West Ham goalkeeper David Martin has a chance of getting into the Hammers’ first-team for the clash with Tottenham but there is a catch.
Football Insider reported on Wednesday that Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini was set to trial the shot-stopper by playing him in goal for the first-team during training over the course of the current international break.
The football outlet claim that Pellegrini, despite defending current first-choice keeper Roberto, has changed his mind behind-the-scenes and may promote Martin into his starting XI for the showdown with Spurs if he makes a good impression in training.
However while the 33-year-old is probably beside himself over potentially being able to earn a chance to make his first-ever appearance for the London club, his ego is surely set to suffer a blow.
After all, for him to effectively be put on trial behind-the-scenes at his own club surely undermines the career he has had.
Martin may have never played in the Premier League, despite a previously long-stint at Liverpool, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t proven himself to be a capable keeper at a decent level.
The veteran has played 48 times in the Championship, keeping 15 clean sheets and conceding 58 goals in the process, and racked up 99 clean sheets, while letting in 315 goals, in the 282 appearances he made in League One.
While those stats aren’t exactly overwhelming good, especially when you consider the Premier League is a step up, the Hammers surely knew what they were getting when they signed him on a free transfer in the summer after his Millwall contract expired.
It’s also not like Martin hasn’t proven that he can shine when being thrown in a side’s team after a long period without senior football.
Last season, Millwall ended up having to turn to the 33-year-old at the tail-end of the campaign and he racked up four clean sheets, while only letting in nine goals, in their last 10 league games of the season.
Aside from those 10 appearances, Martin had been an unused substitute in 15 league games and had failed to make the London club’s matchday squad in the other 21 Championship matches of their 2018/19 campaign.
There’s also the fact that Pellegrini had no qualms, though his hands were forced by Lukasz Fabianski’s injury, about throwing Roberto into his first-team without any Premier League experience, and the only English football he had ever tasted before that was in the EFL Cup.
So with that in mind, you can’t help but think Pellegrini’s behind-the-scenes plan for Martin is a little embarrassing for him and if anything, a bit of a kick to his potentially already undermined ego.