Should West Ham boss David Moyes drop Joe Hart?by Andy Dillon / 04 December 2017, 15:59Tweet
DAVID MOYES has a massive call to make so early in his time as West Ham manager.
Only at this club could a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City feel like a win. But then the Hammers have been playing so badly lately that anything but double figures was a bonus.
Moyes will now take stock of events on Sunday, when his team looked organised and battled well when the rest of the world was expecting an avalanche of goals.
One of the reasons that never happened is down to goalkeeper Adrian.
The Spaniard was brought in because first choice Joe Hart is on loan from Man City and so ineligible to play. It’s turned out to be a welcome consolation for the new boss.
Adrian produced a sterling display in goal and now Moyes has to make a tough choice ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime match against Premier League champions Chelsea.
What a bold decision to drop the England goalkeeper. Is Moyes brave enough to do what Pep Guardiola did?
And what does it say for Joe Hart if he gets axed the week after the World Cup draw?
Ditched by a team stuck in the bottom three, a haunted side which has been leaking goals like an ocean liner made out of cheesecloth.
If he can’t get in that team where next for a keeper once touted as the best in the world?
Moyes himself cannot afford to get any decisions wrong over the next six months.
The former Manchester United manager is banking on saving West Ham to save his own reputation. After public failures at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland he’s running out of chances.
And with the club’s precarious position in the Premier League table just a point off the bottom, there is no room to miss the target the way West Ham striker Diafra Sakho did so blatantly in the dying minutes of Sunday’s match.
Any slip ups and Moyes as a management brand goes down with the ship.
Wind the clock back to last Wednesday evening at Goodison Park and recall how Joe Hart’s rash clearance humped the ball straight to Wayne Rooney inside his own half.
The former England striker with legs of lead at the age of 31 was able to scoop a shot into West Ham’s net for a goal he scored with the ‘sweetest’ strike of a ball he has ever managed.
As it was against West Ham it will no doubt be considered one of his easiest. Hart has made some great saves this season while on loan.
But he has not done anything that Adrian hadn’t done before him for The Hammers. Anyone foolish enough to goal in goal for West Ham knows they will be busy and at some point will be called upon to make world class saves while the rest of the team is producing Sunday League football.
Forget all the stuff about it being one of the best dilemmas a manager can have. It’s one thing shifting around the midfield, defence or forward line. But it’s another dumping England’s number one goalkeeper who is being paid £120,000 a week.
This is the week when Moyes will either start his own journey back to redemption with a brave call on his teamsheet or make a complete hash of it, pick the wrong man and watch his team and his own reputation crumble as a result.