West Ham issue Tomas Soucek update after injury concerns following shock Czech omission for crucial World Cup qualifier against Estonia.
On Tuesday night West Ham’s Czech trio Alex Kral, Vladimir Coufal and Soucek were left facing a World Cup play-off lottery despite a 2-0 win over Estonia.
The Czechs were third in their group and needed to beat Estonia then hope for a favour from leaders Belgium against second-placed Wales to have a chance of finishing second and sealing a seeded play-off place.
But the West Ham stars face being unseeded for a best of the rest qualifying spot for the chance to make it to the Qatar 2022 World Cup next winter after Wales held on for a 1-1 draw.
Ten countries make it into the play-offs in second place and two make it in via Nations League ranking. Thankfully for West Ham’s Czech trio, they and Austria are those two teams and will face a play-off next March.
As reported by Hammers News last night, West Ham fans were worried Czech captain Soucek had picked up an injury when he was omitted from the side for the Estonia game.
The West Ham midfielder was named on the bench but did not come on despite Czech Republic using all five substitutes.
Fellow West Ham fan favourite Coufal was named captain in his absence.
Hammers supporters were understandably concerned. Especially after losing key man Angelo Ogbonna to an ACL injury in the win over Liverpool.
But West Ham have issued an update clarifying the Soucek situation (whufc.com).
West Ham issue Tomas Soucek update after injury concerns following shock Czech omission
And there will be huge relief for fans as the club claim Soucek was rested as part of a pre-planned exercise.
“The Czechs finished third in their group behind Belgium and Wales, who drew 1-1 in Cardiff, but had already secured their play-off place after winning their UEFA Nations League group,” West Ham said on the club’s official website.
“With that in mind, captain Tomas Soucek was rested in Prague.”
Most West Ham fans will agree that big Tom was desperately in need of a rest.
He has been a virtual ever present for club and country for well over two years.
Let’s hope he comes back to east London refreshed and ready to take on Wolves alongside Declan Rice on Saturday.
A win could see West Ham go level on points with leaders Chelsea depending on their result in the lunchtime kick off at Leicester.