Welcome back to the best of the Rest XI so far. Finally, we are moving forward in our team. The defence has been completed and now we move into one of the toughest areas of the team, in midfield. Today we look at our first of three to make up the best of the rest midfield and today the head to heads really get tough!
As I mentioned the midfield was really tough to pick. The ‘other 14’ have played so well this season that the number of different suggestions was quite frightening. But we have managed to Siv it down to only three, and the first of those three is the perfect partner for Aaron Cresswell yesterday, it’s his teammate Tomas Soucek!
The big Czech man has been on fire since he moved to the capital. Coming from relatively nowhere, someone at West Ham has certainly got a pay rise since spotting him playing for Slavia Prague in the Czech First League. He joined West Ham exactly 355 days ago and has played almost every minute since. When he joined on loan back on the 29th of January 2020 no fan could have expected that the permanent deal would ever get signed off. But 13 games and three goals later it was clear that Soucek was now an instrumental part of the West Ham midfield.
Being a CDM Soucek’s goalscoring record is phenomenal and eclipses many strikers. In his career so far, the 6’4, 25-year-old has played 214 professional games whilst scoring 48! Putting his games to goal ratio just short of one in four! This season has been no different, 18 games into the Premier League season and Soucek has contributed to 20% of West Ham’s goals scoring 5 already this season! Meaning he is still maintaining that career record. Above that he has also played every single minute of the season so far and as his value shoots through the roof he has managed to help West Ham to 9th in the League.
There is no question that he has been one of the better performers and best signings of 2020 but how does the Iron line up against of the League’s best players in Jordan Henderson…
One thing is for sure from this, Henderson is a very good player and a very underrated playmaker. Pass completion, progressive yards and final third passes are all far superior, but you can mainly put this down to the two different styles of play between the players and the two teams. Henderson is the man who sits in the middle and links up all the play, whereas Soucek is the man you want to break up the opponents play whilst also contributing to a goal.
Through the stats that is very clear to see. Soucek takes the win when it comes to pressure regains, tackles, interceptions and impressively fouls drawn. The graph, if anything, shows how well both players do their jobs, Soucek is the hard working, second line of defence which a team like West Ham so desperately need. Soucek is imperative to West Ham and for more than just his defensive work. Of the 5 goals that he has scored this season, three of them have been the winning goal and one crucial equaliser. That is 10 points which Soucek has been directly responsible for, 10 points which would see West Ham drop six places in the league without!
So, despite the stars and bigger names which West Ham have in their side, it is clear to me that Soucek is absolute their most important player at moment. He stops the opposition but then also scores the winning goals. A brilliant and deserved edition to the best of the rest!