Football legend Paul Scholes delivers controversial verdict on West Ham United star Tomas Soucek and makes a predictable and lazy comparison.
It has been a funny old week for Manchester United legend turned pundit Scholes.
And now West Ham star Soucek has been analysed by one of the great midfielders of the modern era.
Scholes produced some prophetic punditry last week when he went against the grain after Man United’s 3-2 comeback win over Atalanta by predicting a heavy defeat for the Red Devils if they played with the same setup against Liverpool.
Scholes pointed out Man United had been fortunate to beat the likes of West Ham and Wolves already this season.
And he said Man United could find themselves 4-0 down by half-time against Liverpool – a prediction which proved unerringly accurate.
But his week took a funny turn when his 20-year-old daughter posted a video of him chewing her toenails on social media, calling it ‘true love’ (The Sun).
Scholes’s wobbly week seems to have thrown off his punditry skills too.
That’s if his comments about West Ham star Soucek are anything to go by.
In fairness to Scholes he did finish his assessment of West Ham’s Hammer of the Year by describing him as ‘sensational in both boxes’.
But the former Man United man ruined it by questioning Soucek’s contribution to general play and making the tiresome comparison to Marouane Fellaini (Premier League Productions (24/10/21 at 1:55 pm).
Paul Scholes delivers controversial verdict on West Ham star Tomas Soucek and makes lazy comparison
“He reminds me so much of Fellaini at Everton,” Scholes said.
“Never really involved in the game. Never really plays football.
“But in both boxes, he is sensational.”
Soucek may not have reached his usual high standards so far this season.
But West Ham boss David Moyes admitted recently that he is struggling to play his natural game due to Declan Rice’s new role (Football.London).
The big Czech favourite has showed signs of getting back to something like his best of late, though.
Soucek’s natural game is to be a box-to-box man.
He picks up the ball, feeds it wide or forward, nine times out of 10 choosing the right pass, which in itself is a massive part of being a top class midfielder.
He then continues his runs – often perfectly timed – to get up and support the attacks.
Soucek was West Ham’s Hammer of the Year last season for a reason. He was the team’s most important and influential player. As a fan or pundit if you couldn’t see that for yourself the stats were there to prove it.
He set a new top flight record for aerial duels won and a new top flight record for distance covered.
Soucek stopped goodness knows how many goals with defensive headers and blocks, scored 10 Premier League goals and laid on one assist.
He was also in the top 10 Premier League players statistically last season. Only Dimitri Payet, Scott Parker and Paolo Di Canio have managed that in West Ham’s Premier League history.
There is a lot of skill and football intellect in the aspects that make Soucek a top player.
To suggest he ‘never plays football’ is laughable just because he doesn’t go on mazy dribbles down dead ends. And Soucek is twice the player Fellaini ever was.
Scholes’s comments are toe-curlingly cringe worthy even if they were meant as a back-handed compliment.