MARTIN KEOWN: Rice has come to the boil nicely at rejuvenated West Ham

MARTIN KEOWN: Declan Rice has come to the boil nicely… he’s playing the best football I’ve seen him play in a West Ham shirt after a system switch

  • West Ham beat Leicester 3-0 on Sunday after smashing Wolves 4-0 last game
  • Since switching to a 5-4-1 formation, the Hammers have looked like a new team 
  • The club looked in trouble after two games but now seem full of confidence
  • Declan Rice has been a star of the transformation alongside Michail Antonio  

We’ve seen a sharp rise in Premier League clubs turning to a back three, and West Ham’s new 5-4-1 system is suiting them. 

Since switching to this set-up against Arsenal – a game they were unfortunate to lose at the Emirates Stadium – David Moyes’s side have looked much more organised. 

They beat Wolves 4-0 using it, and got the better of Leicester on Sunday, too. Not many will have expected these results – and they face Tottenham, Manchester City then Liverpool next – but credit to Moyes for making this change. 

Declan Rice has been at the heart of West Ham’s transformation over the past two matches 

After stunning Wolves 4-0, the Hammers beat Leicester 3-0 on Sunday in amazing style 

It involves Michail Antonio doing a fine job leading the line, and his development as a footballer deserves recognition. 

He’s played full back, wing back, and is now acting as a singular striker and scoring regularly. Antonio ended last season with eight goals in seven games, and Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu couldn’t get to grips with him yesterday. 

In midfield, Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek’s partnership is working well. Rice previously looked like a centre back trying to play in midfield. But now he is looking like a finely-tuned midfielder in his own right. 

He’s playing the best football I’ve seen him play in a West Ham shirt, while Jarrod Bowen is proving a handful on the right wing, too. 

Moyes, who has been having to watch his team from home, must be so pleased with all of this. He has come across a system which is getting the best out of his players.  

Rice could be vital for West Ham this season after a difficult start to the new campaign

David Moyes, who has been watching from home with Covid-19, decided to switch formation

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