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West Ham have struggled to make an impact this season, continuing their miserable debut season at the London Stadium, the months ahead are of great importance to the Hammers.
The summer signings are outstanding but has thus far failed to live up to expectation, while Slaven Bilic continues the display of his amateurish tactics with decisions that include playing Javier Hernandez out wide to create space for inconsistent Andy Carroll.
While the buck of the responsibilty is placed on the shoulders of the first-choice line-up, especially in regards to the new signings, many on the fringes are left frustrated – and that includes Spanish goalkeeper Adrian, who has seen work load passed on to loanee Joe Hart
Adrian, 30-years-old, has been with the Hammers four years now and has played 100 league games for the club but has unceremoniously fallen down the pecking order with Hart stepping up ahead of him. Although it is not surprising, it is a real kick to the teeth.
It there came as no surprise when Adrian spoken to Radio Marca and hinted at a possible exit in the winter transfer window – with frustration eating him up after he lost his first choice role for the better part of the previous season to Darren Randolph.
“The coach is not giving me much ball this year, but the data is there. It only remains to fight. Without playing, I repeat the call with the Spanish team disappears. The market will be reopened and an agreement must be reached because I am not happy in this situation.”
West Ham, on their part, should have predicted this. Adrian aims to grace the international pitch and the Spanish national side might overlook him while he’s playing second fiddle to Joe Hart, a stopper who also needs game-time as he looks to cement his position between the sticks with the England squad.
Adrian has featured in both Carabao Cup games this season, keeping clean sheets in both games, and is likely to retain that spot for next week’s crunch tie with Tottenham Hotspur – although playing in just cup competitions will hold no happiness for him.
West Ham’s problem is that they lack significant depth in between the sticks and the situation of having two veteran goalkeepers whose main drive for seeking first team action is personal and not for the benefit of the team is a situation that could have been, and probably should have, been avoided.
Randolph was shipped off to Middlesbrough in the summer and Adrian was left as the only senior understudy for Joe Hart within the squad, which means the Hammers will be in a tight fix if the Spaniard should push for a move away from the club.
Injury or suspension could once again make Adrian the first choice but he is not prepared to wait, which again is understandable considering the situation he endured over the course of the previous season. There are young options in the U23 side but they are inexperience and cannot be burdened so soon.
Another issue for West Ham is that Hart might not be staying beyond loan spell this season and could become a top transfer target. The Hammers will do well to have their eggs in more than one basket, so they must do all in their power to keep Adrian happy.