David Moyes blames Declan Rice after West Ham’s 5-0 defeat to Chelsea | Football

David Moyes’ West Ham side have the worst defensive record of his time in the Premier League (AP)

David Moyes has blamed the absence of Declan Rice for West Ham’s heavy away defeats this season after his side’s 5-0 loss at Chelsea on Sunday.

West Ham delivered a woeful first-half display which saw Cole Palmer, Conor Gallagher and Noni Madueke put Chelsea three goals ahead by half time before Nicolas Jackson struck twice after the break.

The defeat at Stamford Bridge was the sixth time West Ham have conceded four or more goals on the road this season and a fifth loss in six away games in all competitions.

Moyes believes the departure of Rice, who joined Arsenal in a £105 million deal last summer, has been a key factor behind his side’s poor defensive record this season. West Ham have now conceded 70 goals in the Premier League so far – the most that a side managed by Moyes has shipped in a single campaign.

Asked why West Ham have suffered heavy defeats away from home this term following the 5-0 loss at Chelsea, Moyes replied: ‘Declan Rice.

‘You get the best midfield player in the country, protecting, making sure the moments and times you limit maybe 50 per cent of the attacks and the moments, when you get that then it makes you a much better defensive team.

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice

David Moyes rued the loss of Declan Rice after West Ham’s 5-0 defeat to Chelsea (Getty)

‘We’ve lacked protection in front of the back four, we’ve lacked good enough defending, we’ve just not been good enough on those things in many games.

‘But, you know, as I’ve said, you’ve got to be careful, you’re talking about a team sitting in a really, really strong position. We’ve had a couple of bad days away from home, we have to try and eradicate that and make it better.

‘As I said, I’m trying to put a bit of mental toughness when we need it. The teams I normally prepare would normally have it. You could always lose the way you lose.

‘To be fair, you have to say Chelsea are in a pretty good moment at the moment. We’ve hit the bar three times today and Emerson’s missed a sitter, so if the game had ended up 5-3 you might have said, ‘hey, West Ham had a right good go’. What was a couple of inches either side, it’s an easy thing to say, but we’ve come here with a few chances but we’ve not been able to do the basics defensively to give ourself a chance to stay in the game.

‘This exact same team drew 2-2 with Liverpool last week.’

When asked about managers already being linked with his job, Moyes replied: ‘I’m going to talk to the board at the end of the season, so we’ll do that then.’

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