West Ham fans were excited to see youngster Declan Rice being given another chance at centre back in the 3-2 win over Tottenham in the Carabao Cup last night.
Manager Slaven Bilic has generally played the 18 year old as a holding midfielder in most of his first team appearances so far, but the Croatian opted to start the defender in a back three against Spurs.
Rice had previously played in the position in the third round tie against Bolton Wanderers but it was a significant step up in quality at Wembley yesterday. There was certainly areas to improve upon, and he was unfortunate that Dele Alli’s second goal for Tottenham deflected off him into the net, but he stood firm in the latter stages of the match when the backline came under serious pressure.
The Twitter reaction to Rice’s performance was overwhelmingly positive with many quick to congratulate the player for his display:
Unreal from you Dec! Class performance
— Bill Ledbury (@BillLedbury) 26 October 2017
You was outstanding mate. Keep on working hard
— Simon②⚒ (@piemashmerchant) 26 October 2017
Well played fella! Your head never dropped after that deflection for their second goal, superb composure
— Benzo ⚒ (@BenWeavz) 26 October 2017
Top performance mate! Bright future ahead!! COYI!!
— Bradley Marrable (@BMarrable) 26 October 2017
Well done Declan, fantastic game
— Steve Hunt (@stevefenton123) 26 October 2017
Legend in the making
— Ryan Anderson (@LondonYeti) 25 October 2017
How are you not starting at CB every week?!?!? #irons
— Miles Williams (@MilesWilliams91) 25 October 2017