By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

2nd Jun, 2022 | 10:10am

Pundit tells Tomas Soucek to accept being 'the second guy' at West Ham United

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium

Frank McAvennie has told Tomas Soucek to accept his new role as ‘the second guy’ at West Ham behind Declan Rice and focus on finding his form again.

The Czech midfielder has been a key man since joining the club in January 2020 under David Moyes, but saw his form dwindle last season when asked to play a different role to get more from his partner Rice.

There are now reports [Claret & Hugh] that the club could be willing to let Soucek leave the club as he enters the final two years of his contract due to that form, but McAvennie is hopeful that he will stay on as he is a ‘damn good player’ but insists he must accept playing second fiddle to the star man.

“I don’t know what happened to him in the last quarter of the season,” he told West Ham Zone.

“Maybe that’s the case [tiredness]. But he can say to the gaffer, ‘give me a break’. He missed a couple of games did he not?

“He’s got to sort it out. If he wants to stay he’s got to sort it out. Declan is the big gun. He’s moving forward now and that is Soucek’s space he’s running into.

“So they’ve got to get it together. Rice still went forward [last season], he didn’t go forward as much but he still went forward. Now the two of them are not in sync with each other, they’ve just got to get that back. It’s like two strikers playing together.

“That’s what Soucek has got to do now, because he’s [Rice] the man now. When Declan goes just sit in there, like he used to do. Instead he wants to try and go all the time. Sometimes you’ve got to play the role of the second guy.

“I hope he stays because he’s a damn good player.”

Team work

There is an old saying that says ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ and that’s what Soucek and West Ham need to get on the same page about.

Rice is the main man, but the club need to profile of Soucek to help him and the side continue to progress so if they can come to a compromise in order for him to stay on and find his form again, then it would benefit all parties.

In other West Ham news, Hammers want to sign star winger this summer and face competition from CL sides

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