Declan talks and may have found the lack of goals reason


By Hughie Southon

Honest Declan Rice came as close to identifying a problem within the team’s formation than probably at any time so far this season.

Nineteen goals from 23 games is entirely unacceptable from a team which looked unstoppable at times last season and if we are to remain in the  division that has to change fast.

And after today’s game the captain suggested that it may well be that our strikers are feeling isolated and there’s not enough support for them.

It took things a stage further than the manager had decided to go when simply saying that goals win matches and that’s what it is all about.

Declan knows all that but is clearly trying to see the reasons why it’s happening admitting that last season it felt as though we would score goals in every game.

“It has been a part of a game where we have struggled,” Rice stated to SkySports, referring to the Hammers’ record of just 19 goals in 23 league games this season.

“Last year, we felt like every game we would score one or two goals.

Everyone is down and knows the position we are in but it is down to us to stay positive
Declan Rice

“We were in the game in the first half and created some really good chances but maybe snatched at a few.

“Maybe, our strikers felt a bit isolated. They didn’t have much around them, and not enough support when we got the ball up to them. But it is down to us really, we need to be clinical with our finishing and we haven’t been in recent weeks.”

Unlike the reverse fixture, where Tomáš Souček stole a share of the spoils at London Stadium in August, there was no way back for Moyes’ outfit, who now sit 18th in the table.

And despite falling to a second defeat in 2023, Rice remained adamant the Irons have to focus on themselves, avoid looking at the results of others, and turn their attention to next Saturday’s home fixture with Nottingham Forest.

“When you come to Spurs, it is always going to be tough because of the players and quality they have,” the dejected skipper stated, “but it is down to us to go on the pitch, put in a performance, try to create chances, score goals, and try to be a threat.

“Everyone is down and knows the position we are in but it is down to us to stay positive because it is only us who can change it.

“Obviously, there are six or seven teams in and around us. I have seen the results, but I am not too worried about how other teams are doing because we are the only ones who can change where we are. I am only bothered about us doing what we can week in and week out and it’s a big one now against Forest.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • hammerpete6 says:

    Moyes’ reaction shows he is finished. More stupid cliches, blaming the players for a defensive mistake, delusional thinking. Played 23, scored 19, today one shot on goal. The set up is wrong, the skills are not on the pitch. Relying on a long ball to a lone striker heavily marked, embarrassing. We must change manager now. The more we leave it, the worse the options. Already it is a relegation fight, not attractive to a decent manager perhaps, but a certainty under Moyes.

  • Hammeroo says:

    Just like David Moyes, us fans are running out of excuses for West Ham’s predicament. We have the embarrassment of trying to fend off the laughter from fans of other teams higher up the EPL ladder. That means most of them!

    Against Spurs we showed no real passion, no real fight and no real urgency. It’s like the players have lost all interest. Even the skipper, Rice, seemed to lack real desire. It certainly wasn’t one of his best games.

    And you got the feeling that our ‘attackers’ could’t shoot through a wet paper bag. We only had one shot on target. And Spurs only had second string Fraser Forster keeping goal. He hasn’t been too impressive since deputising for Hugo Lloris. Yet we couldn’t even manage a few pot shots to test him! Inexcusable!

    It would appear to most of us that the players are no longer playing for the manager. Nothing works. The manager is clueless and is as stubborn as a mule. He obviously has totally lost the dressing room but the players are keeping quiet, albeit a few grumblings from a few, like Antonio. It may be too late to get a new manager in. But maybe if we beg Big Sam?

    Whoever we can get to replace David Moyes, surely there would be an upbeat in mood and hope. Our Premier League survival might depend on it!

  • LetsGetHammered says:

    Sorry, but having watched Declan bottle two 50/50 challenges in the game – clearly not wanting to get an injury ahead of his big money money – I don’t think he’s in a position to lecture.

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