This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Declan Rice enjoyed a promising showing as West Ham United fell to a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
On the chalkboard
The England international was partnered with Mark Noble in central midfield and, although his side were beaten, he was perhaps one of his side’s very best performers on the day.
Per WhoScored, he had 61 touches of the ball and registered an impressive 93% passing accuracy, the joint-highest of any player on either side to start the game.
Rice also completed two dribbles, was never dribbled past, won two tackles and also made four interceptions.
Throughout the game, he sat deep, mopping up loose balls and recycling possession accurately and efficiently.
While he was dispossessed twice, this was an excellent performance from a player who appears to be growing in stature at the Hammers.
Need more like him
West Ham are on a terrible run of form.
They have now gone seven league games without a win and one has to ask questions as to whether manager Manuel Pellegrini will be able to stay in his job for the next week; their next fixture sees them take on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
However, the talent is there, as evidenced by Rice’s display.
Indeed, if more players in the Hammers side were as good as the England international, perhaps they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in.
He showed again on Saturday that he can make a genuine difference against top-six teams in the Premier League.
Spurs, of course, have been poor this season but they have a stature befitting that moniker and Rice did not look at all out of place.
A few of his team-mates ought to take note.