There has been no player operating in the Premier League this season who has earned as much vociferous criticism – deserved, mind – than West Ham United goalkeeper Roberto.
The 33-year-old was brought in by the Hammers last summer to serve as first choice shot-stopper Lukasz Fabianski’s back-up, but the injury suffered by the Poland international in September thrust the Spaniard into the limelight.
Since then he has produced a string of historically awful performances that finally culminated in his benching for debutant David Martin against Chelsea last Saturday.
The former Millwall man produced an assured display that will likely see him retain the starting spot until Fabianski returns to action in late December/January.
Indeed, reliable Hammers news source Claret & Hugh reported on Wednesday that Roberto is now likely to be sat on the sidelines – not even the substitute’s bench – for the remainder of this season and possibly the next campaign as well.
That is news that will have the West Ham faithful thanking their lucky stars. They don’t deserve to suffer through more of the former Espanyol man’s pathetic attempts at goalkeeping.
He doesn’t deserve to be handed domestic cup ties or odd Premier League games, certainly not at Martin’s expense. The bare facts are that in nine games for the Irons he has conceded 20 goals [Source: WhoScored.com].
Not all of that is on him, of course. The defence and midfield hasn’t played well in recent months either, but you could see the difference when the Englishman was in goal at Stamford Bridge compared to when Roberto has been manning the sticks.
With that said, the news that he is likely going to be shunned by manager Manuel Pellegrini for the foreseeable future is absolutely tremendous news for the West Ham supporters.