It’s time to defend Tomas Soucek

It’s time to defend Tomas Soucek writes Claret and Hugh Facebook follower John Peter Weir. This is a  player who gets a huge deal of unjustified criticism. But before I start, we should all remember that all players have little control of where they are positioned and what role they play in a game. That is down to the manager.

It’s time to defend Tomas Soucek

So, in this game, only a fifth of the attacking play went through the centre where Soucek has been stationed. It would therefore be of little surprise if his involvement was lower than others.
Evidently, the Hammers managed 551 passes in this game ( I went back and re-watched the game and focussed my attention on Tomas. He had 31 touches overall and lost the ball three times.
In the first half they included four important defensive headers in our penalty area and two went to a team-mate. He only had one of these in the second half which shows the diminishing aerial threat from Forest during the game. At the other end he had 4 headers – one collected by the keeper at his near post, one hit the bar, one was touched over and, of course, one goal.
Overall then he had  31 touches out of 551 when only a fifth of the play coming his way which seems OK and only three 3 lost balls – not bad.
He continually made himself available and faced down opposition players into passing backwards.
If I have an area of doubt it it that he only successfully won the ball (retaining possession) once.
On balance, I think he still performs an important and useful role in the team – whatever others perceptions may be.

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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


  • brooksy says:

    Since Declan left soucek has a more familiar role back. His form is picking up and he is getting back on the scoresheet. Whether this was down to the club trying to expand Declan’s game to get him to stay or bump up his price I don’t know. But because of this soucek got the short straw. Just my opinion

  • Mr Buddy Lurve says:

    That’s the great thing about football. There are facts, and there is interpretation of those facts.

    For example, my interpretation is that he had so few touches because his team mates know his control and passing are awful, so they pass to other players.

    His headed goals are great. The rest of his game is not. I suspect perhaps your interpretation might have been skewed by a desire to defend him. My interpretation – that despite his goals, he’s the weak link who slows us down – might be equally skewed. It’s all down to interpretation. 🙂

  • Austrick says:

    He made Crook’s team of the week. 5 of the 11 not top 6.

  • hammerpete6 says:

    Yes we are aware of Tomas’ lesser ball control and as you pointed out he seldom wins the ball and retains it – this confirms the bad decision by Moyes to switch his role with Dec, both of them doing what they performed worst! Since reverting to his current role Tomas’ form and effectiveness have returned. He wins headers and scores goals, that’s him. Play him, that’s what you get. All in all I don’t like Moyes tinkering. He has played Antonio at full back as well as striker, Ben Johnson everywhere and nowhere, same Kehrer and Cornet. Not in favour, get specialists at the top level.

  • AussieHammer21 says:

    Completely agree Soucek should be protected. He has always put a shift in the the club, along side Rice he had to play a supporting role and then the manager decided to play him out of position which affected his confidence. True professional in my opinion.

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