Darren Bent says that he feels sorry for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice after the “harsh” decision to award a penalty against him in the defeat to Crystal Palace.
The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that he has seen similar situations go unpunished by officials and that the Hammers star was perhaps a bit unlucky to see the spot-kick given.
Patrick Van Aanholt converted from the spot to level the scores at the London Stadium, Sebastien Haller having given the Irons the lead, before Jordan Ayew netted a late goal to seal a 2-1 win for the Eagles.
Bent says that Rice can consider himself unfortunate to have seen the handball shout given against him after a similar incident which went without punishment in Wolves’ clash with Watford.
Bent told Football Insider: “I do feel sorry for him, it’s harsh on him. The week before we’ve seen Wolves play against Watford, Traore has gone to cross it in and Holebas, it strikes his arm and the referee doesn’t even look at it.
“I do feel for West Ham a little bit but again, that is where I don’t particularly trust West Ham because as well as they’ve been doing, like beating Manchester United, I still always feel they’ve still got that in them – a team that realistically they should beat they’ll go and lose to.”
Rice has been a mainstay for Manuel Pellegrini this season, playing every single minute of the club’s Premier League campaign in the middle of the park.
He could add to his five England caps over the international break after being called up to the Three Lions’ squad once again, with games against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in the coming days.
In other West Ham news, Danny Mills was left raving over one Hammers ace despite playing in the defeat to Palace.