Written by Steve Eisner @1westhamfan

A number of fans have lost faith in Adrian, and believe we can do better.  While I was upset at his rush of blood vs Stoke (1-1) last November, which cost us a victory and the possibility to have ended 8th in the table on 48 points, I believe he finished very strongly when he returned at the close season.  It seems his time on the bench gave him an opportunity to reflect on his shortcomings and to refocus his mentality.  He is clearly a fiery competitor and losing his place to Randolph surely provided him with extra motivation to regain – and maintain – his place.

Adrian impresses me with his shot-stopping, his ability to command his 6 yard box, and his love for the club.  I believe he is a world class goalkeeper when his mind is right and when he has a settled defense in front of him, which we did not have for most of this last year. Others have well covered the reasons for our unsettled defence of 2016-17. I will not go right back to those reasons. Yes, pun intended.

I know that good goalkeepers don’t become poor goalkeepers overnight, so I decided to look back on our outstanding 2015-16 season when Adrian was our #1.  I compared his save percentage to other PL goalkeepers who played at least 20 games.  The statistics that follow show save percentage and the ratio of saves-to-shots:

Name  (2015-16)        SV%     SV*/S**

Cech (ARS)                  .253     99/391

Gomes (WAT)              .244     122/499

Butland (STK)              .241     102/423

Hart (MC)                    .239     71/296

Guzan (AV)                  .239     89/372

Howard (EVE)              .236     81/343

Courtois (CHE)            .234     66/281

Fabianski (SWA)          .226     14/503

ADRIAN (WHU)           .22       101/458

Lloris (TOT)                 .21       87/413

Myhill (WBA)              .206     66/320

DeGea (MU)                .205     80/379

Mignolet (LIV)             .204     70/342

Elliot (NEW)                .20       58/290

Hennessey (CP)           .198     79/397

Boruc (BOR)                .195     73/374

Ruddy (NOR)               .193     67/346

Schmeichel (LEI)         .193     100/516

* – Source: Fox Sports (http:// http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/stats?competition=1&season=20150&category=GOALKEEPING&pos=Goalie&team=0&isOpp=0&sort=8&sortOrder=0

** – Shots not Shots on Goal

As you see, Adrian came in 9th out of 18, and above such big-name goalkeepers like Lloris and DeGea.

In sum, I maintain my faith in Adrian, and at 30 years of age and with the right tactics and personnel employed to provide the proper protection in front of him, I’m confident he can remain a top PL goalkeeper.  Although some may disagree, statistics show that he was in fact a top PL goalkeeper in 2015-16. Like tables, statistics don’t’ lie.

And good goalkeepers don’t become poor goalkeepers overnight.