No need for West Ham to offer veteran a new deal

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Jussi Jaaskelainen fouls Chelsea's OscarHe’s out of contract in the summer, but should Finland’s number one Jussi Jääskeläinen stay on West Ham’s books? For me, it’s probably time to let him go.

Although Jussi was brilliant in his first season with us, this campaign he has seen Adrian snatch the starting place from him, and doing bloody well too. Adrian is a younger keeper who is more agile than Jussi, and will hopefully be our number 1 for a very long time to come.

Jussi is 38 now, and he’s not as reactive to shots as he used to be. He also has issues with catching the ball, often seeming to shy away from this by palming or punching it out and causing another goal-bound threat. We do have two other keepers in the forms of Raphael Spiegel and Stephen Henderson, who could step into Adrian’s boots if needed. Henderson would be the most obvious replacement, and his loan at Bournemouth (although not going as planned) seemed to show that he was being prepared for that role.

Saying that, as Jussi has so much experience, it may be an idea to keep him on to become a guiding figure to the younger keepers Henderson and Spiegel – even if he won’t be playing, he has a wealth of experience to offer them and could be of use to the club in this way. There is also the argument that he helped us get to our huge amount of clean sheets this season, so would probably provide valuable cover if needed. With Henderson still injured with a dislocated shoulder after his loan move to AFC Bournemouth, it may be worth keeping Jääskeläinen for one more season.

For me though, I think the fact we do have two other keepers means that one should always be a clear replacement for Adrian if needed, and we can afford to let Jussi go. What do you think? Should we extend Jussi’s contract, or rely on Spiegel and Henderson if Adrian gets injured? Let me know by leaving a comment or tweeting @alwaysintune.

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  • ClaretandBlueArmy says:

    Tricky one that, first thoughts are that Jussi makes an excellent 2nd choice keeper with his wealth of experience – who knows, is Adrian’s form a flash in the pan ? But, when you take into account his age (and agility) it may be time to turn to a younger alternative and keep him on as a goalkeeper coach. As my 6yr old son says about Jussi – “He always lets one rubbish goal in first and then he’s beast ! ” – which to be fair has been the case on an number of occasions this season.

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