Boss David Moyes has inexplicably blamed West Ham scapegoat Said Benrahma for the Declan Rice mistake which led to Arsenal’s equaliser.

West Ham found themselves 1-0 up at half-time at the Emirates when the domestic action resumed on Boxing Day evening.

Jarrod Bowen won a penalty which was thumped home by Benrahma to give the Hammers a somewhat fortunate lead.

After the break West Ham had a great chance to go 2-0 up when Michail Antonio was put through on goal. But as has been the case for the best part of a year now, the misfiring forward made a mess of the chance.

Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League
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He chose to shoot from an acute angle rather than play the ball across for Benrahma to have a tap-in or fire it across the goalkeeper.

Moments later Arsenal were level.

Rice was uncharacteristically caught on the ball in midfield by Thomas Partey who fed Martin Odegaard.

West Ham’s captain has carried this team at times. But he – nor any player – should be above reproach. And the fact is Rice halfheartedly chased back and failed to put any pressure on the Norwegian whose mishit shot fortuitously found Bukayo Saka in the box.

Being played onside by some five yards by the hapless Vladimir Coufal, Saka rolled the ball home to equalise and before West Ham knew it, they were 2-1 and then 3-1 down.

That made it four defeats in a row and the Hammers have now won just 13 of their last 43 Premier League matches.

One of West Ham’s better players this season has been Benrahma.

Moyes and the Algerian have endured a difficult relationship since he joined West Ham. The Scot takes a taskmaster approach to managing the playmaker and many fans feel Benrahma has been treated unfairly at times by the manager.

Benrahma has often been a bit of a kicking post for Moyes, who criticises him publicly more than any other West Ham player.

Now boss Moyes has inexplicably blamed West Ham scapegoat Benrahma for the Rice mistake which led to the Arsenal equaliser.

Speaking on Amazon after the game Moyes was asked if there was anything West Ham could do about the fortunate Gunners equaliser. His response pointed the finger of blame at Benrahma.

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“In the end the goals we conceded were incredibly disappointing from our point of view…” Moyes said on Amazon.

“We were on the break and Said has a great chance to pass Declan in and underweights the pass, Dec gets caught on it and eventually they get back in and we give them the chance.

“We sort of turned the ball over ourselves and it gave them the equaliser. I don’t think we should have given Odegaard the space.”

The weight of pass into Rice had nothing to do with the skipper getting caught on the ball by Partey.

Why is Moyes not publicly criticising Antonio for his decision to shoot when he should have set Benrahma up?

Or Coufal, Thilo Kehrer and Aaron Cresswell for their woeful performances?

Some things will never change it seems.


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