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Exclusive: Former West Ham star believes Souness was wrong to blame Declan Rice for Arsenal’s opener

West Ham can feel hard done by after losing the London derby against Arsenal thanks to a late winner from Eddie Nketiah.

The Hammers were on top for long periods of the game, particularly in the second half, but weren’t able to convert that dominance into goals, and that could be a problem for them in 2020/21 according to George Parris.

“It has to be a worry,” Parris told CaughtOffside after the match.

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“Looking at the game, every time the ball came into the box Leno was flapping at it. They [West Ham] should’ve put more crosses in.”

Much has been made about Declan Rice’s England credentials over the last few weeks, with a transfer to Chelsea also mooted.

It’s perhaps the speculation that saw the defensive midfielder turn in an average performance at the Emirates Stadium, but Parris was none too pleased with Sky Sports pundit, Graeme Souness’ apportioning of blame for Arsenal’s first goal.

“I thought Declan did ok,” Parris added.

“There was a game plan but ultimately that didn’t pay off and Arsenal nicked it right at the end.

“Souness had a go at him for the first goal but there were four or five other players in the box.

“It’s a bit harsh he [Rice] got blamed even if he did have a quiet game today.”

That’s two games and two losses for the east Londoners, in what’s already looking like a difficult campaign for David Moyes and his side.

Some transfer business and a shuffling of the pack wouldn’t go amiss according to Parris.

“You’ve got to give [Sebastien] Haller a chance,” he said.

“Start with him, because you’re asking a lot to get a goal when he’s only getting two minutes here and there.

“It’s got to be worthwhile to put him on up top because it’s the only way to give him confidence.

“They’re [West Ham] looking at the lad from Burnley which might get done soon, and I think you’ll see some other late business done too.”

More Stories Declan Rice Eddie Nketiah George Parris Graeme Souness sebastien haller