f**k me you've improved!', and then walked off."

During Rice's breakthrough campaign, he made a huge mistake in a 4-1 defeat to Arsenal.

With the contest tied at 1-1 with 12 minutes to go, Aaron Ramsey floated a cross into the West Ham penalty area which looked simple to deal with.

Rice ducked from the ball however and it went straight into the net to put the Gunners ahead.

Moyes was visibly frustrated in post-match interviews and speaking to the Daily Mail, Rice admitted he deserved the criticism.

"You know what, he was right to hammer me," Rice said in 2019.

"I ducked for the ball and it's gone in the back of the net. It was one of my early league starts and he absolutely grilled me in front of the lads.

"I just sat there and took it but looking back on it now I think you need those moments, something to make you realise you have to get better. You can't be thinking after a few games that you're in.

"You are going to get hit with something, and when I made that mistake against Arsenal it was kind of a reality check."

Rice was named West Ham captain earlier this summer following the retirement of Mark Noble. Isn't it funny how things can change in football?

Topics: Declan Rice, West Ham United, David Moyes, Premier League

Daniel Marland
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