Phil Parkes: Fabianski can play until 40 but he needs to see off Areola challenge

I don’t think Areola will be an automatic starter because Fabianski has been really good for West Ham

The signing of Alphonse Areola from Paris Saint-Germain on loan could be the biggest threat Lukasz Fabianski has faced for the number one spot in his time at West Ham.

At the age of 28, Areola has eight years on Fabianski and I like that he’s already got a year in the Premier League under his belt at Fulham. 

With the arrival of Areola, I can see Darren Randolph leaving now because I’m sure he wants first team football and he’s now further down the pecking order than he’s ever been.

For me, I think the problem with Randolph is that he is too similar to Fabianski so I don’t think he really challenges him. Fabianski needs someone to push him and I think Areola will do just that. 

But I don’t think Areola will be an automatic starter because Fabianski has been really good for West Ham and we really notice that when he gets injured, we don’t do so well. 

Areola needs to prove himself with the opportunities he gets, and it’s important he does get game time to ensure if Fabianski were to get injured, we know he is match ready.

I feel that Moyes is loyal to his players so I’m sure he would’ve brought Areola in and told him that Fabianski is his number one and that it was up to him to prove why he should take his place.

And I do feel like Fabianski has another three years in him. I don’t think ‘keepers today are overworked as much as I was in my day. 

We played a lot of games – I played 60 games in one year, and we wanted to play in every game because that was how we made money with appearance and win bonuses.

They don’t play as many games and they are also much fitter. If Fabianski has a desire to keep going, then I do think he could go on at this level until he is 40

Looking ahead to this season, and my hope is that we don’t make last season a one-off. 

I hope that we can continue to consistently perform well and keep away from relegation. 

We did it last year and I’m sure every fan will agree with me that not having to worry about relegation was amazing.

There’s always high and lows in every season but we performed well, and played some good football last season and we need to continue this into this campaign.

You always want to improve on the season before but after finishing sixth last season, I think finishing sixth again should be seen as an improvement.

Getting fifth or breaking into the top four will be hard, but we should be looking to be in the mix to finish best of the rest like Everton do every season.

My fear for this season, however, is that every time we have a good season, the following season is poor and we really need to avoid this. I don’t want us to fall back into that habit.

We all know that once you get into a dogfight to avoid relegation, it’s hard to get yourself out of it.

Finally, I really enjoyed watching England in the Euros this summer and I felt like we have never had a better chance of winning this tournament.

Everything fell into place for us. Even in the final we had a great chance to win it on penalties with us being ahead until Rashford’s miss.

And I must say I felt sorry for Pickford in that penalty shootout. As you know, I’m not his biggest fan but he never lets England down – even if he should’ve saved Denmark’s goal.

But to save two penalties in a shootout and be on the losing side is really unlucky. Usually if you save two, you win.

As for our last two penalties, I’m 71 in August and I could’ve saved the last two. 

I felt like Southgate did get a number of things wrong in the tournament and certainly one of them was letting the youngsters take those penalties. 

The pressure was enormous on them and I feel that it was maybe unfair on them.

But having said that, if we’d won, I think every Italian would have felt an injustice as Italy were the best side throughout the tournament. 

I also felt Southgate was wrong taking Rice off in the final and replacing him with Henderson. Dec runs his socks off and gave his all in the final.

He was one of the best players in the final but he gets taken off and it changes the whole dynamic because Henderson was hopeless.

He took off someone who had the pace of the game and replaced him with someone who was two yards off the pace.

He also needed to get Grealish on sooner. There was a moment where he was in the box, surrounded by three Italian defenders and they were all scared to go near him.

But instead, Southgate brought on Saka who looked like a rabbit in headlights for most of the time he was on.

The final and the tournament as a whole, however, can only do Dec good. You look at the side now and he is one of the first names on the team sheet.

We also looked better with Maguire back in the defence and actually with Walker, Stones and Shaw and Rice with Phillips, we’ve probably got one of the best defences / back six in international football.

It all bodes well for the World Cup next year. It’s just a shame we don’t have a playmaker like Pirlo was for Italy or Modric for Croatia.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.