Phil Parkes: ‘Confidence key as battle to be West Ham’s number one takes strange new twist’

The arrival of Fabiański has led some to ask if our goalkeeping problem has now been resolved, but I'm not convinced.

The arrival of Lukasz FabiaÅ„ski has led some West Ham fans to ask if the goalkeeping problem we’ve had over the past couple of seasons has now been resolved. But I’m not convinced. The first thing that springs to mind is that I wouldn’t put him in the top 10 ‘keepers in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, he did well at Swansea. Yes they went down but that wasn’t his fault – he had a good season. He was also at Arsenal but he didn’t really get a chance there – 32 appearances in seven years speaks volumes. He was given the nod to play against Liverpool and his performance showed that he is probably ahead of Adrian in the competition to be our main man in goal but we will have to wait and see how he gets on.

As for Adrian, if he wants to make the jersey his own, he needs to up his game. It will be interesting to see who ends up being good enough to be our number one. It will be interesting to see who ends up being our number one for the majority of the season.

If the team gets over our defeat to Liverpool and can start picking up points then that helps grow confidence for ‘keepers — especially if there’s a clean sheet in the mix too and they’ve made some important saves. I won’t be building up or condemning FabiaÅ„ski just yet — I’ll wait to see how the first month or two goes. When he signed, it did feel like we’d brought him in as a short-term solution. I saw him a bit on the tele last season and he did do well and his signing gave me more confidence than that of Joe Hart last summer.

Goalkeepers should win you 10 to 12 points a season but for the past couple of seasons our goalkeepers haven’t done this. Hopefully with these two competing for the jersey, that will change. As for West Ham’s summer — what a lot of signings there have been! It’s a really nice change to what we’ve had to endure over the previous transfer windows.

It’s good news that the club have spent this money. I’m sure Pellegrini came here and said he’d only take the job if we spent money and helped him build a good side. And we have bought some quality players as oppose to us signing mediocre players or chasing five players and getting our fifth choice.

For West Ham fans, this must be the most excited we’ve all been about the start of a season for a long time. We have, however, got a tough start but you have to play every team twice and there will be a period in the season where we will have a run of games that can help us build momentum.

The other issue we face this month is how quickly our players gel. The more they play together, the better they will be together. One thing I would stress upon Pellegrini is to stick with a starting XI. Pre-season is the time for chopping and changing — not the first month of the season.

I am really looking forward to this season and seeing what happens and what we can achieve. Hopefully we can get into a position early on where the pressure won’t be on us all season and that we keep saying the next game is a must win.

There are quite a few teams who, like us, have spent a lot over the summer. Hopefully we can get into the top half – that would be a good season.

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