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Alan 6:47 Tue Jan 28
Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Tomáš Souček 2019/20 – scout report

Slavia Prague came into limelight with a brilliant display against Inter Milan in the first group stage match of the UEFA Champions League. The Czech Republic champions bowed out from the qualifying round of Champions League against Dynamo Kyiv last season but gave an enormous fight to Chelsea in the quarter-final of Europa League.

The Red and Whites, as they are famously known as, are currently leading the Czech First League table with an enormous 11 points from the second-placed Viktoria Plzeň. The large part of it is due to the dynamic midfield triumvirate of Josef Hušbauer, Nicolae Stanciu, and Tomáš Souček. The midfield trio scored 15 out of the 36 goals in Czech First League this season and the Slavia captain Souček scoring eight among those. Tomáš Souček has been a revelation since joining Slovan Liberec on loan from Slavia in 2017. Since then he has made the central defensive midfield his own for ‘The red and whites’.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the player’s attributes in this tactical analysis/scout report. This tactical analysis will also give a brief idea of Jindřich Trpišovský’s tactics.

Passing

An essential attribute of a midfielder is to circulate the passes accurately and with precision. Even a central defensive midfielder is judged by the way he passes around the ball and his ability to weave magic by creating chances along with his defensive abilities.

Jindřich Trpišovský, the Slavia Prague gaffer, loves building his play from the back. During buildup Souček often moves back and forms a three-man backline to open up passing lanes for his goalkeeper and centre-backs and pushes the attacking full-backs up. The other midfielders Hušbauer and Stanciu drop deep from their usual position to carry out fluid passing from the back.
However, Souček doesn’t always remain constant at the centre-back position during the buildup.

The midfield stalwart is very intelligent in his positioning. When he sees there is no passing lane to carry forward the ball, he moves from the centre-back position and draws out a Teplice player. Stanciu changes the flank and Slavia carries out their build-up from the back.

It’s evident that the Slavia Captain circulates a lot of passes to build up his team’s play. Even though the former Sparta midfielder, Hušbauer, plays out similar amounts of passes he is not able to circulate passes with the accuracy of his captain.

When it comes to Souček’s performance against the midfielders of the top six teams of Premier League and La Liga, his passing ability does not leave a huge mark as compared to the Czech First League. However, it all comes down to the league he plays in. If he makes his strides to any of the top four leagues in Europe, his numbers are sure to improve.
He is good at circulating the ball, but can the Slavia captain play long balls?

Jindřich Trpišovský generally fields his team in 4-1-4-1, with Souček acting as the pivot. Slavia manager occasionally utilises him as the deep-lying playmaker, just as Steven Gerrard was used at the later stages of his career.

Souček doesn’t play a lot of long balls as compared to his midfield partner, Hušbauer, but his accuracy is commendable.

As mentioned earlier Trpišovský loves to play in 4-1-4-1. However, as the match progresses, this formation may mislead a person. Slavia loves to play with a dynamic midfield with the three midfielders often changing positions especially Souček and Hušbauer

During the buildup, generally, Souček stations himself as the third centre-back to open the passing lanes for his defenders. Occasionally Hušbauer drops deep instead of the Slavia captain. In the middle third intermittently, Hušbauer acts as the ‘regista’ and orchestrates the play allowing Souček to move further up or stay alongside the former Sparta midfielder.

It is the reason Hušbauer delivers a massive 9.6 long balls per90mins.

When he is compared to midfielders of the top six teams of PL and La Liga, his long ball output doesn’t seem great.

He is good at producing occasional long balls but not great as the other top-notch deep-lying midfielders like Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, who used to spread the game and play occasional mouth-watering long balls and diagonal balls to disrupt the opposition organisation.

When playing for the Czech Republic though he is used in the double pivot, where he is not allowed to tread into more attacking positions. He seems to play more long balls when playing for the Czech Republic than for Slavia Prague.

Another aspect of Souček’s game which is slightly different from his teammates is his passing length. It is quite evident that the deep-lying midfielders or the defensive midfielders are outside of the quartiles in the first quadrant.

He finds himself in a good company of defensive midfielders. Along with the short passes he makes to buildup the play, he often looks for players making runs or the forwards dropping deep to feed them with passes.

Creativity

Midfielders are often appreciated when they produce a great display of their passing skills, try to break down the opposition defence with risky passes in the final third which leads to scoring chances.

Being a defensive midfielder or a deep-lying midfielder he delivers a fair amount of balls in the defensive third and with a final third passing accuracy of 72.57%. It seems ideal when in the Czech First League.

