Football

Gary Neville Is Not Entirely Convinced By Declan Rice's Performances

Gary Neville Is Not Entirely Convinced By Declan Rice's Performances

As West Ham United quickly turnaround the slow start to their Premier League season, Declan Rice tends to feature as a prime reason for the resurgence in form. However, Gary Neville isn't necessarily convinced.

Subbed off at half-time in the Hammers' opening day defeat to Liverpool, Rice's Premier League return coincided with Manuel Pellegrini's first meaningful win in charge of the London club; a 3-1 defeat of Everton in Goodison Park.

Present for the 0-0 draw with Chelsea and West Ham's 3-1 defeat of Manchester United last weekend, Rice has found himself among a midfield three also including Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang.

However, it is this feature of West Ham's set up that Neville believes many are looking beyond.

"[Rice] coming in has been a big thing, but it might not just be as simple as him coming in.

"It's more the fact that they've gone with the three in midfield, and you've got Obiang and Noble alongside him - it's not just him."

Assessing that West Ham were too easily got at when Pellegrini opted for the two in midfield, Neville does believe that Rice "has come in an done well," but there remains some definite room for improvement.

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"I'm still not sure if he's a central midfield player.

"When the ball gets played into him with his back to goal, I think he still feels a little bit uncomfortable ... like he's a centre-back playing in the centre of midfield.

"But, he's doing a good job, he's a big talent, and he's certainly serving a purpose for West Ham at this moment in time."

Opting not to delve into the potential international future of Rice, Neville does appear to be leaning toward the idea that the West Ham man's future may be better served in a defensive position.

See Also: West Ham Fans Aren't Shy About Singing Declan Rice's Praises

Arthur James O'Dea

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