Big Sou hasn’t given up yet


Bayer Leverkusen, having clinched their first-ever Bundesliga title in 120 years and currently on an unbeaten streak of 43 matches this season, face West Ham United in a critical UEFA Europa League quarter-final match. Despite Leverkusen’s formidable form, West Ham’s Tomáš Souček is optimistic about overturning the two-goal deficit from the first leg, drawing inspiration from past triumphs under the London Stadium lights.

The Hammers are set to battle it out on their home turf after suffering a 2-0 loss at BayArena, where late goals by substitutes Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface tipped the scales in Leverkusen’s favour. Souček recalls the unforgettable atmosphere during a previous encounter against Sevilla, where the support from the fans played a pivotal role in a memorable comeback. “The atmosphere was the best I’ve ever heard. It was a night to remember,” Souček reflected on the Sevilla match, emphasizing the impact of the home crowd.

West Ham once again relied on Tomas Soucek and luck to beat TSC Backa Topola

Soucek is banking on a loud London Stadium to roar the Hammers to victory

This is a special game

Looking ahead to Thursday’s match, Souček remains hopeful, citing the team’s resilience and the unique energy from the fans during European games. “We notice a difference with the fans on European nights. We feel the atmosphere even during the warm-up, and it pushes us,” he said. The Czech midfielder is no stranger to European challenges, having reached the semi-finals in a previous season and experiencing both the highs of victories and the lows of near misses.

The match also holds particular significance for Czech football fans, as all five Czech internationals still active in the Europa League and Champions League represent either West Ham or Leverkusen. Souček and Vladimír Coufal will don the Claret and Blue, while their compatriots Matěj Kovář, Adam Hložek, and Patrik Schick play for Leverkusen. “This is a special game for Czechs. I think every Czech in England will support West Ham, and every Czech in Germany will support Leverkusen,” Souček noted, highlighting the divided loyalties among Czech fans.

As the second-leg tie approaches, the excitement builds not just in London, but in pubs and restaurants across Prague and the Czech Republic, making Thursday’s game a significant event for Czech football supporters worldwide. Souček hopes that the spirit of past glories and the support of the fans will lead to another remarkable evening at the London Stadium.

Share this article

Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose