Roshane Thomas praised Declan Rice for his performance in the 2-0 loss against Manchester City, during a Q&A on The Athletic.
On the face of it, a 2-0 loss against Man City isn’t necessarily that bad, especially when it’s considered West Ham lost 5-0 against the reigning Premier League champions on the opening day.
However, the performance felt gutless, as the Hammers often sat back and watched the home side pass the ball around them, with any real action only being taken once Pep Guardiola’s big names had the ball on the edge of their box.
While this is disappointing to see, there is one man within David Moyes’ team who stood out according to Thomas: “For me the scoreline flatters West Ham. It honestly could have been 4-0 to Man City. Despite the defeat Rice had a good game and tried to make things happen. Just a shame his team-mates couldn’t produce a similar performance.”
This wasn’t necessarily Rice’s cleanest performance, as he was dribbled past four times and completed just 77% of his attempted passes, but that is forgivable when it’s considered how isolated he was at times.
Despite this, he did make two tackles, one clearance and an impressive four interceptions, while also winning the only aerial duel that he competed in – his number of interceptions made was the most of anyone on the pitch.
Thomas mentioned the fact that the 21-year-old was attempting to make things happen, which was epitomised by his bursting run up the pitch when he ended up beating various men in sky blue with pretty much no support from his teammates, before putting a ball into the box.
During the 90 minutes, he completed one dribble and one key pass – Mark Noble and Aaron Cresswell were the only other West Ham players to complete a key pass.
While this was not a vintage performance from Rice, it was a resolute one which deserves credit – it would have been good to see that type of showing from more members of the team.