Tomas Soucek’s season hasn’t gone to plan so far in 2021/22 but the West Ham midfielder looked back to his best earlier this week as he played a starring role for the Czech Republic.
His national side moved to second in their World Cup qualifying group with a win at Belarus on Monday night.
The Irons suffered a second defeat of the season heading into the international break, being defeated by newly-promoted Brentford at the London Stadium and it was another reminder of the 26-year-old’s worrying form.
Soucek was David Moyes’ joint-top goalscorer last term, having found the net ten times, and was also named their ‘Player of the Year’ for an impressive campaign that helped guide the Hammers into Europe.
He was a tireless presence in midfield and a constant threat in the opposition’s box throughout the year but after playing so much last season, and then at Euro 2020, it’s clearly taken its toll.
Two games in four days when he’s in dire need of rest will hardly help things, though there have been signs of encouragement.
But whilst on international duty this week, we got a glimpse of the 6 foot 4 titan being back to his very best as he ran the show at the Kazan Arena.
As per SofaScore, Soucek registered a match-high 108 touches of the ball, some 21 more times than any other player on the pitch, only showing that everything ran through him.
The £37.8m-rated beast then made 82 of his 95 passing attempts (86%), in which two were key chances created, whilst he showed that he can still very much get forward and contribute in the final third.
This should give Moyes and co plenty of encouragement heading into the Premier League’s return this weekend, when West Ham head to Everton on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a chance for the industrious midfielder to build on this international masterclass too.
AND in other news, Moyes could have another Declan Rice at West Ham in towering teenage sensation…