Player Profile: Vladimír Coufal

Defending

Style

Coufal’s an aggressive, front foot defender who regularly gambles on winning the ball back. His eagerness to deny his opponents space means he takes risks with his defending which often disrupts his team’s defensive shape and can leave him exposed in 1vs1 situations. His tackling can be a bit clumsy and he has a habit of getting very tight to the player he’s marking — perhaps conscious of his own lack of height and strength — both of which leads to him giving away a lot of needless fouls:

Coufal wears the number 5 shirt with yellow boots. Slavia are playing in red/white and also in green in these clips.

Narrow Positioning

When the ball’s on the far side of the pitch or the opposition goalkeeper has possession, Coufal takes an extremely narrow defensive position within his back 4. It makes it very easy to left-sided attackers to make runs into the box on his blindside:

He often finds himself level with the penalty spot or even over to the left half of the box.

Attacking

On the ball

Coufal’s first touch is decent and his passing seems fairly solid. He tends to keep it simple, often opting to feed passes up the line for players in front of him:

Final third

Coufal gets forward a lot but doesn’t offer much in the final third. His crossing is wayward and he’s often hesitant in his decision-making with the ball at his feet:

Long throw

Coufal has a pretty long throw in the locker and if I were a betting man, I’d say that’s the main reason we’ve signed him. Despite not being the tallest, he’s fully capable of hurling the ball long distances:

Conclusion

TL;DR — he can’t defend, is relatively secure in possession, likes to get into the box and get forward, but offers nothing in the final 3rd. Being repurposed as a RWB might suit him. Don’t really see what he offers that Fredericks doesn’t (except availability, perhaps — Coufal’s played 2400 mins+ in the each of the last three seasons). Good to have another body in, but this looks like a bit of a nothing signing to me.

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Cast Iron Tactics

Cast Iron Tactics

I write long, boring, and increasingly deranged articles about football tactics and West Ham @CastIronTactics on Twitter