David Moyes

Moyes Admits Rice Error Which Caused Hammers Decline

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David Moyes has finally admitted what all of us Hammers fans already knew… his tactical midfield switch with Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice harmed the team.

During Soucek’s first full season at West Ham, he managed to notch up double figures for goals and was part of a midfield partnership that was the envy of many clubs. The Czech’s rampaging midfield runs and ability to score goals when arriving late into the box had clubs such as Bayern Munich sniffing around for his signature. In short, The Irons were onto a very good thing and a dream midfield partnership.

However, Soucek was moved into a defensive role by Moyes the following season, a move which suited neither the player himself nor the balance of the team. It was a tactical flaw that every West Ham fan could see, but Moyes appeared to make no effort to stop the experiment or even admit to the tactical switch until now.

During an interview published early this morning, the former Hammers manager said; “He [Rice] wanted to get forward more in the second year. The first year together when we had Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice, Tomas was the one making the box and scoring the goals.

Declan was sitting. I think Declan felt, and there was a lot getting said, Declan Rice is not going to be that good if he can’t score a goal, if he can’t really get forward.

And I think Declan got a wee bit hurt by that as well. And actually, it didn’t help the balance as well with the team, because Tomas ended up having to sit a little bit more and he wasn’t as good at what Declan could do.

And Declan at the time wasn’t scoring quite enough, he was getting a few, but I think he wanted to prove to everybody how good he could be at the other side as well.”

The move may well have succeeded in the club receiving a larger transfer fee for Rice, but it also hindered the development of the team, which could never truly manage to dominate midfield in the seasons that followed.

It was a move that saw the Hammers flirt with relegation but also win the Europa Conference League. Unfortunately for Soucek, Declan’s rise came at a cost, as Soucek never managed to regain his early Hammers form.

Ultimately, the move from Moyes would have been a contributing factor to him losing the West Ham manager’s job.

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  • Jeeps says:

    This amongst many other poor decisions Moyes made in his last year cost him his job.

  • Bill Ryan says:

    Who was the manager moyse or rice he obviously knew it wasn’t working so why didn’t he have the guts to swap it back seems like rice had the power not moyse who if he knew two years before that rice was definitely going should have put the team first not rice, no wonder he lost his job

  • Tony says:

    Moyes is full of ****. Passing blame on everything but his dead tactics and diabolical signings who he failed to even fit into his own system. Well thats Diabolical Delusional Dave for you!

  • D.f.butcher says:

    We should have made a tactical decision and shown Hamish Macbeth the door a lot sooner?

  • Hammerpete6 says:

    And that summed up the frustration with Moyes. He made a bad call, ok, but then he knew it wasn’t working but did nothing. Same with the young players, didn’t have the courage to introduce any of them. Same as his favourites, lacked the courage to drop them. Like his non- favourites, too stubborn to give them a game. A toxic manager, who talked about a young energetic squad, but nurtured an ageing group of favourites.

  • Bonzo says:

    Obvious now that Rice put himself above the team swayed by pundits like Souness, Keane and Neville all telling him he wasn’t a complete midfielder if he didn’t score goals. Ultimately he had his head turned by Arteta promising him he could play as a number 8 at Arsenal and get forward. No surprise he left. This was a player who dropped Ireland at the drop of a hat to play for England after all.

  • Jason Dunlop says:

    Rice was kicked off my Christmas card list when he dumped The Republic Of Ireland 🇮🇪☘️

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