Sam Delaney has been speaking on the latest episode of the U Irons podcast about Declan Rice’s decision to let Jesse Lingard assume penalty-taking duties last time out.
West Ham saw off Leeds United 2-0 at the London on Monday night thanks to goals from Manchester United loanee Lingard and in-form defender Craig Dawson.
David Moyes’ side had been on the back foot for the opening period of the game, but the Hammers were awarded a penalty on the 20-minute mark after Luke Ayling tripped Lingard inside the 18-yard box.
It was only the second penalty that the capital club had been awarded in the Premier League this season, with club captain Declan Rice dispatching the first against Sheffield United last month after a discussion with Lingard.
However, this time around, the 22-year-old handed the ball over to his compatriot, a decision that Delaney disagreed with.
He said: “I think he was wrong to do it. I think it reflects well on Declan Rice, he’s a great captain. He’s got this inclusive approach, he’s done a good job.
“I think as we said before, he’s played a really big part in that brilliant team spirit that we can all see when we watch them. And I think your analysis is correct. He thought, ‘Well this is good, this player’s buzzing already, and this will just do wonders for his confidence.’
“Declan doesn’t need any help with his confidence. He’s not that sort of player. He goes into every game, and that comes from within, I think, whereas attacking players, like Lingard, they tend to need to feel like they’ve got that momentum about them.”
TIF Thoughts on Rice…
Rice has had an impressive season, as his 7.01/10 WhoScored rating shows, and the young midfielder has been an ever-present in West Ham’s push to finish in the European qualification places.
Therefore, it’s hard to criticise the England international, but on this occasion, he probably made the wrong decision.
Lingard’s penalty was poor, and he was lucky that Illan Meslier’s initial save pushed the ball back into his path for a simple tap-in. If the Frenchman had managed to get a better connection and get the ball to safety, then it could have completely altered the course of the game.
Having said that, it’s a lesson that Rice will learn from and will only aid his development going forwards.