“You know what, he was right to hammer me, because I remember the game,” he told the Irons’ official website. “It was one-all and I ducked for the ball and it’s gone in the back of the net. It was one of my early league starts [his tenth] and he absolutely grilled me in front of the lads. I sat there and took it all in.
“Looking back on it now, you need those moments, maybe a shake-up and knowing you have to get better. I made that mistake against Arsenal and it was a reality check. I knew there was so much to improve on. I got left out for a couple of games, then I came back in and played the final few games of the season. Moysey grilled me, but it was the right thing to do because I needed to be told.”
Every player needs to be ripped into by their manager every now and then. It’s right that mistakes are punished and that’s how players learn from them. There’s a lot of talk from pundits these days that managers can’t be as hard on players as they used to because this new generation of players can’t handle it. However, Rice has clearly shown that young footballers are ready and willing to accept any criticism they get if they feel it is warranted. This is just another example of how switched on Rice is and a reminder that West Ham have a fantastic person, as well as player, on their hands. He says he needed the grilling Moyes gave him, and he obviously didn’t resent the former Everton boss tearing into him in front of his teammates. Some people might not have been happy about that, but Rice was clearly acceptant of it and actually appreciates it now. He feels it helped him improve, and so Moyes should look back fondly on it as well.