West Ham United finally ended a seven-game winless streak in domestic competitions on Saturday evening, with David Moyes‘ side grinding out an impressive 1-0 win over Brentford in their FA Cup clash at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Indeed, after what was a relatively even match, Said Benrahma’s 79th-minute wonder goal ultimately proved to be enough to knock his former club out of the competition, with the Algeria international’s strike seeing the Hammers qualify for the fourth round of the tournament for the sixth season in a row.
However, while Moyes will undoubtedly be delighted to record his first win against an English club since a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth in October, there were nevertheless still a number of individual performances which will be a cause for concern for the 59-year-old, with Ben Johnson and Jarrod Bowen both disappointing on the night.
Having said that, arguably the most notable of these below-par showings was turned in by Tomas Soucek, with the Czech midfielder continuing a run of poor form which recently saw Scott Parker claim the 27-year-old is “not at the levels he was last year” for the Hammers.
Indeed, over his 69 minutes on the pitch, the £40m-rated talent looked a shadow of his former self in the middle of the park, enjoying just 37 touches of the ball – 40 fewer than fellow central midfielder Declan Rice – completing just 22 passes and ceding possession 10 times, meaning that he lost the ball with every 3.7 touches he had.
The £65k-per-week Czech Republic international was also beaten by an opponent once, committed two fouls and missed one big chance – with the 27-year-old somehow turning Emerson’s cross wide of the Brentford goal despite being unmarked from roughly seven yards out.
These metrics saw the former Slavia Prague sensation earn a well below-par Sofascore match rating of just 6.3, the lowest received by any West Ham player this evening, while football.london journalist Jonty Colman also awarded the midfielder a five in his own player ratings.
He stated of Soucek’s display: “A poor game for Tomas Soucek, who lacked the dynamism required to break through Brentford’s midfield and defence. Picked off too easily and stood out as a weakness in midfield. Had a golden chance to score the opening goal, steering a volley wide from about seven yards out. West Ham looked better after he was taken off.”
As such, while it is true that West Ham did get their first win of 2023 on Saturday evening, the continued “abysmal” form of Soucek – in the words of journalist Josh Bunting – will certainly be a worry for Moyes and his side, as the 27-year-old well and truly failed his manager once again against Brentford.