Westley hails best young centre back in country


westleyTerry Westley has hailed Declan Rice as the best young central defender in the country – certainly in under 23 football.

The Republic of Ireland international was entirely brilliant for the team in the under 23s 0-0 draw against Chelsea this lunchtime as he made his bid for a place in the first team against Spurs in the League Cup clash at Wembley this week.

And Westley said: “There was one stand out player on the pitch today and that was Declan Rice. His whole demeanour, the way he goes about the game, the way he drives the team and his all-round ability, which covers all of that – he was the stand out player on both sides.”

“If there is a better young centre-back in entrethe country, I haven’t seen him, at least not playing in under-23 football” .

“I think we edged the game and if you’re coming to Chelsea and you’re disappointed that you haven’t won, it shows the strides we’ve come.

“Our four attacking players were too much for them, I can’t remember Nathan Trott having to make a save. If I was critical, our final ball in to the box wasn’t quite good enough to open them up today.”

“Holland, Kemp and Sead [Haksabanovic] in particular really caused them grief and it would have been nice to round it off with a win but you have to learn to stay in the game as well.”

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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


  • ian says:

    Best young centre back in the country … that’s why Bilic played him in midfield .. he just loves playing people out of their natural position doesn’t he .

    • robbiem says:

      Rice has played centre half all his career and Slav played him in midfield against Newcastle – why?

  • Elpojohn says:

    Why cannot we just offer the 1st team Managers job to Westley.
    Why not give him a chance.
    What makes you think Mancini , or the horrible Spanish Newcastle manager would do a better job than him.

  • Frenchie says:

    My worry would be regarding Westley taking over, even temporary, would be if it didn’t work out. He seems to be doing a good job with the under 23’s and it could effect his confidence and even worse he felt he needed to leave West Ham. By all means have him more involved but I think we need someone with Premier League experience, or similar – as long as it’s not the Fat One!!

  • Dunlopilo says:

    Anderlecht’s Rene Weiler resigned a month ago, so the u-20 coach Nicolas Frutos took over. He was shooting for a head coach position and loves Anderlecht (had to stop his playing career early due to repeated injuries, but the club always supported him). He also seemed to be a very promising coach, because of his results with the U-20s. Then, two weeks later, the club decided to get Van Haezenbrouck as main coach. Frutos got upset and left the club, without having had the chance to prove himself. This is probably what would happen with Wesley.

  • mooro66uk says:

    Westleys two ventures into club management with Luton and Derby yielded just 8 wins in 40 games. A much worse win percentage than the man he will replace.

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