Vladimir Coufal was incredibly poor for West Ham United against Brentford this afternoon and his recent regression has been alarming to witness.
Signed for just €5 million (£4.2 million) in October 2020 (The Athletic), Coufal quickly established himself as one of the most important players at the London Stadium.
David Moyes played the 29-year-old week in, week out and he impressed fans and pundits alike during his debut season in the Premier League with high-quality, consistent displays.
Coufal instantly endeared himself to the London Stadium faithful and earned cult hero status after just a few months of playing in the Claret and Blue.
The Czech Republic international always gives his all for West Ham but after a few problems with his groin earlier on this season, he has never rediscovered the form that he displayed so consistently last term.
Coufal shocking during West Ham defeat to Brentford
The 29-year-old’s regression over the past six months or so has been truly alarming.
The Czech right-back has lost all of his confidence going forward and is nowhere near as good defensively as he was last season.
Sure, his recent groin problems will not be helping him but his decline has been so drastic that it makes you think – was he just a one-season wonder?
Let’s hope not because at his best, Coufal is a top-class player.
With his confidence at rock-bottom at the moment though, all he does when in possession is turn back and passes to one of the centre-backs.
And with Ben Johnson’s recent emergence, Vlad may well have to make do with a place on the bench between now and the end of the season.
After his performance for West Ham against Brentford today, there is no way that he should play against Lyon. That sounds harsh, but there is no room for sentiment in elite level sport.