Darren Bent has questioned the capability of West Ham United back-up goalkeeper Roberto after Lukasz Fabianski picked up an injury against Bournemouth.
The Spaniard replaced Fabianski midway through the first half of the 2-2 draw on Saturday and is expected to continue in goal with the Polish international ruled out for two months with a hip problem [BBC Sport].
Roberto has only started games in the Carabao Cup so far for the Hammers and conceded four goals as they crashed out in the third round against Oxford United recently.
The Sky Sports pundit admitted that West Ham can’t expect any miracles from Roberto, and cast doubt over whether he is prepared for the role.
“Fabianski, it’s massive,” Bent told Football Insider.
“When he was at Arsenal I was never convinced but to be fair to him, he’s been brilliant for West Ham. He makes save after save after save.”
“Their back four looks a lot more settled when he’s behind them, they look a lot calmer when he’s there. It’s a big blow for them, it’s a shame.”
“I’m not sure if West Ham’s number two is up to the task, he needs to be given time. They can’t expect miracles straight away.”
It would be a difficult task for any goalkeeper to replace Fabianski at this moment in time due to the Polish international’s great form in between the sticks. The 34-year-old appears to be getting better with age as his career continues, and is always reliable when called upon. It is no surprise to see Bent question whether or not Roberto will be up for the task of replacing the influential stopper, especially given his performance in the cup defeat away at Oxford. It wasn’t only Roberto who failed to catch the eye on that night, but the Spaniard certainly didn’t deserve any plaudits for his efforts. The 33-year-old didn’t appear to dive for any of the League One side’s goals in that clash, and wouldn’t have impressed Manuel Pellegrini with his performance. The Chilean also has doubts of his own regarding the keepers’ attributes [Football Insider], and if his manager doesn’t fully believe in him, then it only proves that West Ham fans could be in for a nervy couple of months following their team.