Now that Slaven Bilić has thrown the proverbial curve-ball in with the signing of Joe Hart, Adrián must be wondering if he made the right decision by agreeing to the option of extending his contract.
Going into the pre-season training two weeks ago, Adrián looked set to continue fighting it out with Darren Randolph over who would be the first choice goalkeeper for the East London side.
“New season, new targets, new dreams;” he wrote on his twitter page as the Hammers returned to training. Two weeks later and everything is up in the air.
There’s nothing like football for unpredictability.
Darren Randolph must be feeling the same. Joe Hart hasn’t come to the London Stadium to sit on the bench.
At Newcastle, Rafa Benítez is said to favour a move for Adrián; although much of this will be speculation based on the Spanish connection.
Even though Rafa returned briefly to manage in Spain with Real Madrid, it’s conveniently forgotten that Adrián was a West Ham United player throughout that whole period.
The media often make assumptions based on the loosest of connections and this might turn out to be one of them.
We don’t know for certain what the situation is; and until such times as Slaven or the club issue a statement then everything is just rumour and speculation.
Although the transfer window still has a fair amount of time to run, clubs will want to get their squads sorted out ASAP. The goalkeeping position is vital; and as such filling that position is going to be well up the list for those who haven’t settled on who their number one will be as yet.
Adrián is certainly still highly thought of at his old club Real Betis. He gave a very emotive interview when he left the club in 2013; having spent his entire career there since joining as a youth.
With the exception of a couple of loan spells at Utrera and Alcalá, Adrián played most of his earlier football with Betis B before stepping up to the first team.
Betis fans remember things like that; but at that stage the time was right for Adrián to move on.
However, Adrián has had a great show of support from the West Ham fan-base over the last 48 hours which is encouraging for him.
Although Betis fans are monitoring the situation mainly out of interest, it appears that a lot of the Hammers support are actually getting behind Adrián.
Slaven Bilić won’t be able to keep all three goalkeepers happy. In truth, he’s probably not even going to bother trying; since neither Adrián nor Darren Randolph will likely entertain the thought of playing third fiddle in the season to come.
Anyway, the rotational approach just doesn’t work with goalkeepers. Unless you’re regularly playing at first team level the reactions are never really tested to the extent they need to be; and it’s so difficult to maintain that sharpness through training only.
Without having a regular game the reaction times can be slow; and that’s often why it’s obvious that someone hasn’t played for a while if they’re just returning from injury; especially when they have to take the field unexpectedly.
This week in the opening pre-season game in Austria, Adrián started the game against Sturm Graz with Darren Randolph replacing him for the second half. Slaven Bilić will probably mix things up a bit more against Fulham on Thursday and in the other matches thereafter but that’s what these pre-season games are for.
It will be interesting see what happens as soon as Joe Hart makes his debut. More so from the bench than from anywhere else.