A Goalkeeping Dilemma
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 19 June 2017 at 8:44pm
Written by @farehamhammer
I’m not going to put on a vest, hold a placard up and march to Downing Street and start shouting: “Randolph MUST go!” However one must accept, Darren Randolph, needs replacing. He is a poor goalkeeper. When Robert Green, was our custodian in goal, I would brick myself every time the opposition crossed the halfway line because 9 out ten times, it would land in the back of our net. Green was so bad at one stage, I thought he was part of a Middle East betting syndicate! I remember one game against Hull, when they had two shots but scored THREE goals! One he virtually threw into his own net. Anything could happen with Green in goal, from kicking the ball straight to the opposition, getting beaten at the near post and of course he feared crosses more than Satan. More often than not, the opposition would be out played, then have a shot and score. As a result heads would drop, and we would lose games we should have won.
When a team has no confidence in their goalkeeper, it makes the whole team jittery. I am afraid to say, that is the case when Darren Randolph is in goal. It’s not just a West Ham ‘thing’, Randolph has been just as poor for Ireland. The man is pathetic at dealing with crosses, gets beaten at the near post, poor place keeping, with the ball often going straight to a nearby striker’s feet and like Green, capable of the most outrageous of errors. Having to rely on Darren Randolph at some point next season will cost West Ham matches, so we will have to look at the goalkeeping position very carefully. I like Adrian, although he does have the odd rush of blood, he is a good goalkeeper and his defence is far less jittery when he is in goal. The clean sheets we started getting towards the end of last season, tells a story.
I have seen the clamour to sign Joe Hart, apparently Manchester City are willing to pay, £75000 per week of his £175 000 per week salary. The problem I have is this: Yes, Joe Hart is a good goalkeeper, also prone to the odd error but he is certainly NOT an exceptional goalkeeper. In an ideal world one would have, both Hart and Adrian, as our first team goalkeepers, but that is not going to happen. If you sign Hart, both Adrian and Randolph will be off. Adrian, a Spanish international, will not be prepared to sit on the bench twiddling his thumbs with the World Cup in mind. He will be off and he won’t be short of suitors, who could blame him if he did so? There is not that much between Joe Hart and Adrian …accept wages, with Hart probably earning about £125 000 per week more. How do you think that would go down, not just with Adrian, but the rest of the squad as well? Time to say no to Hart and invest the £100 000 in wages elsewhere in the team.
So what do we do about our no 2 goalkeeper if we manage to flog Randolph? Even the big clubs don’t have star second choice goalkeepers, the key is getting a steady goalkeeper as your number 2, far easier said than done. We have been linked with Norwich City’s John Ruddy, with groans of not another free! Let’s look at the reason why Ruddy was released. Yes, he did not have a great season last season, but neither did Norwich City as a whole. He was not offered a new contract, simply because Norwich could not afford him. However make no mistake, John Ruddy is hugely popular with the Carrow Road crowd, having produced several outstanding performances over the years. Indeed they produced a big banner at his final game saying: “Thank You for everything big John”! A big man is John Ruddy indeed! I remember Didier Drogba being laid out cold after colliding with big John. I would personally welcome Big John to The London Stadium, an experienced and steady goalkeeper, who won’t let The Club down if called upon. Hart at £100,000 per week? Jog on son! No, Adrian at number 1 with big John at number 2.We’re more than a football club, we’re a way of life!