Reliable West Ham keeper restores calm after opening-day mauling
PUBLISHED: 14:58 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:10 20 August 2019
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Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski bounces back from Man City game
For a goalkeeper, it doesn't get much worse than conceding five goals on your own ground on the opening day of the new season.
None of those Manchester City goals were the fault of Lukasz Fabianski, but for the Hammer of the Year, it really hurt.
"Last weekend, to lose at home in such a manner, conceding five goals, it was not nice," admitted the Polish stopper with customary understatement.
"You always want to bounce back as soon as you can and that is what we did."
The 34-year-old made some decent saves early on at Brighton on Saturday as the team battled to a 1-1 draw for their first point of the campaign.
Though he accepted that it was not the best display he had seen from the team.
"It was a tough game," he said. "They created more clear chances, but we managed to score a goal and get a draw.
"It was maybe not the best football we have played over 90 minutes, but there were some little patches in the game that we can be pleased with."
One thing that did not help Fabianski and the rest of the defence were the changes that manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to make.
He left out both Fabian Balbuena and Aaron Cresswell and brought in Angelo Ogbonna as the new captain and Arthur Masuaku at left-back.
So what were the tactics at the Amex?
"We tried to put more pressure on the ball, that was one of the issues we struggled with against City," added Fabianski.
"It is almost impossible to do it for 90 minutes, but there were times when we did put pressure on Brighton and that helped us defend better."
Despite a start to the season that has gleaned just one point from two games, the keeper believes this Hammers squad can go a long way this season if they can find their top form.
"Quality wise we have a very decent team and squad," he insisted. "But it is about performances.
"You cannot only look at the names of the players in the team, you have to perform every single week and that is what we are going to be judged by."
That was the crucial thing about Fabianski last season. He was consistent from start to finish and unlike Adrian. who turned from hero to villain in less than a week, the Pole is someone they can rely on.
He was spared one goal on Saturday by VAR, but in general he is happy with the new system.
"It is tricky," he said. "We have had some decisions for and against us. Against Brighton, it was not as disturbing as it was against City.
"The pace of the game was not disturbed so much and if it stays like that, I am ok with that."
He also thinks it is better for the referee who is not constantly surrounded by player protests.
"Sometimes you go to the ref and ask him, but it is difficult because in one ear he has to listen to what the people are telling him.
"As a player you cannot just push him and get the answer straight away. So far it looks like it is easier for the referee because he does not get crowded by the players like in previous seasons."
Clearly it still has its teething problems. If only everything was as reliable as Fabianski.