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Rice serves up top display but Irons beaten

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Irons 0 Man City 3

I won’t remember this game because of a defeat or falling victim to a world class side but for a young man who amazes me every time I see him – that lad is Declan Rice.

He came on as a second half sub, playing in front of the back line, and was entirely at ease – looking composed, calm and constructive on a very tough afternoon.

Welcome to the big time Declan and after this pre season I can see no earthly reason why Slaven Bilic should not select you for the opening Premier League match at Old Trafford.

I recall seeing Bobby Moore enter top flight football as a very young man and I feel privileged to have seen this Academy product make his so self assured early steps in claret and blue.

Not many would disagree HE IS READY!

I’ll also remember this game for Joe Hart who was shouting at his back four throughout and finding the time to make a series of fine stops as the super talented City players stepped up their game. This man is gonna be great for us.

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I’ll also remember it for Javier Hernandez who gave us great passing, lovely running and that wonderful eye for goal when we did finally escape the defensive shackles.

Pedro Obiang too deserves a top word of recognition and at last we saw Andre Ayew  show some real potential in an Irons shirt.

For the record the goals came from Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling and although Marko Arnautovic left the action after taking a knock, the very early report is that he doesn’t look too bad.

The game took exactly the form most of us would expect with City dominating possession as they completed a hat trick of victories with Real Madrid and Spurs their previous victims.

Yes, it would have nice to have got closer to them but lets take the positives from this one and move on.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

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

20 comments on “Rice serves up top display but Irons beaten

  1. The result was to be expected, the bonus is that Rice got the chance to play against the very best the premier league has to offer.
    With him showing so well in pre season. he must have moved above Collins in the pecking order.

    • Agree and Def ahead of Fonte who has only looked good in back 3 never in back 4 and even streaky then. At 18 Rice is so composed. And Westly saw that and called him up yo Under 23s and even gave him the Band.
      Thought Ox should have played a lot last season too. Just Hope Bilic gets over his issue w playing Youth even when best or only option instead of putting a midfielder in.

  2. I’m not convinced there were many positives…
    Masuaku, Fonte, Fernandez and Martinez looked lost….
    Ogbonna looked like Bambi on ice (being knocked over by and midget)
    and who was the spectator that came on in the number 11 shirt…?

    Rice and Obiang were solid, Zabaleta and Ayew worked a bit, Hernandez looked interested, but overall a lack-lustre performance…..

    Not to mention, the coaching staff don’t seem to be able to work out how to avoid/combat the press!!

    • Ha ha ha I noticed the midget incident too. What is wrong with Ogbonna. If he is feeling his injury, then rest him.

  3. Nice and upbeat. Apart from the fitness aspect, the ability for the younger players to stake their claim in games like this is really important. Good on him- good home grown players is the West Ham way- hopefully Citeh haven’t taken an option on him already!

  4. Couldn’t agree more Hugh, Rice was excellent defensively and offensively for me he is absolutely the perfect replacement for Noble who couldn’t get near any City players, when he did receive the ball slowed down play and found a way to always pass the ball backward or sideways and slightly backwards, it may seem harsh to judge him that way and I acknowledge it is coming back from an injury but even playing at his best it is the same way he always operates. Ayew playing wide right had a good game, he doesn’t seem able to hold on to the ball for long enough which is my only criticism of him but he also scored a goal which should have been allowed, Fernandes looked a lot better with Rice in Midfield also because it free’d him up to break forward and he is the best player we have at holding onto the ball in midfield, he had a good opportunity which brought a save out of Ederson, Martinez showed enough to suggest he could hold down a place on the bench this season and will probably get a few goals if called into action and Hernandez was a constant menace, Masuaku again showed he should be first choice in defence at LB. The centre of defence still looks a bit shaky, if we played City again it would probably be worth playing a back 5 so someone can track the runners, their second goal was very well created and taken but could have been defended better they ended up outnumbering us which is something they are very skilled at.

