The Sky Sports pundit was asked about the possibility of the shot-stopper being dropped and suggested the keeper’s confidence could end up being damaged to such a degree, that he may not be able to recover.
Mills stated that Pellegrini perhaps just needed to remain patient with Roberto as he implied it was potentially harmful to drop a keeper on the back of one bad display.
“Sometimes, if you drop the goalkeeper because of one bad game, sometimes there needs to be (patience). You can damage confidence very, very quickly and he might not come back from that,” Mills told Football Insider when asked about axing Roberto.
“Sometimes you just need to bite your tongue and through gritted teeth go: ‘He’s had a bad game, it’s not happening, work hard in training.’ Sometimes when things aren’t going your way you need a goalkeeper with experience.
“It happens, it happens to the best of them.”
Roberto is yet to keep a clean sheet for the Hammers and eyebrows were raised over his performance against Newcastle, so discussing him being dropped isn’t the wildest discussion to have. After all, if the Spaniard played in any other position, he’d probably be grabbing a cushion to get comfortable on the bench as he would have known himself that his display on Saturday wasn’t up to scratch. The 33-year-old, who has conceded nine goals in his first five Premier League appearances, should have denied Newcastle United playmaker Jonjo Shelvey scoring from a free-kick, as it didn’t look like the hardest effort to stop, and he could have done better to stop enforcer Federico Fernandez scoring too. However, Mills is spot-on. Roberto being dropped could shatter any self-belief he has and he’ll be unusable for the rest of the campaign. With Lukasz Fabianski out injured still, Nathan Trott out on loan, there’s also a question mark whether dropping Roberto is worthwhile, as you feel Pellegrini will have no choice but to play David Martin. The Englishman has never played in the Premier League and hasn’t played once in any competition for the senior side, so will be rusty. Then again Martin did manage four clean sheets in 10 league outings for Championship outfit Millwall last season, and that’s not anything to be sniffed at.