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Richard Keys blames outstanding Arsenal player for Fulham defeat

Richard Keys says one important Arsenal player should have done more against Fulham on Sunday

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TV host Richard Keys says Arsenal record signing Declan Rice must do more in midfield following another defeat for the Gunners.

Arsenal suffered a second successive defeat in the Premier League when they were beaten 2-1 by Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday following Thursday’s defeat to West Ham.

Despite earning widespread praise for his contributions since his £105 million move to Arsenal in the summer, Rice had a notably quiet game against Fulham. 

Keys, speaking on BEIN Sports, asserted that the talented midfielder needs to step up his game.

Engaging in a spirited debate with fellow pundit Andy Gray, Keys argued that Rice should take on more responsibility in the midfield, even if it means deviating from the tactical instructions of the manager. 

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“I’m not saying he needs to be vocal. I’m saying he needs to put what he used to do at West Ham, which I’ve seen nothing of at Arsenal. Get involved! Start making passes that hurt people. Have a shot at goal, ’cause Arsenal don’t shoot at the goal. Why doesn’t he go out on the pitch and say ‘I’ve got more to give than just this,'” Keys passionately remarked.

Rice has been positioned as the central pillar in the Arsenal midfield this season, a role he has played with success thus far. However, recent matches have raised concerns as opponents seem to either mark him closely or allow him possession while sitting back.

While Richard Keys is critical of Rice’s performances in recent games, the Arsenal midfielder was honest about the team’s performances.

Speaking after the defeat at Craven Cottage, Rice said, “Being brutally honest, it’s not good enough. The standards that we’ve set over the course of the season so far have not been met in the last two games. 

“The loss at home to West Ham was tough to take and today we really wanted to bounce back and we had that on our mind. We really wanted to go out and started quick, went 1-0 up and then it’s about pushing, it’s about mentality, it’s about desire, knowing you’re going to fight for every ball. 

“In the end, they won more duels, won more battles and sat in tight and in the end we weren’t good enough. When you’re not good enough in the Premier League you lose games and it’s a really tough one to take.”

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