Manuel Pellegrini finally made the decision to replace West Ham United stopper Roberto against Chelsea after weeks of mistakes from the summer signing.
David Martin was eventually given the nod against Chelsea and kept the Hammers’ first clean sheet in more than two months in the 1-0 victory.
The former Millwall stopper broke down in tears at the full-time whistle, but Pellegrini was quick to share the praise to his defence instead of getting carried away for the keeper.
Paul Robinson has heaped praise on Martin for his display at Stamford Bridge, revealing how much he will have had to concentrate on his Premier League debut.
“Concentration is a big thing for a goalkeeper and quite often, people don’t understand, after games you come off with a banging headache as you concentrate so hard and you’re so focused on the game, your concentration levels are a point where you have to blank everything out around you.
“You could see his outburst at the end, obviously it was such a big game for him and such a big day for him and it was really nice to see.”
Robinson’s comments prove that the keeper is getting the credit he finally deserves after Pellegrini shared the praise, but the truth is, without Martin, the Hammers could well have lost.
The 33-year-old made a fantastic double stop to keep out Mateo Kovacic and Oliver Giroud, and in his current form, it is hard to suggest that Roberto would have been able to do the same in the London derby.
Martin has had to rely on the goalkeeping union in Robinson to get the praise he deserves after coming in for his debut against the fourth-best attack in the league and keeping a clean sheet in a remarkable effort.