Souček led the festival of vanity. West Ham have fallen to the bottom, only United are worse

Souček led the festival of vanity.  West Ham have fallen to the bottom, only United are worse

No points and no goals scored. Football team West Ham came up empty-handed in the first two rounds of the Premier League, and after Manchester City, even newcomer Nottingham Forest stepped on it. The Hammers at the City Ground, where the top flight was played for the first time in 23 years, threw away a number of chances, including a penalty.

They hit the crossbar twice, both times the ball bounced off it, just inches from the goal line. Captain Declan Rice missed a penalty, his team-mates plenty of chances. Tomáš Souček also burned three shots.

In addition, the referee did not recognize the goal of the best player of the “Hammers”, Said Benrahma, after a controversial video intervention.

In the 43rd minute it was a key moment. After the goal, VAR drew attention to the suspicious duel between Mikhail Antonio and Orel Mangala and assessed the collision between the two footballers as an offensive foul by the Jamaican sniper.

While replays showed Antonio running into the body of a standing opponent, it was clear from other angles that Mangala moved slightly in the direction Antonio was running at the last moment.

A few minutes later, straight into the dressing room, Forest scored an extra goal. After the tragic ending of the former “Hammer” Jesse Lingard and the subsequent happy rebound, the most expensive reinforcement in the history of the club, the Nigerian Taiwo Awoniyi, scored for the first time.

West Ham coach David Moyes did not complain about the referee this time.

“It was definitely controversial, but it doesn’t matter at all what I think. The referee decided like this. So maybe next time,” the Scottish manager did not want to engage in criticism, which would not help him with points anyway.

Mikhail Antonio’s clash with Orel Mangala:

On the contrary, he complained about a lot of bad luck. “It was very frustrating. Very little went our way today. The home team was a bit lucky, us at all,” he said.

“But it wasn’t just that we didn’t score goals. We started the game very lukewarm and defended really poorly. We can only blame ourselves,” he added.

However, West Ham has a serious problem at the beginning of the year, especially with efficiency.

The Irons only scored a handful of goals in the pre-season, the best scorer of the summer was Tomáš Souček with two goals. The Czech midfielder was the most dangerous player for the visitors even on Sunday at the City Ground.

Moyes put Soucek in a more offensive position, Declan Rice was tasked with helping the stoppers and guarding Lingard.

The captain of the Czech national team made good use of his greater freedom and got into many promising situations, at least three of which can be described as clear.

In one, he headed only into the arms of goalkeeper Dean Henderson, in the second he failed at a small goal, when he unsuccessfully blocked Pablo Fornals’ great shot to the top post. And the third ended with a penalty.

Souček shot from a few meters into the half-open goal, but only hit the hand of the defending Scott McKenny with his left foot. It was an unsuccessful finish, as the goalkeeper Henderson was already ready for the intervention right behind the defender.

Even so, Souček’s activity was evaluated positively in the island’s media. According to the WhoScored.com analysis, the Czech footballer was the team’s third best player after Benrahm and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianský.

“He was just unlucky not to score,” the London Evening Standard rated Souček’s performance 7 out of 10. “The biggest danger came from him,” agreed Football.London.

Vladimír Coufal also played the entire duel. In the first half, he got into verbal disagreements with captain Ric, who asked the Czech defender to shift the center of gravity of the game faster, and twice shot very inaccurately from a distance. After the second situation, the home team went on a dangerous counterattack.

The London media rated Coufal with average grades, mostly sixes, but appreciated his already traditional tireless combativeness.

“He was good again getting forward and crossing,” Football.London wrote. “Solid performance from Coufala. Fired forward whenever he could. And guarded Nottingham’s left side well,” added the Evening Standard.

However, both Czechs made a mistake to concede a goal. Both were close to England winger Harry Toffol, who slipped through the Hammers’ defense and delivered a crucial pass to the onrushing Lingard.

The “Hammers” are not at ease at the beginning of the season and are immediately pinned to the bottom of the table. After two rounds, only last Manchester United is worse in the Premier League.

In addition, the Moyes are now moving to a pace of two games a week. On Thursday, they host the Danish Viborg in the European Conference League qualifiers, and three days later they will again challenge the unpleasant Brighton at home in the league at the London Stadium.

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