Former Premier League winner Ray Parlour believes that West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is going through a ‘bad spell’ at the moment.
“Sometimes people lose their confidence a little bit, teams lose their confidence, and it affects players,” he said on talkSPORT [19/11; 08:33]. “He’s got to improve.
“He’s certainly having a little bit of a bad spell at the moment, but all players have bad spells. All players have bad spells, it’s about how you come out of those bad spells and improve going forward. He’s probably frustrated with West Ham’s form, he’s frustrated with his form.”
The Rice criticism has gotten a little much, but West Ham fans have come to expect this when their star man goes away on international duty. It’s become routine that Rice is given a hammering by every man and his dog when he plays for England, so this international break has been nothing new. However, it’s gotten a little overboard this time. Keane laid into him, as he is wont to do, but that perhaps had more to do with the Irons star turning his back on Ireland for the Three Lions a year ago. The statistics from this season, while not quite at the level of last term, suggest that Rice is still performing at a pretty high level for Manuel Pellegrini’s team. As per WhoScored.com, the youngster is averaging 2.8 tackles, 2.2 interceptions and one clearance per game, to go with 50.2 passes on average and a success rate of 90.2%. That’s not that bad, is it? Yes, he’s dipped slightly of late, but he’s still a top, top player.