West Ham United blew Aston Villa out of the water at Villa Park on Sunday, securing a 4-1 win to consolidate their fourth position in the table.
Declan Rice was at his usual best again, assisting Ben Johnson’s opener before helping the Hammers restore their lead heading into half-time.
BBC pundit Garth Crooks was blown away by the performance of the England international midfielder, and while he had a lot to say about VAR in his team of the week column, he did not hesitate to shower praise on the West Ham ace.
He wrote on their website: “I couldn’t not select at least one player from West Ham. Their victory over Aston Villa was emphatic but also helped by a poor VAR-assisted sending-off.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that referee Chris Kavanagh has never scored a goal in his life, otherwise he would recognise a ‘clear’ goalscoring opportunity when he saw one.
“Neither could he have suffered a forearm smash. If he had, he would know that a forearm smash is dangerous and a goalscoring opportunity is not. If VAR can’t get it right what is the point of it?
“What was abundantly clear was the performance of Rice, who was at his commanding best. Thank goodness VAR didn’t have to make that decision.”
Another top performance
Rice has not had a bad game for West Ham this season, constantly improving his game and now adding goals and assists to it.
He ran the show in the middle of the park against Villa and is arguably the best holding midfielder in the top-flight on current form.
David Moyes will be dreaming of leading his side to a top-four finish in 2021-22 and going forward after narrowly missing out last term, and with someone like Rice on top of his game, that is very much possible.
The Hammers were dealt a massive blow after he missed some games towards the end of last term, and they need to prevent such from happening again.
This could be the season when they finally win their first piece of major silverware since 1980, and Rice will definitely be playing a huge role to ensure that comes to fruition.
Holding on to him going forward is important, and how West Ham fare at the end of the campaign would have a significant say on that.
In other West Ham news, ex-Hammers manager has blasted Irons ace for being ‘very poor’ after incident v Villa.
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