This has largely been a harrowing season for the West Ham United players and supporters. Barely anyone has emerged from their current malaise with any credit.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have suffered an alarming downturn in form which has seen them fail to win in seven games in all competitions and slip down to 16th in the Premier League table.
One man you typically would expect to keep churning out top class performances is defensive midfielder Declan Rice, however that hasn’t quite happened, a fact recognised by journalist Sam Inkersole, who has rated the England international’s season so far at just six out of 10.
“It might be harsh to say his progress has stalled as he has been putting out fires week in, week out, but the Englishman is going through his first real dip in form since breaking through to the first team,” he wrote on the Football London website.
The 20-year-old has been far from West Ham’s best player this time round, but Inkersole is spot on to say that this is the first time his form has really suffered since the start of the last campaign.
When you compare what he’s done this season to how he performed last time out, there’s no doubt that Rice has regressed. As per WhoScored.com, the youngster is averaging fewer clearances and blocks per game this campaign.
Furthermore, he is committing more fouls and is being dribbled past more frequently. In addition, his average WhoScored rating per outing is down from 6.93 to 6.83.
It’s not a massive dip in form, but enough for Pellegrini to be slightly worried. Certainly, the Englishman could help his team out by getting back to the heights he scaled last season.