Still a place for the old-fashoined rant
Declan Rice’s admission that he improved after a dressing down from former West Ham boss David Moyes proves there is still scope for old style management.
Football history is littered with stories about managers blowing their tops in the changing room at half-time or after a match, with Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson thought to be one of the most vocal during his incredible reign at Old Trafford.
The Scot’s famed ‘hairdryer’ treatment became the stuff of legend and many a United star bore the full force of the boss’ ire after a poor display.
However, with the influx of foreign coaches and the passing of time, there seems to have been a shift in focus towards a gentler approach to management and playing staff, with managers more likely to put an arm around a player than give them both barrels, feeling they might get more out of someone with a ‘softly-softly’ approach.
That does not seem to be the way Moyes operated at the London Stadium, with Rice lifting the lid on one explosive reaction from the former Everton chief.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) October 14, 2019
The 20-year-old England midfielder was responsible for a goal when the Hammers played Arsenal in April 2018 and Moyes gave him a verbal lashing in full view of the rest of the players.
It was not a particularly pleasant experience at the time but Rice feels he emerged a better man from the Scot’s blast.
“I sat there and took it all in,” he told the club’s official website. “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 came back in and played the final few games of the season. I needed to be told.”
It is refreshing to hear that a youngster responded well from Moyes’ rant as many of the modern stars would have gone crying to their agent and posted something about it on social media.
It is true that not all players respond to the stick and many prefer the carrot but it is no surprise to see Rice shining both at club level in a successful West Ham side and with the Three Lions.
Moyes has yet to return to management since leaving the East End of London but Rice’s words might just give a few clubs a nudge in the right direction.