Souness tells West Ham stars to ‘man up’ after Tottenham loss but Rice questions Moyes’ tactics
Graeme Souness has told West Ham United’s players that they need to “man up” and “dig out a result” to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation.
The Hammers have enjoyed a lot of success under David Moyes over the past couple of seasons. Prior to this campaign, they battled for a place in Europe and finished in the top seven in back-to-back campaigns.
But they have struggled this term and they are in the middle of a relegation fight. They dropped down to 18th over the weekend as Everton and Bournemouth both won.
West Ham meanwhile lost 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. They have now just won one of their last 11 games in the Premier League.
The London outfit host relegation rivals Nottingham Forest this weekend and a negative result could well lead to Moyes being sacked.
Speaking after the defeat against Spurs, Souness argued that West Ham’s players are currently “short-changing the manager”.
“You’re relying on the players,” Souness said. “The players read newspapers and will know the manager is under pressure and that the supporters aren’t happy. It’s down to them.
“They have to man up. Dig a result out, and be tougher to play against. Be tougher than the team you’re playing against.
“We’ve been managers, being a manager is not easy, but sometimes you’re sitting there and [thinking] what can you say to the players?
“Moyes will not be saying anything different this year to what he said last year when they had a really good season.”
He added: “So you go and spend the best part of £180m and you’re worse off results-wise. But the players are the same.
“You’re talking about why they were the best from the set pieces [last season]? The delivery will be the same, but they’re not attacking the ball with the same aggression, that’s why they’re not scoring goals from set pieces. The players are short-changing the manager and what he wants. It’s time for them to man up.”
Declan Rice meanwhile has acknowledged that it is “up to them” to get out of trouble. But he has hinted that West Ham strikers are “feeling a bit isolated” with how Moyes is setting them up.
“I think when it comes to Spurs, it’s always going to be tough but it’s down to us to perform, create chances and score goals,” Rice told Sky Sports.
“Everyone knows the position we are in but it’s up to us to sort it out.
“Last year we were so good, we felt we’d score a couple of goals each game but sometimes this happens.
“When you play with five at the back the strikers can feel a bit isolated so we need to give them more support.
“There are six or seven teams in and around us. We are the only ones who can change it so I’m not too bothered about them, it’s down to us.”
READ MORE: David Moyes mocking West Ham supporters with ‘up for the fight’ comment after Spurs surrender
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