Whilst the defeat to Manchester City was a humiliating indictment on poor defensive aptitude and misadventure by West Ham manager; Moyes…it was another hurdle for goalkeeper Adrian to stumble over and would seal his fate at the club…and not totally of his own doing.

The problems of the West Ham keeper conundrum have been raging on for over a couple of seasons and Adrian has been at the heart of much of it. He has had fantastic days in goal, but has  had calamitous ones too…and the performance on Sunday did little to enhance his reputation or increase his value.

Both Hart and Adrian have been inconsistent this season and have made errors that have undermined any good deeds made by the outfield players…however these good deeds have been few are far between. Both have had to contend with defensive ineptitude and fragilities all over the pitch, whilst the inability to retain possession or convert opportunities has incited incessant and increasing pressure from many of the opponents faced. It was always only ever a matter of time before goals would be conceded and confidence would wane throughout the whole squad and within the two keepers also.

Hart was ineligible for the contest and Adrian was to be the able deputy, however he looked isolated as the last line of defence whilst his defenders and midfield allowed free running City players to hold court and poke at the Hammer’s goal for fun. He was as frustrated with his defensive line that failed to clear their lines or push up the field, as Arnautovic was to be all alone without support in the attacking and limited forays.

Numerous times in the first half, Adrian would be urging the defence to push higher up the field but was largely ignored by the rest of the Ant Hill Mob who were dutifully following the orders of a failing manager with limp actions. Of course he made many mistakes and his distribution was poor at times also, but he was unfortunate in the first goal, complicit in the second and largely helpless to make any mark for the third and fourth goals…however that is another large number of balls that have flown past him…his statistics do not look favourable!

The arrival of Hart has undoubtedly unsettled the status quo at the Hammers this season. Adrian would have thought his place was assured when Randolph was sold last summer, but it is another repeat of last season for the Spaniard who would have had international call up aspirations just as Hart has had for England…but they have both struggled with form, confidence and the ability to be the immovable force between the sticks that the outfield players could rely upon to save their blushes.

Many fans would believe the rumours that Hart may indeed stay at the club and this might be compounded if Moyes is to retain his position also, however Adrian would likely leave for pastures new and potential success with a team that would value his spirit and application. Whilst all keepers are prone to mistakes and the hiding places are usually flooded with light to reveal all, they would be regarded even less favourably if their teammates ahead of them were able to apply themselves to a higher degree also.

The fandom has launched much criticism over Hart this season and has largely protected Adrian from the vitriolic opinion…but his fall from grace was inevitable once the team began to suffer and he started to concede multiple times in games.

The unfortunate truth is that any keeper would fail to stem the tide right now with a manager who prefers the negative and cautious stance and with players who cannot retain possession long enough to relieve the pressure on the defence nor on the keepers. This does not relieve either Hart nor Adrian of their responsibilities, however it does shed light on their successes and failures this season.

The club is in turmoil now and the fanbase is ready to launch for the throats, seek justice and answers. They were promised many things, they were sold a dream of the streets paved with gold and that the traditions of their club would remain intact. It was supposed to be the very next level, to occupy the top half of the table and challenge for the top six…but that will never be the case whilst the decision makers are still in place and the team are allowed to hobble their way through games without reproach.

Adrian and Hart have not covered themselves in glory, are not fully to blame but are not blameless either. They have struggled as have the rest of the team, but the manager and the owners have failed this football club, whilst the fans are left in tatters to pick up the pieces from the ashes of a club that was raised to the ground. The fans do not have confidents within the club to rely upon…no amiable conversations are to be had, because all that is left is friends in low places and more enemies at the gates!


By Gonzo

West Ham fan for as long as I can remember. I was flukey enough to watch The Irons beat Bury 10-0 in my first ever game . . . True to form, West Ham then went out and signed their central defender 😬

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