Adrian San Miguel has had a frustrating season at West Ham United. After starting the season as the first choice keeper, Adrian was dropped before the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur in November, and has only appeared in FA Cup match against Manchester City in 2017 before this weekend’s draw with Everton at the London Stadium. It was somewhat of a surprise to see him start, and ever more of a surprise to see him keep a clean sheet against high scoring Everton this weekend.
Adrian has only featured 15 times for West Ham this season, and only 12 times in the League. Adrian had been the first choice keeper at West Ham for a number of seasons, appearing over a 100 times for West Ham, after transferring from Real Betis in La Liga. He had been the starter since the end of the 2013-14 season, replacing previous starter Jussi Jääskeläinen. Adrian, despite the low number of Premier League starts this season, has been in goal for four of the Hammers eight Premier League clean sheets, the same number as the player who replaced him as the starter, Ireland international keeper Darren Randolph.
While Randolph started out his run in goal with a number of good performances, his form as of late dipped significantly. His errors in goal against Sunderland resulted in both goals, with the final error seemingly to finally be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Randolph has always been a goalkeeper that at times makes the impossible save look sublime while also making the easy, simple save look impossible. The game against Liverpool earlier in the season is a good example of this kind of performance, where he saved a certain goal, while also letting in an absolute clunker of a goal.
Slaven Bilic is infamous for his stubbornness and his unwillingness to let players out of the doghouse. Ashley Fletcher has been absent for large parts of the season, despite being a young player with a bright future. Arthur Masuaku had to wait for Aaron Cresswell to be injured before supplanting him as the first choice left back, even after Cresswell played poorly for months. And Sam Byram was stapled to the bench after injuries and a night to forget against Manchester City, despite being the only right back that was fit on the roster.
So does this mean that Adrian has won his job back from Darren Randolph? Adrian has had a decent career at West Ham, and while he is 30 years old, he still has a number of good years ahead of him. It has been rumored all season that club has been looking for a new goalkeeper, and if both Randolph and Adrian keep struggling, perhaps a new keeper will be in the works for the Hammers during the summer transfer window. However, with Randolph’s recent struggles, Adrian needs a chance to win his job back and needs to start the rest of the games down the stretch for the Hammers.