However, when it’s compared with the big stars he lingers around in the third quadrant. With the likes of Jorginho, Busquets occupying the first quadrant it may seem Souček doesn’t take more risk during Slavia attacks but he plays a much different role when it comes to these midfielders (which would be discussed later). Though he should work on the accuracy of his final third passes for the big teams to pounce onto him the next season.

We have seen earlier Souček doesn’t indulge much in risky passes. He likes to build up with short passes or occasional long balls to bother the opponents.

He isn’t much creative when it comes to providing smart passes, key passes or through balls but he is one of the best assist providers in the league. He has three assists in the league one from a through pass, another by winning an aerial duel in the box and third by winning the ball in the final third and producing a delicious cross from the left flank.

Even when his assist rate is compared to the midfielders of PL or La Liga, he is one of the best in business. The players who are above Souček in this chart plays in a more attacking role than him.
How Trpišovský utilises Souček during Slavia attacks?

Souček is a part of dynamic midfield triumvirate who changes their positions more often than not. In the course of Slavia attacks, it is often seen that the Slavia captain takes a position in the box and Hušbauer, Stanciu and the attacking full-backs often provide crosses and creative passes into the box. This is the reason Hušbauer records 5.6 creative passes per90 mins. Hušbauer also whips in 2.72 crosses per 90 mins which is more than most of the midfielders in all the leagues.

Souček is the chief penalty taker for Slavia. However, even without his three penalties, he has scored six goals from open play and set-pieces this ongoing season. His medium built tall figure is used perfectly by the Slavia gaffer. He is massive in the

air and wins most of his aerial duels. He has scored three headed goals out of the total six non-penalty goals.

Quality of shots

Midfielders often like to take chances from outside the box and score screamers. It sometimes pays dividends but most of the times end in lost opportunities. Let’s have a close look at Souček’s shot quality.
It is quite evident that the Slavia players like to shoot more often and leads the chart in the league, however, looking at the quality of shots, Souček deserves a mention in the top brackets. Souček takes 2.35 shots per90 mins which is really good for a defensive midfielder and 43% of the times it’s on target.

As it is mentioned earlier he often positions himself in the opposition box or just at the edge of opposition box which results in him shooting from a closer range than the other midfielders.

His attacking aspect of the game sees him touch 2.97 balls per90 mins in the opposition box, which is way more than other defensive midfielders or deep-lying playmakers. It makes much more sense when you see the way Slavia plays and how do they build their attack, which has been discussed earlier.

He looks a great midfielder attacking wise but can he defend?

The defensive midfielders job is more than just protecting the defensive line. He is the extra layer of protection in the midfield. Roles can differ in this position. The player could be asked to orchestrate play as well as has to do more of the dirty work.

The Slavia captain has a daunting task in hand due to the fact that he provides a much more attacking dimension to the game than the other defensive midfielders.

He is tremendous when it comes to defensive aspects of the game. A divergent attacking dimension of a defensive midfielder doesn’t hinder his defensive performance. He is a quality defender. He indulges in more defensive duels than his teammates as well as has the highest defensive duels won % per90 mins.

To make his defensive quality more comprehensible, let’s compare him with the top six teams of PL and La Liga. He indulges in 6.7 defensive duels per90 mins and wins it 67% of times. Only Toni Kroos, Nemanja Gudelj and Georginio Wijnaldum have a greater success rate than the Slavia captain and only Toni Kroos among them indulge in more defensive duels.

He is great in defending ground duels but how good is he in the air?

The strongest aspect of his game is his dominance in the air. He is a beast who wins the aerial duels in both the defensive plays as well as the attacking plays. This may be one of the reasons Trpišovský instructs Souček to position himself in the opposition box while the attacking midfielders Hušbauer and Stanciu positions themselves deeper.

Even when he is compared to the big guns of Europe, except Mikel Merino of Real Sociedad no one comes close when it comes to reveling in aerial balls

The quality he offers makes him one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe who has been under the radar.

Second ball magnet and positioning

Souček is an intelligent footballer who positions himself in the right positions at the right times.

Trpišovský likes his midfield trio to be as dynamic and flexible as possible. The triumvirate constantly changes positions and deceives the opposition.

Souček is brilliant in his positioning, that is one of the reasons even without being gifted with an enormous pace he easily recovers to his defensive position once Slavia loses the ball.

His brilliant positioning makes him a second ball and a loose ball magnet. He made 12.26 recoveries per90 mins in the ongoing season, which is enormous and most by a midfielder in the Czech First League as well as the top four leagues in Europe.

