'They both look a bit jaded': James Collins suggests two West Ham players need a break after today
West Ham United icon James Collins has claimed that Hammers duo Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek looked “jaded” against Newcastle today.
David Moyes’ charges spurned the opportunity to move into the Premier League top four as the Magpies held them to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.
West Ham opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, Craig Dawson netting his second goal in two games.
Aaron Cresswell whipped in a superb free kick that the defender powerfully headed home past Martin Dubravka.
However, the Hammers conceded just before the break, Joe Willock steering an effort just over the line via the far-post.
The Newcastle man had pounced on Rice’s poor attempted clearance to put his side level.
“Declan Rice doesn’t seem to be at the races today,” Collins says on BBC Radio 5 Live (19/2/22, 13:20).
“He’s just missed the ball and it’s come off his shoulder, but it’s a clever, clever finish from Willock.”
Rice did recover from his error and tried to make things happen in the second half, but it wasn’t to be in the end.
Meanwhile, Soucek delivered an uncharacteristically below-par performance in claret and blue.
He won a key header to set up a chance for Dawson early in the second half but was anonymous besides that.
“Like a testimonial game”
Collins noted how Rice and Soucek have played a lot of games this season and they looked tired now.
“The crowd have been getting a bit frustrated,” he said (19/2/22, 14:19).
“West Ham have been trying to get in good positions, but it’s a bit like a testimonial game at the moment.
“Rice and Soucek have played a lot of games this season. They both look a bit jaded to me.”
West Ham now have eight days until their next game, when they host Wolves next Sunday.
The Hammers then head to Southampton for an FA Cup fifth-round game the following Wednesday.
After that, Moyes and co play away at Liverpool on Saturday 5 March.
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