It’s often believed that football managers would be at their happiest if they had genuine competition for places in every position in their squad.
Genuine strength in depth is what sets some teams apart in their quest for success, and West Ham are now starting to show that they have just that.
One position where David Moyes has an abundance of talent is in the right-back slot.
In Vladimir Coufal, the Scot already had a player who not only met, but exceeded the demands placed on him most weeks. Along with countryman, Tomas Soucek, he was a real find for the Hammers.
However, he could well find himself completely out of the picture now, after the emergence of 21-year-old Ben Johnson.
According to the Daily Express, cited by the Daily Star, the Hammers are preparing to offer the youngster an extension to his current deal which runs out at the end of the season.
Given how well Johnson has played since replacing the injured Coufal, unless he himself succumbs to injury, you can’t see a way back into the side for the latter.
That said, with Europa League knockout games expected in the early part of next year, Moyes might well be expected to make full use of his squad and to that end, there could still be a part for Coufal to play.