Moncur letting defence off the hook

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John Moncur is surely letting West Ham’s current defence off the hook by effectively blaming their shortcomings on the fact goalkeeper Roberto doesn’t inspire confidence.

The Hammers legend was running through the club’s current problems, given their recent winless run that stretches six matches and singled out Roberto for criticism.

Moncur claimed that Roberto, while avoiding naming him, had hurt the Hammers big time due to being a huge disappointment since replacing the injured Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks.

The former Hammers player pointed out that Roberto’s poor performances were causing the back-four to be uncertain with their positioning and was causing them to have no confidence in their ability.

“The goalkeeping has been a huge disappointment. It’s not a position where you can get away with it, and that’s hurt us big time. It’s running through the back four – there’s uncertainty with positioning, and no confidence,” Moncur told LoveSport Radio.

While Roberto has struggled, shown by the fact he has kept 0 clean sheets and conceded 12 goals in his 6 league outings, which clearly would make the Hammers’ back-four uncomfortable, he can’t be directly and completely blamed for their struggles.

The Hammers’ back-four in the 3-0 loss against Burnley, Ryan Fredericks, Aaron Cresswell, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena could have done better regardless of who was between the sticks when looking at their stats on WhoScored.

Fredericks may have made three tackles but he was wasteful when on the ball as only one of his nine attempted long balls forward found their mark, which means Burnley were able to quickly launch another attack.

Diop, while defensively strong against the Clarets, he did make five interceptions and three interceptions, did contribute to the problems at times, as he was sloppy with his passes as only 72.1% of his passes found their mark.

Cresswell made only one tackle, one interception and one clearance, which is concerning, and clearly he could have done more to protect Roberto.

Balbuena had a nightmare of a display as while he did make six clearances, he saw just two of his attempted nine long balls forward find their mark so was guilty of giving possession away cheaply.

While the Paraguayan centre-back’s biggest blunder was down to Roberto as he threw the ball at him, which led to him miscontrolling it which in turn allowed Chris Wood a one-on-one chance which he scored from, it’s not like he played like a deer in the headlights after that moment due to fearing what his keeper was going to do.

So while the Hammers may have conceded less in their recent games with Fabianski between the sticks, and he likely instilled confidence in his defence, it’s too easy just to put all the blame on Roberto for the club’s defensive woes.

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