The Athletic‘s West Ham United correspondent Roshane Thomas has said that he believes Declan Rice and not Mark Noble should have taken the injury-time penalty against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Lowdown: Late drama in London
Said Benrahma, who now has three goals this season, saw his effort deflect off Raphael Varane and past David de Gea to put the Hammers ahead before Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the scoring from close range.
After Jesse Lingard came back to haunt his former club with a late winner, Noble was introduced in injury time speficially to take the decisive penalty but was denied by De Gea.
The Latest: Rice is Thomas’ choice
Speaking in a Q&A for The Athletic on the day of the match, Thomas has stated that he feels Rice should have been given responsibility for the spot kick and not the veteran club captain, who had only just entered the field of play.
He said: “West Ham unlucky not to come away with a point. On the positive side, Zouma had a very good game. But can’t help but think Rice should have taken the pen given his recent form.”
The Verdict: Brave choice by Moyes
The decision to sling on Noble so late in the game purely for a penalty had disaster written all over it. Thomas’ statement on Rice would make sense in terms of his quality and maturity, despite taking just two penalties previously and missing one of those. The journalist’s point about the 22-year-old’s form, having scored in Zagreb last week, is a pertinent one though.
Noble’s terrific penalty record, having last missed a spot kick in 2016, speaks for itself and is most likely the reason why David Moyes introduced the skipper to secure a draw against Manchester United.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t meant to be and Noble’s only touch of the game had such a big impact, handing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side all three points and third place in the Premier League. The manager’s bold call, while theoretically sound, backfired in costly fashion.
In other news, many West Ham fans have took to Twitter to slam this winger’s performance over the weekend. Find out more here.
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