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“Declan Rice was the reason we lost to Chelsea” — David Moyes



"Declan Rice was the reason we lost to Chelsea" -- David Moyes

West Ham United’s manager, David Moyes, has attributed his team’s poor away performances to the departure of Declan Rice, stating that the absence of the midfielder has affected their defensive stability.

Rice made a high-profile move to Arsenal last summer for a record-breaking fee of £105 million. Since joining the Gunners, he has played a pivotal role in their title pursuit this season. His standout performance over the weekend against Bournemouth, where he scored, assisted, and earned the man of the match award in a 3-0 victory, further underscored his impact.

However, Moyes witnessed his West Ham side suffer a heavy 5-0 defeat to Chelsea just a day later. When questioned about his team’s struggles this season, Moyes pointed to Rice’s absence, emphasizing his importance as the best midfield player in the country.

When asked on what has affected the Hammers this season, David Moyes rues the exit of the Arsenal midfielder, quoting his name “Declan Rice” as the reason West Ham fell off this season.

“When you’ve got the best midfield player in the country protecting, probably limiting 50 per cent of their attacks, it makes you a much better defensive team.” the West Ham boss said.

The Scotsman goes further to lament the lack of protection for the defence, saying;

“We’ve lacked protection in front of the back four, lacked good enough defending, not been good enough at those things in many games.”

Moyes highlighted Rice’s role in providing defensive cover and limiting opponents’ attacking opportunities, suggesting that West Ham has lacked adequate protection in front of the backline in many games.