  5. All I saw was alarm bells ringing all over the park ! Obiang , the pea and rice the pick of a sad bunch . I find it difficult to understand how bilic fails to see the defensive problems we have !
    Friendlies done , no progress made from last year , mancs next week lol 7-8 days to turn it around , can’t see it personally with all the key players missing !!! But were west ham 😉

    • On top of that we couldn’t invent a sarnie at subways without lanzini 😎 coffee anyone 😈

  6. Totally agree about Rice Hugh. I make him the brightest rising star since the days of Cole Lampard and Rio. In fact he has risen higher than most of that bunch did in the same amount of time. He looks so good, I would have no worries about him playing in our opening game. I would rather see him playing next week at CB, because of the dismal performances of the likes of Ogbonna and Fonte. Put him alongside Reid next Sunday, and I’m sure he would handle the pressure, and not let anyone down.
    He is so sharp in his reactions, so precise in his tackles, and his reading of the game is so good that I am trying hard not to also compare him with Morro.
    Poor boys ears must be burning.

    • He can replace them Sleeps but is he the best thing to happen to our midfield, he looks like Kante in their he reads everything and gives the midfield a platform to move forward from, he also has real pace and can dribble with the ball, keep Noble on the bench with him in the team we created precisely zero chances in the first half as soon as Rice came on he disrupted their midfield even if it wasn’t their first choice one, either way so long as he plays wherever it is I would be happy but I think we probably need him more in midfield than we do in defence, I was suprised Oggy got such a long contract extension, he is not a bad defender but he is also not brilliant for me Reid playing well takes his place all day long in a flat back 4, Fonte again is a good defender but we haven’t seen him at his best and I would play Collins or Rice in front of Fonte. I think even that team will play better against Utd who are less mobile and we will hopefully get a better result against them, I am cautiously optimistic at this stage COYI !!!

      • I agree 32 as long as he plays it’s ok.
        He can pass really well too in defense or midfield, it’s just that I worry about our leaky defense more than anything.

        • Yeah I do too if he can maintain the level he has set in preseason I look forward to seeing him in the team either in defence or midfield and hopefully if he does make mistakes he won’t be forced onto the sidelines like Oxford was.

  7. Looking forward to seeing Rice in the premiership this upcoming season.I think he has shown enough to warrant at least a place on the bench and can certainly compete against what we have at the moment.The defence has conceded a lot of goals in the friendlies but as Bonzo said earlier”Dont read too much into friendlies” apart from players like Rice and Martinez who have shown they can play at a higher level.Also remember we have Reid,Antonio and Lanzini maybe Sakho? to come in so 3-0 aint that bad considering the canings they gave us last season.

  8. Oh god… I’m actually going to reserve judgment until the season begins but….. we look all over the place. I wanted Bilic out last year because I didn’t and still don’t believe he has the enough management qualities to succeed. But he stayed… and has been backed superbly well over the summer… so he has no excuses and I’ll support him and the team as always. We have a very good team and squad and this season must be a success. Pre season means nothing so we let’s get into this season and smasshhhhh ittttttt

  9. I suppose when we consider we are without Antonio and Lanzini, our best players last season, and Hernandes is still getting his fitness up, it’s not so shocking. Also there is Kouyate, Reid, Cresswell, Sahko, this was far from our first team.
    Injuries, injuries, injuries, so it wasn’t the Belgians fault after all……. come back Stijn all is forgiven.

  10. I know it was only a friendly but this performance doesn’t fill me with much confidence.

  11. Bilic seems to have gone from tactical genius 2 years ago to tacticless! The side is getting stronger after last year’s farce but I’m not sure about Bilic!

  12. I agree with Hugh and other posters about Rice and he should be chosen but thought the same w OX last season . Sl I’d either scared to okay youth or just doesn’t trust it bc his job on line.
    But he is far more consistent then Fonte who is just lost most times. As only looked steady in back 3 never in 2.

  13. I’ll give it 5 games and when we ha first 11 playing but tactic wise I just dont see how we are trying to play ..I know its a pre season and lots of subs but with a week til our first game I was expecting more …I hope I am proved wrong and plse don’t shoot me but as much as I like Slav for some reason I just don’t think he is up to the task ahead ..as I say I hope I’m proved wrong but there can be no excuses this year …we definitely need more signings the depth is not there ..

  14. The only hope for anything but a drubbing next week is to play a 6-4-0 formation.
    As we recall from his time at CHelski, Mourinho doesn’t know how to move a bus…..

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