Hammer Soucek reveals his pride


Tomas Soucek looks set to become the new Hammers skipper after wearing the armband twice so far in pre-season.

He  did so in the game against Dagenham&Redbridge before taking it off Nayef Aguerd – who was playing against his former club  Stade Rennais – on Saturday.

The Irons were of course beaten 3-1 but the likely new captain found enough positives in the match to remain relatively happy.

The French outfit took the lead early on, through Baptiste Santamaria’s excellent long-range strike, and it was Souček himself who levelled the match with a well-taken header on 66 minutes.

The hosts made nine changes midway through the second-half, while many of the Hammers’ side played the full 90 minutes, Souček included.

The tiring legs proved a factor as the Ligue 1 team re-took the lead through Arnaud Kalimuendo’s flicked finish, before Angelo Ogbonna’s unlucky own-goal late on.

Souček – given that several players were still not fully match fit following the summer breaks – was upbeat about things after the gam against the highly-considered French side.

He told West Ham TV: “You want to play against the best teams and Stade Rennais are one of those. They finished fourth in their league, and they’ve showed us that they are a good side. We are happy we can play a pre-season game against these types of teams.

“We are not obviously happy with the result but we got good minutes in our legs. It’s important for us to get into the right condition for the first game in the Premier League, so I’m happy that many of us played 90 minutes and lots of us played 65 to 70 minutes. It’s important but I also think we need to improve as well.”

He added: “I am always happy when I can help the team with a goal. I was happy to get into that area and bring the equaliser. I suppose then I was a bit disappointed that we conceded two more in the final part of the game.

But I’m happy to get on the score-sheet. I had another chance to score too and, if I can help the team in that way, it will be perfect. I hope I can do that and brings us some points. 

“I’ve captained my former team and I do it for my country as well, so when I’m asked to do it for West Ham then I will always be proud to do so. It’s a big thing. But even if not, I try to do the same things on the pitch for the team. I always want to give my maximum on the pitch and I want to talk with the guys and help them out.”

Souček and the rest of the Hammers who had been on international duty throughout mid-June are now two weeks into their pre-season schedule, with the senior squad at West Ham only completely linking back up at the start of the week following the tour of Australia.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • Rozzer says:

    Wonderful end to the season and early signs would be a must but here we go again.

  • Cranhamhammer says:

    Sorry to say, I thought we were bad against Rennes. We have finished pre season as we started last season. No energy for the first 20 – 30 minutes, anyone with the ball looks in distress – no one offers them a pass. Going behind before we score. We have gone behind then caught up, sorry, that just won’t happen in the Prem.
    A lone striker running around becoming despondent. A back line of three slowcoaches standing on the halfway line, with each wing unguarded. Any attacker who goes down the wing, crosses into our unguarded penalty area. Bang goal.
    Match in Australia stats – Tottenham 32 shots 72% possession v WHU 7shots 28% possession.

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