West Ham’s Cresswell and Kufar are the best full-back duo in the Premier League
Nathaniel KayFebruary 22, 2021
Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images
West Ham have started to gain major recognition this year, thanks in part to the combination of Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Kufar.
Their impressive challenge for Champions League places was further cemented when they beat Tottenham on Sunday.
David Moyes has found all the right tools for the Hammers and now they are seriously considering their future in Europe.
His two most important weapons are Coufal and Cresswell.
Here are three reasons why they are currently the best full-back duo in the Premier League.
In such a physically and mentally demanding season, it is difficult to maintain a high level of performance every week.
That’s why managers are often forced to rotate their teams to deal with brutal schedules.
Coufal and Cresswell are outliers. Due to their reliability, Moyes rarely needs to replace the pair.
Between them, they have missed just one league game all season. Coufal was on the bench for West Ham’s 0-0 draw with Southampton in December.
Other than that, they’ve been a gift for hardcore teams.
There is a saying that both Manchester clubs have a better combination of full-backs.
City have alternated constantly, however, and Luke Shaw has not always been United’s first-choice left-back.
Cresswell and Coufal are No. 1s and it’s hard to remove them.
Their longevity on the wing is reflected in the ever-present quality they provide both defensively and offensively.
Cresswell led the back-to-back assists with six, along with Everton’s Lucas Digne.
Photo by Vision House/Getty Images
Andy Robertson and Shaw remain at No. 5, with Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell at No. 4.
Coufal has 3 to his name, which is on par with Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has a great reputation for such stats.
according to WhoScored.comonly two other full-backs have made more appearances than the Czech international (54) in 2020/21.
He ranks sixth in total tackles (49) and fifth in key passes (25).
Joined from Salvia Prague for just £5.4m (BBC Sport) Last October, Kufar may have been one of the best West Ham signings in recent memory.
Another underrated skill that Coufal and Cresswell possess is their positional flexibility.
Moyes is often able to deploy the latter in a central back three or five, as well as in his usual left-back role.
It could be a natural progression for the 31-year-old as he begins to manage his minutes more carefully.
For Coufal, the Hammers boss has used him at right-back or full-back to a similar effect.
There are really few better examples of this diverse defender in the division.
Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko may be the only exceptions, with Guardiola regularly using them as City’s supporting midfielders.
Is there anything to tell us about this article?
Nathaniel is a football journalist and a graduate of the University of Derby. He spent two years at Burton Albion as part of the media team. Nathaniel contributes regularly to the club’s official website and matchday programming. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and covered venues ranging from non-league to Premier League.
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