How Many More Ist Choice Keepers?

A week is a long time in football, and with over 3/4 of the season remaining we ask, how many more top class 1st choice goal keepers will receive long term injuries and whether it is a 'Karmic' event or pay back for bouts of schadenfreude among Barclays Premier League clubs supporters?

Tottenham's Hugo Loris became the fourth 1st choice keeper to be ruled out with a long term injury, he joins West Ham United's Lukasz Fabianski, Norwich City's Tim Krul and Liverpool's Allison on the recovery trail. Ironically none of the keepers listed missed any significant time at all out through injury last season, Fabianski played every minute of every Premier League match on his way to becoming Hammer of the Year.

The schadenfreude aspect of football could not have been more profiled when Hammers fans 'enjoyed' seeing arch rivals Tottenham bounced out of the EFL Cup by lower opposition, only to see their own club lose 4-0 to Oxford City. Accordingly any joy felt regarding Tottenham's 3-0 defeat by Brighton was quickly tempered by Hammers inability to see off london rivals Crystal Palace, a match where victory could have seen Hammers in the top three of the league.

The thing is, what were the odds on so many Barclays Premier League goal keepers picking up serious injuries so early on in the season, and how will those injuries affect the final league places? Nobody knows for sure, but in order to get the slightest clue you could rely on online bookmakers to get these kind of predictions. You can find a full list of all bookies offers here to check and compare possible final league results. It is a pattern that is unlikely to continue, however the 'goal keepers' union will argue that the long suffering No2 keepers deserve their moment in the spotlight and it is up to them to take it, and with regards to that situation Roberto stepped up to the plate, and his confidence grew as the match progressed.

Of course a win would have been ideal, but at least the fears about Roberto's ability can be dispelled, he is not Lukasz Fabialnski, but he is a hell of a lot better than some. Hammers fans have the International break to dwell upon what might have been, as does manager Manuel Pellegrini, who must have been privately seething at his expensively assembled squad's inability to beat teams below them, it is one thing to 'raise' the game for a top six club it is another to be constant, how the team have missed the inspirational performances of Michail Antonio, he should be back ahead of schedule and his presence will put pressure on the other players to perform to the highest level.

If Hammers are to reach that next level then a few home truths need to be faced, despite Saturday's abject defeat, the club are still favourites with pundits and punters to be in the top six by season's end. The shock 2-0 victory by Wolves over title holders Manchester City at the Etihad is further proof of what a topsy turvy season it has become, and while no one expects any team to do 'a 5000-1 Leicester City' again there is a distinct possibility that the established upper echelon is definitely going to shift. Liverpool are currently imperious, but they needed an injury time dubious penalty to get all three points at the weekend.

To achieve the top six aim, Pellegrin's insistence that the club needs two players available for every position could well be put to the test, sooner rather than later, but his players cannot keep slipping up. The team has a certain Deja vu about it when it comes to failing at the last hurdle, last season the chance of a top six slot was spurned again and again.
With a little more consistency the club can fill the void left by Manchester United. Everton, Wolves and Leicester have all got their eyes on it, but it is up for grabs, and maybe even Tottenham's, now that WOULD make a lot of Hammers fans happy! Ed



moore2come's picture

Dubious penalty??? Was a stone wall dive and Mane should have been rewarded with a yellow card rather than a pen. I'm so far a little shocked at some of the decisions via VAR on penalties. It seems to me that the muppet in the room is either scared to overturn the decision or doesn't want to usurp his colleague by pointing out he was wrong. Offside decisions are accurate and you can't grumble but the penalty decisions are woeful at times. There was one in the Arsenal game too, that should have been given but as it hadn't been awarded on the pitch VAR didn't see fit to change it, even though to me it was bloody obvious

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