West Ham United: Czech media react to Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal v Poland on Friday
West Ham United duo Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek received mixed reviews from the Czech media for their performances in Czech Republic’s 3-1 win over Poland in their first Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday night (24 March).
Czech Republic raced into an early two-goal lead after just three minutes on the clock, thanks to goals from Ladislav Krejci and Tomas Cvancara, before extending their lead in the second half through Jan Kuchta.
Although Poland substitute Damian Szymanski limited the damage late on in affairs with a goal, the Hammers pair were both praised by the Czech media for their roles in the comprehensive win.
ISport were thoroughly impressed with Coufal’s leadership and ability to press the Poland defence, giving him an 8/10 player rating.
They wrote: “A long car meant a lightning Czech lead. He was not afraid of long sprints, he had the strength to press the Polish goalkeeper from the position of the fullback.
“He directed the less experienced teammates and organized the game.”
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Meanwhile, his Hammers teammate, Soucek, received a 6/10 rating by iSport after being carded early in the encounter and taking a knock to the collarbone.
They wrote: “He asked for a card until he really caught it in the 23rd minute. He withstood a hard blow with the ball on the collarbone, classically operated very well in front of the stopper trio and collected second balls.”
Luckily for David Moyes, the midfielder played all 90 minutes of the Euro 2024 qualifier and didn’t look to have sustained an injury.
Soucek and Coufal have been two players who have received their fair share of critics at the London Stadium this season, but performances such as this show that there is life in them yet.
After looking destined for a January exit from West Ham to Bayer Leverkusen, Coufal’s recovery in the last few months has been promising to see. Although now at 30 years old, the right back still goes out there every week and gives every ounce of energy he possesses.
Whether this is good enough for the exacting standards of Premier League football is still debatable, but his form for the Czech side is a promising sign.
Soucek, meanwhile, has been a shadow of his former self this season, and these 6/10 performances have littered his club campaign term.
The 28-year-old’s indifferent form has been a blow to the club, considering the likely departure of Declan Rice this summer, and if it doesn’t improve, may tempt West Ham United to go shopping for a replacement in the summer transfer window.