Declan Rice: West Ham “bullied all over the pitch”

Joe Prince-Wright

Declan Rice summed up West Ham’s performance at Burnley in one comment: “We were bullied all over the pitch.”

The England international was part of the Hammers side which lost 3-0 at Turf Moor, as they’ve now lost four of their last five Premier League games and haven’t won since they beat Man United on Sept. 22.

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Speaking after the game, Rice lambasted his team for putting in a poor defensive display as the 3-0 scoreline flattered them.

“It’s been like this since the Crystal Palace game. We were nowhere near good enough. We haven’t kicked on and we have been poor,” Rice said. “There is a real buzz around the place during the week but it when it gets to the game and we go 1-0 down our heads drop. We need to do the basics – the simple five-yard passing, the tackling. We were bullied all over the pitch – Burnley were winning everything. It’s not good enough.”

Defensively they were poor with stand-in goalkeeper Roberto having another nightmare outing, as the Hammers continue to miss star goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski who is out injured until the end of December. But all over the pitch West Ham’s players looked disinterested and unable to battle with Burnley.

An even bigger problem for West Ham is that they now play all of Tottenham, Chelsea, Wolves, Arsenal and Liverpool in their next six Premier League games.

Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure with the Hammers just five points above the relegation zone.

After two years of big spending, West Ham are battling to stay out of the bottom five or six, rather than battling to be in the top six as many predicted at the start of the season.

Things have unravelled very quickly for the Hammers and Rice’s comments suggest they will have even bigger problems in the weeks ahead.

West Ham have lost against most of the teams they would expect to beat. Can they now raise their game and cause a few upsets between now and the end of December?

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