With almost nothing going right for West Ham at the moment, why not mix things up? It has been no secret that keeper Adrian’s play has had many calling for a replacement but is there just cause? For West Ham, and David Moyes, absolutely.
The timeline fits perfectly for a Joe Hart resurgence: Hart steps in, saves West Ham’s season, actively helps Jack Butland and Stoke City get relegated, and aids in West Ham leapfrogging Jordan Pickford and Everton in the Premier League table. Easy as you’d like. In reality, West Ham play top-6 teams in four of their last nine games.
An uncomfortable reality for Joe Hart is that should he be given an opportunity to be West Ham’s number 1 again, he needs to relish it at the London Stadium this weekend with Burnley in town. Burnley, who started the season with a remarkable run, have given themselves enough breathing room to end their season in the top of the table. However, recent form has seen Burnley struggle to score, netting more than one goal only once in 2018 against a ten-men Everton side last week.
Hart should be given a chance simply because Adrian has dropped the ball in his most recent matches. Allowing four goals in back to back games, Adrian can be forgiven for the Liverpool match, but the Swansea game was an unmitigated disaster for the Spanish keeper. With Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng scoring maybe the slowest goal of the season, and a string of goals built off of indecision and slow decision making coming off his line Adrian has earned a sit on the bench.
Both keepers have less than desirable stats, with Joe Hart averaging just over 2 goals a game (2.14 gpg), and Adrian slightly better at 1.6 goals per game. The only stand out performances for either keeper came form Adrian when he replaced Hart against Manchester City, plus the following win and draw with Chelsea and Arsenal. Since, the form has dropped and it points to Hart getting another opportunity.
Much like the urgency that hangs over Moyes’ success at West Ham, Joe Hart’s top-flight professional career could be over should he fail with another opportunity this season. So the motivation is there, but is the physical ability. He’ll surely be rested, but the issues for Hart came with slow reaction time more than anything, as he was often late to reachable goals.
Why not give “England’s number 1” another opportunity? It will light a fire under both keepers and perhaps capture lightning in a bottle for Hart, who is actively fighting for his Premier League and International career. And imagine the story lines, something positive for West Ham: “Former League Champion lifts Hammers to Premier League Survival, Grasps International Starting Job.” sheesh, I like the sound of that.
Come On You Irons!