West Ham keeper showing he is number one
PUBLISHED: 13:30 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:30 25 September 2018
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Hammers' Lukasz Fabianski is imporoving with every game
Sunday’s match had just moved into injury time when one of the vital moments arrived.
Ross Barkley looked to curl one into the net from 25 yards, but West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski flew across goal to push the ball out for a corner.
It was the icing on the cake for an accomplished performance from the Poland keeper.
When he first arrived at the London Stadium there were those, including this reporter, who questioned whether he was a better option than Adrian.
He cost only £7 million and in the friendly at Ipswich he looked nervous at crosses and unwilling to catch the ball.
Five games in and he looks a different player. It has been a tough time, but he is coming out the other side stronger and Sunday saw his first clean sheet.
“It is my first clean sheet this season and it took a while,” he smiled after Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea.
“It is always pleasing. I am a new player for this club and I wanted to start well and clean sheets give you that extra something.”
Hard work has been the key for Fabianski in their last two games more than anything else.
West Ham changed their formation at Everton to include three defensive midfielders and kept the same line-up on Sunday, but for the keeper that was only a secondary reason for success.
“That is one reason,” he added. “But the other one is that we learned after the Wolves game, we need to work harder.
“It is not just about formation, we really have to put more effort in to make sure we get something out of the games.”
It almost did on Sunday as West Ham had the chances to snatch all three points.
“If you look at the chances we created and especially Andriy’s one, we can be disappointed that we didn’t take one of them,” said the former Swansea man.
“But you have to respect the point, especially against a team like Chelsea.
“They put us under a lot of pressure, but we dealt with it. We based our tactics on the counter-attack and we knew we were getting some chances.”
It could have been a tougher afternoon. Playing against the Blues without top scorer Marko Arnautovic could have gone horribly wrong, but for Fabianski, he was just looking at the positives.
“Marko is very important, but it just meant a chance for someone else to do a job,” he said.
“I think we have a pretty strong squad and we can’t approach a game by saying losing one player is a blow.”
West Ham seem to be gelling into a team under Manuel Pellegruni and it looks like both Fabianski and the boys have turned the corner.