When the coach’s chair rocked the most under him, David Moyes put his trust in the hands and feet of his favourites. Although many did not like it. Czech footballers Vladimír Coufal and Tomáš Souček did not disappoint and are once again the pillars of West Ham United. With them in the line-up, the threatened Hammers are aiming for salvation in the Premier League.
The last three games have finally put West Ham in calmer waters. A famously hard-fought home draw against leaders Arsenal was framed by the Hammers with two away clean sheets.
After the robbery of Craven Cottage, where they celebrated a 1-0 win over the favored Fulham, the Moyes family also succeeded in Bournemouth on Sunday and moved up to thirteenth place in the table.
The four-goal concert at the Vitality Stadium thrilled the fans and strengthened the positions of the Czech representatives, especially enthusiastic odes to Vladimír Coufal on the islands.
The 30-year-old right-back is a star again after difficult months and the darling of demanding fans. And not only them.
“By the way, Coufal is playing really well now. Those who follow us will know that he had a period where he was very down. But he has come back. He is really determined and has come up rapidly in the last few months,” explained Moyes.
Coufal contributed with honest defensive work to another clean sheet and also brought an offensive superstructure. Before the important second goal, he first caught the home side’s play, immediately threw his engines forward and found the scoring Brazilian Lucas Paquet with a precise cross. It was his first assist all season.
Football.London magazine even ranked the Czech defender above all the attacking aces of the Hammers and declared him the star of the match. The paper justified the choice as follows:
“He was probably the best player in the first half, he played a vital role in the second goal and then made a number of important blocks and saves. West Ham have a lot of attacking quality, but that has to be backed up by a solid defence. Coufal’s quality helps a lot. He was amazing and he has been playing excellently for a long time,” was the underlining rating of 8 out of 10.
Westhamzone.com agreed. “It was one of his best performances of the season. He was constantly oscillating up and down, his goal cross was beautiful. We have been missing this version of Coufal all season and it is very good to finally have him back,” wrote the author.
The London media often mention how Coufal was written off during the season, he fell out of favor in the eyes of fans and experts, and there was talk of his imminent departure.
Vladimir Coufal’s action ended with Lucas Paqueta’s goal:
This is no less true of Tomáš Souček, criticism of his performances was indiscriminately harsh just a few weeks ago.
Even the central midfielder has now performed a good job in Bournemouth, supported by an assist on the goal of captain Declan Rice, and has bounced back from the imaginary bottom for the time being.
He can largely thank Moyes’ unreserved trust for that. It was the coach who intentionally pushed him into the starting line-up even at times when Souček’s form could not possibly be worse.
“Souček played one of the best duels in recent times, both in terms of defensive work and technical skills. He added bite and aggressiveness, scored a lot of winning duels. It benefited West Ham a lot,” wrote Football.London, stating that it was Souček’s the performance gives more creative backfield teammates Rice and Paquet more latitude. The Czech received a grade of 7 out of 10.
Westhamzone scored just as generously. “We saw a reminder of what Souček is capable of. He rarely lost the ball and looked like in the old days when he and Ric dominated the midfield,” the website said.
With seven points from three games, West Ham are six points clear of the top relegation zone. And one more game to go. This week, the Hammers will play two more matches in the English top flight, on Wednesday at home against Liverpool, and on Saturday at the Crystal Palace stadium in London.
Pablo Fornals sealed the 0:4 with one of the most interesting goals of the season:
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