Michael Brown has heaped praise on West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek after his display against Leeds United on Friday night.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Manchester City and Tottenham midfielder revealed he has been blown away by Soucek and Rice’s partnership in the Hammers’ midfielder.
Soucek, 25, netted his third goal in five games when he nodded home a header to score West Ham’s first goal in their 2-1 victory over Leeds at Elland Road.
The 6ft 3in midfielder boasts impressive heading stats in the Premier League this season.
In the Premier League, only Sheffield United striker Ollie McBurnie has won more aerial duels (158) than Soucek’s 133, according to WyScout, as reported by West Ham Zone.
Only McBurnie and Hammers striker Sebastien Haller average more aerial duels per 90 minutes than Soucek (13.27).
Brown told Football Insider: “I think he’s a different type of midfielder. We’ve seen him get forward at select opportunities rather than always direct on the diagonals.
“It’s so important for them two (Soucek and Rice) to stay in that West Ham formation, stay where they are, allow the full-backs to get forward and they changed to a back four on Friday night which was something different.
“It was even more important that they have those two sit in and I think it’s a real good blend with them, Rice and Soucek, and it’s great he’s chipping in with goals.”
Rice and Soucek have started every Premier League game for West Ham this season and have formed a formidable partnership under David Moyes.
In their last five games, the Hammers have won four times and lost just once to Manchester United.