He occasionally positions himself at the edge of the box (when he is not in the box, which is minimal) when too many Slavia players attack the box. Slavia loves to whip in crosses especially from the right flank. He latches onto every second ball that is cleared by the opposition. He even succeeds to win the loose balls in the opposition box.

An overall package: Ball carrier or a destroyer?

The red and whites captain is an enormous figure in the centre of the midfield. He provides a shield to his team’s defence and is quite potent in his job.

He is an amalgamation of a ball carrier as well as a destroyer, slightly inclined towards being a destroyer.

Weakness

Each and every player has his/her own weaknesses. The major flaw of Souček’s game is that he loses the ball too often. In the ongoing season, he has lost 11.19 balls per90, 35.4% of which happens to be in his own half.

Slavia loves to play out from the back which has been reiterated numerous times. Sometimes he has no short passing options and is slow in decision making. He withholds playing long balls and eventually looses the ball.
In the early minutes against Inter, when Inter pressed very high, he lost the ball to a high press unable to find a short passing option.

Conclusion

Tomáš Souček is a medium built tall midfielder who utilises his height to the maximum extent in winning the aerial duels. He is great in defensive duels, interceptions, and positioning. The red and whites captain is good when going forward too. The midfield stalwart has developed every aspect of his game during the loan move to Slovan Liberec and since then he has made the midfield spot for his club and currently his country his own.

Full report with graphs/pics here:-

https://footballbh.net/2019/11/25/tomas-soucek-2019-20-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics/

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Block 6:41 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Texas Iron 9:39 Tue Jan 28
You don't see him as a defensive midfielder even though our own manager does?

You fucking spaz.

Sir Alf 6:40 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Mex Martillo 7:57 Wed Jan 29

How very dare you! I don't do happy when it comes to West Ham as you well know.

He lacks pace but am hoping he has the nous of someone like Matic a few years back who's positioning and reading of teh game allowed him to dominate midfield in some games.


Damn I was a tad positive there.

"Boo Soucek you're too slow to catch a cold !!!!

The Stoat 6:01 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Signed on loan

Block 12:58 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Wankers, i done a thread on this yesterday and it got locked.

*shakes fist at mods*

lincslink 11:09 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
We obviously can’t afford Sander Berge who is now in talks with Sheffield United, how depressing.

andyd12345 10:48 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)

Johnson 10:32 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long

My guess is he’s signed already, and they plan on announcing it in the stadium 10 minutes before kick off. That way when we’re 3-0 down at half time we’re less likely to throw chairs and drinks over the owners. In theory.

Exiled In Surrey 10:39 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
No real pace - should fit in well with the rest of our trundlers.

Johnson 10:32 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
The longer we’re supposed to sign this fella, the more I’m expecting Sullivan to fuck it up somehow once it’s too late to sign anyone else.

It’s been 48 hours, what’s the hold up?

scott_d 10:30 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Mex, it cant be SIGNED in capitals until it's on the official site.

Until then, there is still the opportunity for him to embarrassingly mug us off for Watford or Norwich City because he wants Premier League football next season.

Johnson 10:28 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Ha ha.

What is wrong with these happy clappy morons?

Lee Trundle 10:27 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
The headline on that link says he hasn't signed yet.

Mex Martillo 7:57 Wed Jan 29
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
SIGNED
https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51285153
Perhaps Sir Alf will be happy, ha ha ha, what a joker I am

Capitol Man 11:12 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Lets hope we sign him before he watches us play Liverpool.

eusebiovic 11:04 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
The Czech's have been a bit quiet in recent years after their golden generation of players but by all accounts they are getting a few good ones coming through again.

Let's hope this guy is one of the best ones...he can't be any worse than that muppet Kovac!

pablo.escobarr 10:31 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Don’t compare Soucek to Lanzini or Fornals guys. He’s the guy for Noble/Rice slot. Finally!!!

Barty 10:01 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Texas Iron 9:59 Tue Jan 28

You think we can survive with the current full backs?

I don´t

Texas Iron 9:59 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Agreed Joey...
But we definitely need a proven Goalscorer NOW...
The rest can come later...if we survive...

joey5000 9:53 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
I like the sound of this bloke. Just need to bring him in, two new fullbacks, a striker, a new ground and a new board and I’ll be excited for football again.

Barty 9:41 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
He might be a box to box midfielder but he´s not a pure attacking midfielder like Lanzini and Fornals are supposed to be, 2.5 tackles per game in the CL

Texas Iron 9:40 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Vexed...

Go FIST yourself...

Texas Iron 9:39 Tue Jan 28
Re: Tomáš Souček scout report (Long)
Vexed
Based on videos...looks more effective than both...this season...going forward...
Don’t see him as a defensive midfielder...

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