Randolph vs Adrian: The battle for the no.1 spot

Currently at West Ham we have two, premier league quality goalkeepers. They are both worthy of a starting spot, which is why fans are split on who should be in between the sticks come the Chelsea game. Both have their pros and cons, and come up fairly equal when compared, which is why it’s so hard to choose between them…but I’ll try anyway.

Initially, I’ll talk about Darren Randolph. He’s a very solid keeper, excellent at commanding his box, as well as stamping his authority on his back line. He communicates well and seems to have a knack of getting off his line at just the ideal time. During our 2-1 FA Cup loss at the Boleyn to Manchester United, Randolph prevented many one-on-ones from developing, rushing the striker before he had the chance to strike at goal. I think all fans can agree with me when I say I feel assured with Darren in goal, he instills confidence in his teammates with consistent performances – bringing a ‘what you see is what you get’ quality to the back line. The one negative I have about Randolph is that perhaps he doesn’t make outstanding saves often enough, something his counterpart Adrian does offer.

Adrian is an unpredictable goalkeeper to say the least, ┬ásometimes shocking you with an unbelievable save, only to then five minutes later pass the ball straight to the opposition striker, allowing him a free strike at his goal. He doesn’t have as stable, or as calm a head as Randolph, and that does lead to a lack of confidence when he’s in net. Adrian also brings a lot of passion, always wearing his heart firmly on his sleeve, ready to sacrifice anything for the team. For that reason, alongside his goalkeeping ability, when he was brought in on a free a few years ago – he was an instant hit. Fans loved his appetite for the art of goalkeeping, and motivation to achieve in the name of the club. Last season he and Winston Reid almost single-handedly beat Man City at the Etihad for us, coming up with some outstanding saves, preventing almost certain goals. Performances such as that, and his attitude towards the game, means it will be very hard to dislodge him from his no.1 spot on our premier league weekends.

Now hopefully I’ve laid out both’s pros and cons out as fairly as possible. As well as highlighting how closely matched the two are in skill level, and in doing so, how hard the decision between the two is for Slav and fans alike. To conclude, Adrian is a fine shot stopper, and I love the passion he brings to the side; however, I’d chose Randolph for the no.1 spot for the following key qualities he possesses: he is quick off his line, closing the striker’s angles well. He also is a calm, reliable head at the back and assures quality performances every time he steps out onto the pitch. Finally, he commands his box well, communicating when a ball is his, and when it’s his centre half’s to clear out. Which is very important in combating cross heavy opposition tactics. So sorry Adrian, Randolph is getting the nod from me. Saying all that, it’s what Slav thinks that matters, what are your opinions on his decision making so far in this pre-season and transfer window?

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet me @Will_8_WHU.

Will Pocock

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