By Daniel Feliciano

28th Aug, 2022 | 2:43pm

Robbie Earle blasts Declan Rice for what he did in first half of West Ham United vs Aston Villa

Declan Rice was accused of being “wayward” and “inviting pressure” onto West Ham with a poor first half performance in the first half against Aston Villa.

The Hammers struggled to get any of the play at Villa Park in the first half, with the hosts dominating possession and trying to break down the back five that David Moyes set out from the start.

But after losing possession “cheaply” midway through the first half from a West Ham throw-in, co-commentator Robbie Earle [USA Network, 28 August, 14:32] wasn’t happy with Rice’s performance so far.

“It’s wayward from Rice,” he said. “It’s not like him at all. He’s usually the one who instigates and keeps the team ticking, but a couple of times now he’s given the ball away so cheaply.

“A really straight forward pass from a throw-in, just inviting pressure back on.”


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It’s been a really, really bad first-half performance from West Ham and David Moyes must do something during the break to ensure that it changes in the second half.

Rice isn’t alone in being poor in possession, with the team struggling to hold onto the ball for any sustained period of play and really failing to create anything for the front three of Pablo Fornals, Jarrod Bowen and Gianluca Scamacca.

Defensively they have looked strong and organised, and for the most part Lukasz Fabianski has had nothing to do in his goal but Villa’s dominance means they are bound to eventually start finding pockets of space and creating goalscoring opportunities.

Rice is the leader of this team and needs to stamp some authority on this game. He’s the Hammers’ best player and with that comes responsibility of performing to a high level every week and dragging his teammates up to his level when their performances aren’t good enough.