Everton boss Marco Silva has revealed that his side targeted West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in their 2-0 victory on Saturday.
The Toffees’ boss shared that it was imperative that his team found space either side of the England international, something that Theo Walcott played a key role in doing.
Rice kept his place in the side alongside Mark Noble after overcoming a virus he picked up on international duty after the 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic.
“We had a plan to find space either side of Declan Rice and Theo was key,” he said as quoted by Claret and Hugh.
Goals from Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson secured all three points for Everton in a defeat which condemned the Hammers to consecutive defeats for the first time this season.
Everton threatened to run riot against West Ham at Goodison Park, and without Roberto, in goal, it could have been a lot worst for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. The likes of Alex Iwobi and Bernard consistently tormented Rice and the Hammers’ defence and easily found space in the final third to potentially hurt the away side. The 20-year-old was a shadow of his usual self in the heart of the midfield and struggled to make any sort of positive impact in defence or going forward. Rice only managed to make a single tackle in the game according to WhoScored, compared to the last away game against Bournemouth where he was phenomenal making six – proving he was overwhelmed by the constant waves of attacks being thrown his way in the game. Walcott’s pace was too much to handle at times for Rice, who consistently lost his man, and will need to improve if he is to keep his spot alongside Noble in the future.