The Spaniard was bought in on a free from Espanyol last summer, but has utterly failed to fill the void of crucial number one ‘keeper Lukasz Fabianski while the Pole has been out injured. Inkersole isn’t a fan.
“On the one hand, the Spaniard has proved to be a more than capable shot stopper, he’s made 31 of them so far in his six appearances since replacing Fabianski,” he wrote on the Football London website.
“On the other hand, he is a liability, prone to at least one error per game and they are costing the team massively. His display at Burnley was horrendous but summed up what he is – a keeper who can make saves but cannot be trusted.”
That last sentence from Inkersole encapsulates the strange paradox that is Roberto Jimenez Gago. The 33-year-old isn’t actually a bad shot-stopper, but he has none of the alertness, commanding presence or reliable decision-making necessary in a top ‘keeper. He’s tried hard to marshal the West Ham goal, but he’s simply not good enough. His performance against Burnley last Saturday was one of the single worst goalkeeping displays that many of us have ever witnessed. There’s no doubt that he was directly at fault for at least two of the three goals in the wretched 3-0 defeat. He’s terrible when the ball is in the air, seemingly being put off by the slightest nudge, and his gloves are anything but sticky. As per WhoScored.com, he is making an average of five saves per game this term, yet 1.8 of those are shots from outside the box. So while more of his saves are from inside the penalty area, it’s not by a massive margin. So he’s not being overloaded by efforts that are impossible to keep out, yet he continues to concede.