The Biggest Selection Change Needed For West Ham vs. Brentford

West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)
West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images) /

David Moyes has been nothing if not loyal to his regular first-team selections. Despite poor form from his team, the regular role players have kept their spots regardless of the team’s performances. This needs to change now with one position needing a refresh immediately – the keeper.

Lukasz Fabianski was not the sole reason West Ham lost to Arsenal. Still, his poor effort on the second goal greatly contributed to the momentum swinging towards Arsenal in the second half.

A near post shot that should be stopped every time managed to blast past Fabianski and with it, any chance at a point at the Emirates slipped away from the Hammers who were defending well up to that point. Heads dropped, momentum fully swung Arsenal’s way and the match was lost.

A spark is needed in the first team for West Ham and it could start by refreshing the keeper against Brentford.

Often remembered for his shaky times at Arsenal and his steady heroics at Swansea, Fabianski has now played 155 matches for West Ham, the most for any one club in his career. The 37-year-old keeper has one more season after this year left on his contract, but it is time to move on from the Polish keeper as the number one selection.

If not, why did David Moyes and West Ham sign Alphone Areola this offseason? Backstopping the Hammers to a wonderfully exciting Europa League semifinal last season, Areola earned a permanent move this summer in a £7.75m move from PSG.

All signs pointed to Areola taking the reigns from Fabianski in the Premier League, but that has yet to happen. Instead, Areola has been made the Cup and Europa Conference League keeper where he’s played nine matches and kept four clean sheets.

Simply put, Areola is far too good to be West Ham’s Cup keeper. He proved it last season, the club went out and invested in him this summer, yet again he is banished to second-team football.

Fabianski hasn’t been bad in his starting role, but the overall performance level is beginning to drop with more should-be-saves finding their way into the net. Maybe he’s been living off of the credit of a few saved penalties (which he has one of this season and three from last year) I don’t know anymore and can’t justify it.

Areola spent his December in Qatar representing defending World Cup champions France as their backup keeper. Originally elated by a permanent transfer, Areola must be asking questions about his value as seen by the club after outplaying Fabianski two years running.

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A keeper change against Brentford won’t likely make massive waves in the first team, but it could signal that changes are coming to underperforming regulars. Should this change take place it could instigate more form-based changes from the manager and light some much-needed fires under regular underperforming first teamers.