David Moyes is asking for trouble juggling his goalkeepers

West Ham United's Scottish manager David Moyes gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Chelsea at The London Stadium, in east...

David Moyes has declared that he will allow his two goalkeepers: Joe Hart and Adrian, compete to be West Ham's first-choice goalkeeper.

Sunderland's Scottish manager David Moyes gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in London on May...

If this were pre-season, then sure that would be a very sensible strategy. Even if this were the first month or so of the season you could perhaps understand Moyes wanting to see what he has.

But this is the middle of December and West Ham are in the middle of a relegation dogfight. This is where they need consistency, not the uncertainty of which of their two stoppers will be in the net.

"I hope Adrian keeps playing well. There will be games for Joe. Adrian is going to to have to play well. I am really fortunate to have two goalkeepers competitive," Moyes said, boggling the mind.

Adrian San Miguel of West Ham United during the Pre Season Friendly match between Peterborough United and West Ham United at London Road Stadium on July 11, 2015 in Peterborough, England.

Competition between outfield places is something you often want in a side. There's 10 spots up for grabs, after all, thus there's plenty of room for a player to find minutes even if his primary position is taken (see: James Milner's secondary career as Liverpool's left-back or Javier Mascherano as Barcelona centre-back).

But goalkeepers are different. Idiosyncratic beings, they are in need of more support than your average outfielder. They stand alone on the field, only one can play after all. And they're rarely if ever substituted too so there's no hope found in sitting on the bench.

Giant clubs on the continent have taken the approach of using their second choice goalkeeper in domestic cup competitions, and sure that's fine, but the second choice is often a clear second.

When they're not, such as with Marc-André Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo at Barcelona, the player who doesn't start every week in the league often gets angsty and desires more. This happened with Ter Stegen and was a big reason Barcelona sold Bravo to Manchester City.

Barcelona's Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (L) and Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (R) take part in a training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper...

But sure, for two years Barcelona did make it work (as did Real Madrid in 2013/14 when Iker Casillas only played the Copa del Rey and Champions League, winning both). But those were short finite periods, and they were Barcelona and Real Madrid, two clubs at least twice the size of Newcastle. West Ham are far from having the kind of clout to pull off a move like that, nor do they have the quality back-up stopper to justify it anyway.

Adrian is a tall but limited goalkeeper, whilst Joe Hart is a genuinely top-class stopper who is just consistently error-prone. