West Ham’s Tomáš Souček impact seen in Czech Republic’s 6-2 win

Czech Republic's midfielder Tomas Soucek (Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Czech Republic's midfielder Tomas Soucek (Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images) /

Tomáš Souček is proving to be an influential midfielder on the club stage and international stage following a strong performance for the Czech Republic in their 6-2 hammering over Estonia.

On Thursday night, a handful of Premier League players made an impact on their respective teams’ performances on the first night of World Cup qualifying games in Europe.

Players like Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrović scored two goals for Serbia in a 3-2 victory over the Republic of Ireland while Oleksandr Zinchenko featured in Ukraine’s surprising 1-1 draw against star-studded France.

But none more so was the impact of one standout Premier League player felt than in the Lublin Arena, Poland, where The Czechs met the Estonians.

Czechia eased to a 6-2 victory over a sorry Estonia in their first match of the World Cup Qualifiers. Victory for Estonia was never likely, but a 12th-minute goal from Rauno Sappinen filled them with optimism.

To no surprise, their hope was quickly squandered after goals from the Czech’s Patrik Schick and Antonín Barák just 15 minutes after. The fate of the Estonians was settled once the Czech’s Premier League star, Tomáš Souček, notched up two goals before half-time.

Souček has been key to the Hammers success this season

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Souček has been the most standout player in West Ham’s superb season so far. The Hammers, who currently sit in 5th place, have seen Souček make an appearance in all 29 Premier League games to date. But his talents have largely gone unnoticed until the second half of the season.

Souček finished the evening in Tallinn getting a hat-trick, scoring just after the second half had begun. His loan and later transfer in early 2020 from Czech titans Slavia Prague to the hammers largely was not discussed amongst the majority of EPL observers.

I was in that majority, thinking for a period of time that Souček was actually not a defensive midfielder but instead a striker. This illusion of mine was reaffirmed by what seemed to be reasonable striker-like goal-scoring form.

Souček has scored 9 goals for West Ham in his 29 Premier League appearances this season. This is just 1 shy of the total Sébastien Haller managed in his 2 seasons at the club.

His surprising goal frequency can be in part described by the nature in which he scored his goals against Estonia. His first of the evening was a drilling header from a corner, the sort of goals that are expected from defensive-minded players who stand at a mighty 6’4”.

The third is what is not quite expected from players like him. An energetic run toward the box in which Souček athletically avoids the presence of the two Estonia defenders pressuring him, leading him to finish a simple tap-in with a generous assist from Pavel Kadeřábek.

It remains optimistic to play Tomáš Souček up front for West Ham

Although it would be optimistic to play Souček upfront, the number of goals show the almost unlimited energy that Souček possesses, which is more beneficial to a midfield player.

Constantly moving from box-to-box, it would appear that he is the nucleus of the teams that he plays in, be it West Ham or his national team.

Tomáš Souček has brought important stability into the West Ham midfield. Before his arrival at the club, it was a typical central midfield two in a 4-2-3-1 formation, dominated by veteran Mark Noble and the then inexperienced Declan Rice.

His consistency with West Ham, and consistency amongst his national team, is a hint of a maturity that can only be seen in the widely experienced and aged players.

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Souček is only 26 but plays like he should be the captain of the club, a club with a history that is rich in midfield leaders. Tomáš Souček will surely become one of them.