Wednesday, December 7, 2022

“Not Good Enough” – Declan Rice’s Angry Message To West Ham Teammates After Derby Defeat To Arsenal

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West Ham United captain Declan Rice delivered a blunt message to his Hammers teammates after seeing the club fall out of the Champions League places.

The Irons dropped out of the top four for the first time since October after losing 2-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Hammers recorded just one shot on target during the game, which was settled by second-half goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe .

Vladimir Coufal was sent off for the visitors, who had former Gunners goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to thank for keeping the score down with a penalty save to deny Alexandre Lacazette, after Coufal was shown his second yellow card for a foul on the French forward.

England midfielder Rice, who captained the away side in north London, was ruthless with his post-game assessment.

“Not good enough tonight,” was the 22-year-old’s admission after West Ham fell to a sixth straight away league defeat against Arsenal. “Nowhere near the level that’s required to be a top-four team

“You can’t come to a place like Arsenal and let them impose the game on you like we did tonight.

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“We just made bad decisions across the pitch, really. Giving the ball away cheaply, taking too many touches, not putting the ball in the box, [being] soft, not making tactical fouls. Just all round, a night off it.”

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Despite saying he felt the referee was “against us all night”, Rice pointed to the difference between the sides in the final third as a key factor.

“We had a little spell in the first half where we were getting in down the sides of them,” he said.

“What we’ve been lacking recently is putting crosses in the box and then actually putting the ball in the back of the net and again tonight it showed.

“Second half they scored a great goal from Martinelli and [from] Smith Rowe, and obviously we didn’t have the cutting edge to score or bring one back.”

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The victory was Arsenal’s second in a row without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was dropped for the weekend victory over Southampton and subsequently stripped of the captaincy .

For West Ham , meanwhile, the defensive woes continued with Angelo Ogbonna, Kurt Zouma, Ben Johnson, Ryan Fredericks and Aaron Cresswell missing the Arsenal game through injury and Coufal now set for a one-match ban after his contentious red card.

The defeat left David Moyes’ side in fifth, just one point below their midweek opponents, though Manchester United and Tottenham can also overtake them depending on the outcome of their games in hand.

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The Hammers are back in action on Saturday afternoon against bottom-of-the-table Norwich City, while Arsenal face a trip to Leeds United later that day.

Photo Credit: Getty 

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