Renowned sporting journalist Paul Brown recently revealed the thoughts of West Ham insiders on why their club failed to finish in a Champions League spot last season. The Hammers inexplicably ended the 2020-21 season in sixth place, their best showing in the Premier League since the 1998-99 season.
Under the leadership of David Moyes, West Ham constantly punched above their weight the last term. The London-based club spent the majority of 2021 in a European spot, dwindling in the final hour to qualify for the Europa League.
Regardless of the significance of this achievement, the Hammers were actually on track to secure Champions League football. According to Brown, West Ham insiders blame their last-minute collapse on Declan Rice’s injury. The Englishman had damaged his knee on international duty, ruling him out for a span of six games.
West Ham won three and lost three in that period, gravely impairing their chances for a top-four finish. Talking to GIVEMESPORT, Brown stated,
“I know people at West Ham who thought Declan Rice getting injured was basically the death knell for that. If he’d stayed fit, I think they really believe they would have qualified for the Champions League, which would have been amazing.”
One of the most promising defensive midfielders of the current generation, Rice has been constantly linked with a move away from the London Stadium. Manchester United and Chelsea have emerged as the frontrunners to land the 22-year-old’s signature.
Still contracted to West Ham United as of now, Rice recently scored on his continental debut, leading his side to a 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb.