Popular Spaniard Adrian San-Miguel or England shot-stopper Joe Hart? It’s a debate about who should start in goal for David Moyes’ West Ham United that divides many members of the Claret & Blue every day. Having debated the Hammers’ warm weather training trip to Miami and where they will finish in the Premier League table in recent weeks, four Moore Than Just A Club Writers tackle the tricky discussion head on today, an intriguing mix of views for sure.
Luke Glanville (@Glanville_Luke) – Site Lead:
Much like anyone else affiliated with the game of football and especially when it comes to West Ham, I’ve always admired players that clearly play for the fans and the badge.
From the moment charismatic Spaniard Adrian has arrived in East London, he has been one of those players and it has been hard not to root for him in fights for the No1 spot, of which he has had three, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Darren Randolph and now Hart.
Adrian has been steely in each of those fights, waiting patiently for his turn and making the most of his opportunity when it has been given to him, as I noted in a previous article.
Much like when Randolph was at the club, the Irons currently have two goalkeepers who are more than adequate to start in the Premier League, both have proved that.
I’m willing to admit that the former Real Betis man is a little mistake prone and his rushes of blood to the head have not helped him either, such as Stoke City at London Stadium in the PL last season and Liverpool away from home in February.
However, for me and I understand I’m going against the Status Quo in terms of my colleagues here, he has the edge over Hart, who never had a chance in hell of returning to his former self after he was discarded by Pep Guardiola and Manchester City in my mind.
The Three Lions man is desperately low on confidence and while it would be hard on his FIFA World Cup chances to turn back to Adrian for the relegation run-in, Hart has consistently made mistakes when played this term, more costly and more frequently than his comrade, but just because I believe he should, I don’t necessarily think Moyes will drop the Citizens loanee for the visit of the Saints to East London this weekend.
Adrian Or Hart: Adrian
Alf Gasparro (@alfgasparro) – Columnist:
Hand on Hart – Heading off Adrian!
West Ham are somewhat blessed with two keepers who are fighting for the number one spot but neither may claim superiority over the other. Both have been prone to error, both have conceded multiple goals in poor defensive team displays and neither have consistently bestowed confidence upon teammates. So who is the right choice to be sentry in the West Ham goal?
Hart has a bellowing presence behind the defence, is more intimidating and would make appropriate saves if not let down by faltering colleagues. Adrian, on the other hand, commands his area better, is marginally a better shot-stopper, but still suspect on crosses as he tends to fumble before catching.
Both keepers have the ability but are lacking confidence, as are the rest of the team and both are more than capable to distribute the ball well, either with the short or long game…however, Hart has a greater sense of urgency and will punt to the flanks whilst Adrian will tend to labour slightly and launch long up the centre which usually means losing possession.
The choice is one of the lesser of two evils, however, I hold them much lower than in such high contempt for they are both focussed and dedicated to purpose…my choice would be Hart.
I can almost hear the raw of laughter now and the jeers of incredulity, and whilst I do not have confidence in Hart, I have less in Adrian. Although Hart suffered feebly for the third goal against Burnley and before conceding the first, he was actually playing well, so he would get the nod…for my sins.
Adrian Or Hart: Hart…only just!
Federico Maroli (@MaroliFede) – Tactical Analyst:
Tough decision. Both keepers, as my colleagues have suggested, have had multiple ups and downs throughout their careers and this season. Both have been prone to silly mistakes and vital errors that have cost several points for the Hammers. Yet, with respect to experience, performances and attitude, one man seems to have the upper hand and that is the Englishman.
While Hart has had an impressive decline from his City days, first losing his starting spot in Manchester and then hopping off to a confusing loan spell at Torino, he has vast National and International experience that a somewhat confusing defense needs to organize itself. Furthermore, his unique attitude, a mix between an angry manager and passionate player, definitely makes for a vital trait to have in a team filled with weak character personalities.
Overall, while the (lack of) technical abilities between the two keepers is perhaps relatively similar, Hart comes up to a slight advantage compared to his Spanish counterpart for his unique experience and mindset that can be projected accordingly to this still growing team.
Adrian Or Hart: Hart (by a narrow margin)
Nick Caccavone (@slicknick66) – Columnist:
My head or my Hart? When The Hammers take to the field on Saturday for our most important match of the season one of our two goalkeepers will take to the field whilst the other watches on from the bench. One has had an indifferent season littered with mistakes, the other an indifferent season also littered with mistakes.
It’s unlikely that Joe Hart will be plying his trade at the London Stadium next season. Losing his place as England’s No1 looks even more likely after being overlooked in the recent friendlies. Hart was at fault for the last goal against Burnley and David Moyes would be justified in sending him back to the bench after holding the spot for one game.
Harsh? Maybe but this really is a must win game and sentiment must be put to one side as West Ham cannot afford to lose. Adrian has been patient sitting on the sidelines and taken his chance when being used as our Cup keeper. A run in the first-team also came to an abrupt end when David Moyes decided enough was enough and Hart was back between the sticks.
Does Moyes kick a man when he’s down or show loyalty to Adrian who’s been a loyal servant to the club? I like both as individuals but this is a moment where focus and professionalism has to be spot on. No fannying about in the area trying to nutmeg an oncoming centre-forward. Positivity and commanding the area. Bossing the defence and barking orders and shouting to the team.
If you’re looking for a match winner and someone who’s been there seen it and a got the medal then look no further than Joe. My head says Hart my heart says Adrian. I’m going for Hart to keep the jersey. The whole team lost their heads that day and it would be unfair to blame Hart. What we desperately need is a clean sheet and three points starting this weekend when Hart gets my vote.
Adrian Or Hart: Hart
Having gone for Hart for the Premier League defeat to Burnley, it’s unknown whether Moyes will opt for the Englishman or the Spaniard for this afternoon’s pivotal visit of Southampton to the London Stadium, find out first with our Live Blog right here on https://www.hammers.news/core/ where we will bring you live and exclusive build-up, text commentary and reaction from the London Stadium Press Box, beginning at 1 PM GMT.