Konstantinos Mavropanos has to start for West Ham United when Tomas Soucek is not selected.
David Moyes alluded to this in his post match press-conference on Friday, suggesting that his side found it difficult to deal with long balls without the 28-year-old Czech Republic international.
The Hammers have made a fine start to our 2023/24 Premier League campaign, and we have definitely been playing much better football than we did last season.
However, our weakness in both boxes in the air against Luton was a slight concern, and there is only one way to rectify that as far as I’m concerned…
David Moyes must think outside the box when Tomas Soucek doesn’t play for West Ham
In my opinion, Konstantinos Mavropanos has to start at right-back ahead of Vladimir Coufal, when Soucek is left out of Moyes’s starting XI this season.
Standing at 6ft 4in tall, the 25-year-old is the same height as the former Slavia Prague man, and would instantly replace what we lose with Soucek’s aerial ability.
And the Greece international has already been seen in training operating as a right-back, so maybe Moyes has already thought of what I am suggesting.
Coufal has actually been decent this season, so dropping him for Mavropanos will be extremely harsh. However, different games call for different setups and systems.
When West Ham are playing without Tomas Soucek, we definitely seem to be more vulnerable when defending set-pieces and long balls.
I think the simple solution to this will be to start Mavropanos when the big Czech midfielder is absent from the starting lineup.