Declan Rice was subbed for the first time in his career during half time of the 2-2 draw between Spurs and Arsenal. It wasn’t because of any form problems, with Gooners boss Mikel Arteta making it clear that the former Hammers skipper had suffered a back injury.
Incredibly, this is the first time I have thought of Declan since his move from the London Stadium. This serves to show just one thing; the Hammers manager David Moyes and technical director Tim Steidten have truly done a magnificent job rebuilding the squad.
Yes, I understand this has been said a few times previously but it really is worth repeating bearing in mind how much we relied on the former No 41 in previous seasons. It had also been said on several occasions that we would need more than one player to replace him as it was impossible to find a like-for-like individual.
So in came JWP and Alvarez who have proved magnificent signings who give us more in that area of the pitch than we had previously. With Lucas Paqueta and Mo Kudus also on board we look a match and more for most teams in this league and as they settle in more, we could even start competing more intensely with the top four.
Moyes always stood firm on the fact that he would build a new West Ham. It has taken a while and it took Declan’s departure to make it happen. But the wait has been more than worthwhile. Okay the results against Man City and Liverpool were disappointing but the Hammers are now looking a team to really be reckoned with, and a top six or eight will surely see Moyes armed with a new deal as we go into next season.
How we love this game because things have turned well and truly on their heads over the past few months with the boss going from villain of many to hero of all.