Gary Neville criticised Tomas Soucek after his poor positioning gifted Jack Grealish tonnes of space before the 25-year-old scored Aston Villa’s equaliser against West Ham last night, when speaking on Sky Sports (Monday November 30th, 20:55).
It is really hard to criticise the 25-year-old. And it somehow doesn’t feel right, considering what he has brought to our team since arriving at the London Stadium in January.
Last night was one of Soucek’s poorer displays for the Hammers, however.
The Czech Republic international wasn’t as effective defensively or in the final third as he has been previously this season.
Soucek was still a real energetic and physical presence in the West Ham team, however, despite his below par performance.
Gary Neville highlighted one particular aspect of the 25-year-old’s performance that he didn’t like last night, when speaking to Sky Sports:
“An old principle. If you think about central midfield play, coaches would always say that a central midfield player, in this case Soucek, furthest away from the ball, he should be able to see his mate’s back and read what’s on the back of his shirt. You look at Soucek, he just gets drawn forward and leaves that space. That’s the place you’ve got to block. Every coach in football now stops that ball into the strikers and forwards.”
David Moyes is an incredibly experienced coach, and he will undoubtedly have picked up on what Neville noticed.
West Ham have Manchester United to play up next. So the Hammers players will have to be bang on their games if we are to have any chance of beating them.
And Soucek would do himself a favour by listening to Neville’s critique last night.