Faded star Vladimir Coufal says he’s seen two sides to West Ham fans but vows to ‘die on the pitch’ to shine again and turn the season around.
It perhaps says everything about West Ham’s demise in the Premier League over the last year that one of the main positions the club needs to strengthen is at right-back.
Had you said a new right-back was a top priority for David Moyes a couple of years ago you would have been laughed out of the room by West Ham fans.
But it is and that’s because Coufal and Ben Johnson have fallen way below the standards needed from a modern day Premier League fullback.
They’re not alone in under-performing in a West Ham shirt of course, make no mistake about that.
It must be said, though, that Coufal’s star has faded further than most in that time.
The Czech defender always gives his all, that is never in question. But he has – by his own admission – not been the same swashbuckling, tough-tackling assist machine who won West Ham hearts when he first arrived from Slavia Prague.
There have been glimpses that Coufal and West Ham might be on the right path to rediscovering some form. But there are tough tests to come this month with Newcastle, Chelsea and Spurs on the horizon.
Earlier this season Hammers cult hero Carlton Cole hit out at ‘cowards’ who abused Coufal online following a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
As reported by Hammers News, Czech defender Coufal had deleted a social media post following the match after receiving abuse from a minority of so-called Wet Ham supporters.
True fans rallied around the right-back who responded to the love he received.
Faded star Vladimir Coufal says he’s seen two sides to West Ham fans but vows to ‘die on the pitch’ to shine again and turn season around
Now faded star Coufal says he’s seen two sides to West Ham fans but vows to ‘die on the pitch’ to shine again and turn the season around.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Coufal spoke openly and honestly about his time at West Ham including this season’s difficulties and his own struggles since having a groin operation last season.
“It’s difficult to compare them (Hammers fans – to other clubs he has played for),” Coufal told Sky Sports.
“West Ham’s fan base is much bigger and the passion of the fans is something amazing.
“Of course, there are two sides. When you play well, you can feel the support from every corner of London and people stop you and ask for autographs or photos.
“But when you play like we have played this season, with bad results and we are down in the table, it’s a second side. People ask why you aren’t winning, why do you play like you play, you have to win.
“You know you have to win, but on the pitch, it’s difficult because the opponents also want to win…
“You have two options (when things aren’t going well and you lose your place in the team). You can be offended and stop training hard, don’t communicate with the guys and be negative.
“But I’m not like this. I’m a team player so I wanted to keep working hard in the sessions, to show I deserve my place in the starting XI, try to be positive with the guys and support them.
“We are still West Ham United and we have to be successful like a team. Everybody is part of this team and this community and we have to be successful together.
“For me, I’m always giving 100 per cent in the games and I’m 100 per cent focused until the referee blows the final whistle. I think I am able to die for the team on the pitch…
“We are trying to keep working hard in the sessions and hopefully, we will get away from these results as soon as possible.”
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