Revealed: Under-fire West Ham man to start v Sheffield United & set for extended run in XI
Roberto is set to continue in the West Ham goal against Sheffield United on Saturday and will be given an extended run in the team, Football Insider has learned.
Manuel Pellegrini will throw his full support behind the 33-year-old despite criticism from a significant section of supporters about his suitability as a replacement for the injured Lukasz Fabianski.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Pellegrini will stick with Roberto and is ready to trust him with a lengthy spell in the starting XI.
The manager regards the Spaniard as superior to David Martin, the other keeper signed in the summer following Adrian’s exit.
The Chilean is an admirer of Roberto’s shot-stopping, which came to the fore with some impressive reflex saves in last weekend’s 2-0 Premier League defeat to Everton.
But Pellegrini has misgivings over his kicking and flexibility, as well as the positioning which led to criticism from West Ham fans in the aftermath of Saturday’s game.
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Roberto has started the last two league matches, defeats to Crystal Palace and Everton in which West Ham have conceded four goals and looked more shaky than previously.
But he has plenty of top-level experience, accumulated through more than 300 matches in Spain, Portugal and Greece.
He has won three league titles with Olympiacos and also boasts Champions League experience.