Declan Rice was so unwell that he was “on his knees” in the build-up to West Ham’s match with Liverpool, David Moyes has revealed. Moyes was preparing to take on Jurgen Klopp’s team without Rice until the morning of the game when his captain declared himself fit to play.
David Moyes said: “The truth was I didn’t think he would play against Liverpool. We had been medicating him so much for two days before Liverpool and we didn’t think he would play. I was having to think what we would do without him. He didn’t train on the Saturday and got up and said he felt a bit better on the Sunday morning and we played him”
Rice put in a superb performance against Liverpool with no indication that he had been suffering from illness and it was only when he withdrew from the England squad that his health issues were revealed. Following the 3-2 win Rice was unable to train with his England teammates and returned to West Ham to receive medical care and rest. Moyes confirmed that the midfielder was not suffering from covid-19 and is fit for the Hammers clash with Wolves on Saturday afternoon.
David Moyes added: “He’s a key player for England and they want to use him as well but he was really unwell. He was badly unwell. He’s better [now]. I don’t know if it was the flu, it wasn’t Covid. [It may have been] Fatigue, tiredness. Being fair to Declan, he has performed as well as any England player who was part of the Euros since the start of the Premier League season. He’s kept at it and his form has been really good. He’s turned up for every England camp and been fantastic. Let’s hope he can go again.”
Rice has been the Hammers star performer so far this season but Moyes is more than satisfied with his squad as a whole.
David Moyes said: “It would be hard to get players who are much better than the ones we have got at the moment, they are doing such a good job. I don’t see many that I would alter because we are still growing.”
Despite this praise, the manager still believes there is more to come from West Ham this season.
David Moyes added: “I genuinely feel as if we can play better, I really do. I think there is more to come, we’ve got players who can step up again and I am expecting that from them in the coming weeks.”
Ever the hard taskmaster Moyes singled out Michail Antonio as one player he thinks can still get more from despite his fine start to the season and two wonder goals for Jamaica.
David Moyes said: “I think he can play better and I think he has more to come and I hope his performances will step up again. “His goals for Jamaica were great but I want goals for West Ham so I am looking for more goals for West Ham.”
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