Some West Ham United fans are starting to worry that star Vladimir Coufal could be the new Sebastien Schemmel as his poor form continues.
Coufal was an absolute revelation for West Ham when he signed for a bargain £5.5m from Slavia Prague last season.
Shackling a string of the best players around, the tough-tackling and swashbuckling right-back was key to helping West Ham record their best ever Premier League points total and Europa League qualification.
His assists were crucial too as he laid on seven goals for teammates last term.
One of the big questions on the lips of West Ham fans this season, though, is just what has happened to Coufal?
The 29-year-old looks a shadow of the player fans fell in love with last season.
Coufal has seriously struggled to reach the high standards he set last season, when he was widely regarded by fans and pundits as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League.
He was torn to shreds by Harvey Barnes in the 2-2 draw at Leicester yesterday.
Coufal gave Barnes far too much time to send over a cross for Leicester’s second goal. It got so bad that David Moyes had to waste a substitute bringing him off for Ryan Fredericks.
After the game pundits Micah Richards and Jamie Carragher were critical of Coufal as were West Ham fans.
West Ham fans starting to worry that star Vladimir Coufal could be the new Sebastien Schemmel
Now many supporters are starting to worry he could be the new Schemmel.
Ah ok bud that was the one I checked with you re tweets I see what you’re saying. So perhaps headline could have been Should West Ham fans start to worry or West Ham fans should start to worry?
Hammers fans have expressed concerns Coufal could be the new Schemmel on discussion boards, social media and fan forums.
The French right-back shares many similarities with Coufal in terms of style of play and stature.
But West Ham fans are desperately hoping their Czech star’s Hammers career does not go the same way as Schemmel’s.
When Schemmel joined West Ham under Harry Redknapp he too was a revelation. Tenacious in the tackle, almost impossible to beat one-on-one and key to everything the Hammers did going forward down the right.
Schemmel was named the Hammer of the Year for the 2000/01 season and looked a sure bet to be West Ham’s right-back for years to come.
His form fell off a cliff in the second season, though, and he played his way out of the West Ham team before being moved on to Portsmouth.
Schemmel is still fondly remembered by West Ham fans. And there have been plenty of players who have had worse Hammers careers than the Frenchman.
But he has become somewhat symbolic of a “one season wonder” and West Ham will just be hoping Coufal does not end up acquiring that unwelcome label.
With Coufal there is still plenty of hope. He has put in the odd strong performance here and there this season. But there is no doubt the drop off from last season’s displays is a big worry.