Darren Randolph was given the chance to impress this season when first-choice goalkeeper Adrian was suspended, and Joey O’Brien has praised his abilities whilst speaking to the official West Ham website.
The defender said: “Darren is a laid back guy. I think that helps him quite a lot. Earlier in the season he got an opportunity and had three games where he did very well. He was our best player against Bournemouth even though we got beat; it could have been a real cricket score without him. To come on and to perform to the level that he did was outstanding.”
Randolph, an international teammate of O’Brien with the Republic of Ireland, was heavily criticised when signed by West Ham over the summer.
He had failed to ever truly impress at Birmingham, and his signing as a back-up keeper was seen as proof that the Hammers would be relying upon Adrian for the campaign.
However, the Spanish stopper was sent off in the defeat to Leicester earlier in the campaign, and Randolph, 28, was thrust into the starting line-up for three consecutive games.
Prior to the games, many fans were expressing their belief that Randolph would cost the Hammers valuable points, but the Irishman actually put in a fantastic performance in his league debut against Bournemouth.
The Irons lost 4-3, but Randolph was one of few good players, and he followed that performance up by keeping two consecutive clean sheets in wins over Liverpool and Newcastle.
O’Brien was impressed with Randolph, especially in the Bournemouth loss, and the defender has admitted that the goalkeeper’s laid back nature is vital to his ability to come in from the cold and take a starting role.
Fears may have existed about Randolph when he was signed, but after his impressive performances, there are no doubts that he can replace Adrian if called upon again this term.