Tomas Soucek says that West Ham’s “perfect” win against Arsenal is exactly the type of result they needed if they want to compete for Europe again this season.
Less than a year after derailing Arsenal’s title charge, West Ham have prevented the Gunners from going top of the table with an emphatic 2-0 win at the Emirates.
The controversial opener saw Tomas Soucek rifle the ball into the back of the net following a Bowen assist which potentially went out of play. A defensive masterclass and a Mavropanos header meant the Hammers walked away with all three points.
Unsurprisingly, the Czech international was delighted with how his side were able to secure their first win at Arsenal in eight years. “If we want to be successful, like we were last season, then we need to be competing with the top teams,” Soucek explained when speaking to West Ham TV. “In that regard, December has been an almost perfect month when you look at some of the sides we’ve been able to beat. We want to carry on and keep doing that.”
“[The result against Arsenal] was perfect. We really appreciate that we could win here, which helps us in the table and helps us with our confidence. It was a really nice gift for everyone at West Ham and it’s a result we can really enjoy at Christmas time.”
Despite what the score-line might suggest, it was an extremely tricky game for the away side. That was going to be the case though, and to Soucek the first goal was always going to be the most important in deciding the outcome of the match.
“Arsenal are one of the top teams in the league so it is always difficult to play against them, especially away from home. We were fighting and getting the first goal when we did helped us a lot.”
“It gave us a lot of confidence and we knew we could take the points. I said to the guys that we could beat them, because we beat them in the Carabao Cup earlier this season. I think it was a similar performance to that game.”
When you are having to dig deep like they did, you have to have faith in your teammates and work as a unit. The midfielder clearly had it in abundance as he praised both Bowen and Mavropanos in particular for their performances.
“l knew, or I hoped, that Jarrod would pull the ball back,” he stated. “If you can’t score then you want to bring the ball back for another player to score. He wanted to keep the ball alive, so he passed, and I tried to be in the right place at the right moment. It was great work from him.”
“I told Dinos he should be celebrating, because it’s his first goal for West Ham, but I understand the respect he has for Arsenal. He put in a great performance. For the first couple of months, he’s had to fight and find his place here a bit, but he’s getting better and better and I’m so happy for him. This goal will help his confidence too, as well as another big performance for us in the league.”
Our Irons face Brighton at home next time out. Given that the Seagulls sit just 3 points behind us, it is an absolutely crucial game and Soucek recognises the importance of building off of such an impeccable performance.
“We’re in a great position in the league but if we slip off for one or two games then you fall down the table, so we have to keep going.”