By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

19th Sep, 2023 | 12:40pm

West Ham United ‘better’ without Declan Rice as ‘hell of a thing’ verdict shared

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium…

Frank McAvennie believes West Ham are a better team without Declan Rice, who moved to London rivals Arsenal in the summer.

The former Hammers captain and midfield maestro penned a long-term deal with the Gunners in the recent transfer window, as per the official Arsenal website (15 July).

Using the money from his sale, the club brought in James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Mohammed Kudus.

Speaking to West Ham Zone, McAvennie said: “They have players who can keep the ball when they get it. I think they are a better team now than when Rice was in the team. They have used the money well.

“Now they have a player in Ward-Prowse that can deliver a ball on sixpence and give the centre-backs something to go and challenge. 

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“That’s a hell of a thing to have in your armoury, and they are scoring goals from it, which is brilliant, it’s a great thing.”

Ward-Prowse and Alvarez look to be superb Rice replacements in their brief careers in claret and blue so far, with the duo working well together and allowing Lucas Paqueta to play in his preferred advanced role.

That triangle has worked to good effect thus far, with the Hammers currently sitting sixth in the Premier League table after their five matches.

They have won three of those games, drawing one and losing one, with that sole defeat coming to Manchester City on Saturday (16 September).

The defending champions ran out 3-1 winners in the Premier League clash at the London Stadium, with Ward-Prowse netting for the hosts.

In other West Ham news, a BBC journalist was blown away by a “simply awesome” Hammers ace in the loss against Manchester City.