Jamie Redknapp 'not convinced' by Tomas Soucek for West Ham United after performance v Manchester United
Jamie Redknapp has called for Tomas Soucek to be dropped by West Ham for a more creative midfield player after their loss to Manchester United.
The Hammers were beaten 1-0 thanks to a Marcus Rashford first-half header, as the hosts saw off a late surge from David Moyes’ side to try and get an equaliser late on.
But speaking after the game on Sky Sports [30 October, 18:53], Redknapp called for the Czech midfielder to be dropped for certain games in the future for a more attack-minded player to help get the best out of the rest of the squad, admitting he isn’t “convinced” by the long-standing partnership between him and Declan Rice.
“I look at West Ham, when you talk about midfields and how that works right now, I’m not convinced by Soucek and Rice as a partnership,” he said.
“Long-standing partnership, it has its positives. It certainly does. I’m talking about certain games where you need creativity.
“Now of course Soucek will offer you, he’s great in the air, set pieces for and against. He’s important. But when I’m looking at someone, I look at Declan and he wants to pop a little pass around the corner he’s not quite there, because it’s not Soucek’s game.
“You’ve got Fornals, Lanzini, Benrahma could even play in there, he played in there for Brentford, Downes could play as one of the two midfield options and then you get an extra one ahead.
“I know Paqueta is injured and talking to David Moyes before the game that’s a player he really likes, but I just feel with those two.. Declan Rice of course he starts, he’s different class, but it just doesn’t feel like there’s any flow to their game when you’ve got two players who are so similar in there.
“He’ll [Soucek] get in the box won’t he, and that’s what David Moyes likes about him, he’ll get in the box and arrive on things.
“But in terms of trying little passes and clever passes, it’s not his game.”
Soucek and Rice have had a great partnership previously, but where Rice has developed into more of a box-to-box player and become more important, Soucek’s influence has lessened.
The club were in the market for a central midfielder in the summer and while Downes came in, someone to compliment Rice more would certainly have been really helpful.
It’s been a long-standing problem, especially with Soucek’s form getting worse and worse with each passing game, and it’s probably time for Moyes to start trying something new to get different results.
Playing one of the more attack-minded players in that position will no doubt mean that Rice is more restricted in a more defensive role, but it may be best for the team to do that if it gets Soucek out of the team.
The media seem to be picking up on it now too, which means more eyes on him and his poor performances and pressure to retain his place, so fingers crossed it has the desired effect.