How do West Ham get Tomas Soucek back into form? The key issue for Hammers to address in international break

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

West Ham will have been quietly pleased at Michail Antonio’s decision not to risk burnout or injury by withdrawing from the Jamaica squad this week, but may have wished than another would have followed suit.

David Moyes acknowledged after the Brentford defeat that Tomas Soucek was struggling for his best form, and the midfielder has looked short of the energy to replicate his dominant performances from last season.

It is an issue which stems back to the end of the last campaign. After being the pace setter across an extraordinary season, the loss of Declan Rice to injury took its toll on Soucek and his performances slowed somewhat.

Such had been the high standards that it was not too noticeable and the end of last season. This year it certainly is.

Going into a bruising summer in which the Czech Republic made the quarter-finals at Euro 2020, there has been little rest for the marauding midfielder. Two games in four days for his country during this break will hardly help that.

Alongside Rice, Soucek sets the tone for the Hammers. Him being off the pace is a significant problem.

"I think he is fighting for a wee bit of his best form," Moyes said last week. "I think Tomas has struggled a wee bit."

Moyes rested the Czech away at Manchester United in the Carabao Cup and for the home tie against Rapid Vienna, with Mark Noble and summer signing Alex Kral both getting chances, though it has not appeared enough.

West Ham’s form in Europe has been fantastic, but that result at Leeds aside their domestic results need a jolt and there would be no better person to do that than a fit and raring to go Soucek,

Finding his fitness and form once more must be high on Moyes’s agenda.

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