The partnership between West Ham United duo Mark Noble and Declan Rice continues to go from strength-to-strength.
They are both at the opposite ends of their careers in East London, with the Hammers’ captain the perfect role model for Rice to be looking to try and replicate if he can in the Premier League.
There was no hiding from the fact that the 20-year-old struggled to have the same effect in midfield that he has had before when Noble was missing from the side at the beginning of the season, especially against Manchester City.
Noble clearly acts as the young Hammers’ mentor, and the captain revealed that he spoke to Rice on the phone after he came under fire for his performance in the 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic.
“I warned him [Rice] it wouldn’t always be sweetness and light and that there would be low points and challenges ahead,” he wrote in his Evening Standard column.
“I spoke to him on the phone the day after the Czech Republic game and even then he wasn’t feeling well.”
“I also said to him that it’s inevitable, especially with the publicity he’s had, that when things don’t go well, some people can’t wait to shoot you down.”
The words of wisdom and advice from Noble, clearly highlights that Rice still has many lessons to learn on his way to the top and that not everything will go his own way on that path.
Many fans jumped on the back of Rice after that European Championship qualifying defeat, and it would have been a reality check for the youngster and his development.
It has been a quick rise to the top for Rice, who has been tipped by pundits such as Noel Whelan to move to Manchester United in a deal that could be worth over £90million [Football Insider], and he must not let things like that go to his head.
The phonecall with Noble surely proves that Rice has a long way to go before making it to the very top and that he clearly has lessons to learn before making that next step.