On the back of the club’s best Premier League finish for 22 years and a club record points total, it’s no surprise the Hammers selected to represent their countries in Euro 2020 this summer are still performing at the top of their games.
Declan Rice, Vladimir Coufal, Tomas Soucek, Lukasz Fabianski and Andriy Yarmolenko are all making a positive impact on their respective nations’ tournament chances, with Yarmolenko in particular impressing for Ukraine with two goals and one assists in the group stages.
Growing up, almost every football fan on the planet will have envisaged themselves representing their country at a major tournament, but only a select few actually go on to make it a club level, let alone on the international stage.
Five of our boys are doing just that this summer, having already become heroes at East London. Now they’re attempting to become heroes for their nations.
But what is it like to play at the Euros?
Fabianski, who is yet to feature for Poland who are underdogs with Betway at this summer’s tournament, perfectly describes what it’s like to represent your country in general, let alone at a tournament like the Euros.
He said: “It’s always very special to represent your country. Before the first kick-off you always listen to your national anthem, which is always special.
Coufal, who has been a revelation in claret and blue since signing from Slavia Prague last summer, has dreams of emulating the success of Czech Republic in 1996, when they went all the way to the final before losing out to Germany at Wembley.
The right-back said: “In the summer Euros, we can be successful like our team from ’96.”
Major tournaments like the Euros can also be an opportunity for young players to announce themselves to the rest of the world and it can provide a springboard for a successful career at club level, while it can also serve as an occasion to reignite the careers of players who may have seen their club careers somewhat stall.
We already know how good the likes of Declan Rice can be for West Ham and while we’re all so desperate for him to stay at the club for the long term, the more impressive performances he puts in for England the more likely it is for one of Europe’s giant clubs to come in for him.
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen just yet, but it’s great to see Rice, Coufal, Soucek and co. all performing well on the biggest stage this summer.