By Jonty Banks

3rd Dec, 2022 | 9:10pm

West Ham World Cup Report: Differing fortunes for David Moyes' players during group stages

West Ham and David Moyes have been awarded a much-needed break from Premier League proceedings following an indifferent start to their 2022/23 season.

While The Hammers boss is hard at work with the majority of his first-team squad, a number of his players have played significant roles in the opening stages in Qatar.

Declan Rice, Nayef Aguerd, Lucas Paqueta and Thilo Kehrer have all featured for their nations so far at the World Cup, and as the knockout stages loom large, West Ham Zone looks back at how these stars have fared during the Group Stages.

Declan Rice

West Ham’s captain has been ignoring rumours circulating about his future at the club with a string of assured performances for England in the group stages.

Against an albeit terrible Iran side and pretty dismal Welsh team, Rice dictated proceedings from the base of the midfield and made himself the lynchpin England’s team played around.

When playing the USA, Rice’s performance was a little more worrying however, as he struggled to assert his usual dominance on the game against a what was a weaker side on paper.

The 23-year-old looked leggy and lethargic as he matched up against Leeds United star Tyler Adams star and was alarmingly outrun by his American counterparts during the goalless draw.

Nayef Aguerd

Aguerd has arguably been one of the players of the tournament as he starred in Morocco’s table-topping group stage and a run which sees them remain one of only three unbeaten sides in Qatar.

Although he did net the first own goal of the tournament during his side’s 2-1 win over Canada, his defensive displays in consecutive clean sheets against Belgium and Croatia were nothing short of heroic.

The defender has oozed class so far this tournament and will hope to continue his brilliant form against Spain in the last 16.

With Kurt Zouma out injured with a knee injury, this is a timely reminder that the 26-year-old can step into the West Ham starting XI and make the position his own.

Thilo Kehrer

Kehrer’s World Cup has proven to be an absolute shambles following a steady run of form for The Hammers in the league.

The German defender played just 70 minutes at the World Cup in his country’s 1-1 draw with Spain before Hansi Flick decided he had seen enough.

Every other of West Ham’s World Cup quartet have progressed through to the knockout stages of the World Cup, so returning to West Ham training so early will likely come as an embarrassment to the 26-year-old.

The centre-back could now be in direct competition with Aguerd for a spot in Moyes’ starting XI after the injury to Zouma, and when picking on World Cup form, the German’s might be edged out.

Lucas Paqueta

After starring in Brazil’s opening day 2-0 win over Switzerland, it was a shame to see the attacking midfielder miss out on a spot against Cameroon due to rotation.

After struggling to hit the ground running at West Ham, the Brazilian has displayed his samba flair to full effect during the group stages.

The 25-year-old has been deployed further back in midfield alongside Casemiro and has thrived in the role when compared to his more liberating role in east London. Moyes should take notes on the potential flexibility of the Brazilian as he looks to live up to his £51 million price tag.

Brazil coach Tite is expected to bring Paqueta straight back into his starting line-up for his side’s crunch clash against South Korea in the last 16.