In truth, the final day was nothing more than a procession for the Hammers, and all of the pressure was on visitors Aston Villa, who secured survival with the 1-1 draw. However, there were a few lessons to be learnt from West Ham’s performances which David Moyes must consider over the summer.
Lukasz Fabianski conceded an incredibly soft Villa opener, which added to his errors leading to goals in the Premier League this season. In total, the Polish goalkeeper has now made three mistakes which have caused the opposition to score, and only Martin Dubravka, five, and Jordan Pickford, four, have made more errors leading to goals in the top-flight this term. To exacerbate the issue, former goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez also made two costly errors which led to the opposition scoring this term, and David Martin has done so once.
All of the Irons’ goalkeepers have struggled for consistency this season, and Fabianski has shown signs of a decline, keeping just five clean sheets, his lowest total in the division since 2013/14. Additionally, the 35-year-old has conceded 1.36 goals per game, 34 in total, during his 25 Premier League appearances this term. Fabianski’s dwindling clean sheets, coupled with leaking over a goal a game should be concerning signs for Moyes and an indication that he may need to consider replacing the veteran.
West Ham’s three goalkeepers, still with the club, that have appeared in the Premier League this season are all in their 30’s, and first choice Fabianski is the oldest of the trio. Transfer rumours have linked Roma’s Spanish goalkeeper Pau Lopez with a switch to London from the Italian capital, and he is precisely the age bracket, and level of experience West Ham should be looking for.
Fabianski has made 72 saves this season, the 16th most of any goalkeeper in the top-flight, which considering he missed 14 matches of the season with a hip injury is not a bad haul. While his time in the top-flight is not over, at 35, his days are numbered, and the Hammers must begin preparations for a successor.
Had West Ham’s survival been on the line during the clash with Aston Villa, Fabianski could have cost the Hammers their top-flight status. The Pole is showing signs of ageing, and Moyes must consider finding an alternative between the sticks.