West Ham United saw their side continue their turnaround since the international break with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon and after the match their supporters rushed onto social media to rave about one man who stood out.
The Hammers were looking to back up their success at Everton last weekend with their first home win of the campaign against their rivals from the West side of London but although they couldn’t come away with a victory, they were the first team to take points off of the Blues this season which was very much a positive.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men should actually have taken all three points but were thwarted by a horrendous miss from close range from summer signing Andriy Yarmolenko, who headed a gilt edged opportunity wide when he looked easier to score.
That was unfortunate for the Hammers in what was otherwise a very encouraging performance from a well-drilled, extremely strongly organised unit.
Although they were unable to find the net in the game there were plenty of things for West Ham supporters to be optimistic about after the contest, not least the performance of their academy product Declan Rice.
The defender, who can also operate as a midfielder, as he showed in this game, has been in the news due to his international status in recent weeks but he gave a calm and assured performance which was beyond his 19 years.
He provided a shield to the defence to deny Chelsea opening the Hammers back line up as regularly as they would have liked, as the youngster showed why there is plenty of talk about him.
West Ham fans were certainly taken in by his performance as they reacted to it after the final whistle, with many demanding the teenager is offered a new deal as a matter of urgency.
Here are some of their messages:
— Adam Bridge (@abridge75) September 23, 2018
Rode our luck, so did Chelsea. Fabianski & Rice we’re our best players today, I thought. Zaba also had a strong game. Well organised, another strong team performance building on from last week. COYI. ⚒⚒⚒⚒. #WHUCHE #WHUFC #COYI
— ⚒ Peej ⚒ (@HammerPeej) September 23, 2018
— Dan (@WHUFC_D) September 23, 2018
It is criminal that Declan Rice isn't being offered a good enough contract. Rumours that he was offered less than Reece Oxford when he is effectively a first team regular. Shocking! #whufc
— Matt Blissett (@MattLogue) September 23, 2018
Trying not to be OTT about this but Declan Rice is an immense footballer. The kid’s positional sense isn’t something that can be taught. Absolutely top draw footballer. Sullivan…give him the money he wants (plus a little bit more) before it’s too late #WHUFC
— Winsum Loosum (@DevDevotee) September 23, 2018
Declan rice the best young player since rio and a future west ham captain , he will get the deal he deserves but i would like him to sign a 5-6 year deal ( with serious injury clauses ) that way we protect our investment and hopefully the team grows with him , happy days #WHUFC
— Bob Clark (@bobclark56) September 23, 2018
Thoroughly enjoyed West Ham today. Some identity in the side from Noble and Rice, coherence in a system, some good passing football and energetic defending. #WHUFC
— Daniel Liddard (@DanLiddard) September 23, 2018
Key points from today's game, in my opinion:
• Fabianski was quality
• Diop and Balbuena forming a great partnership
• Rice getting better and better in midfield
— West Ham Fan Zone (@WHUFCFZ) September 23, 2018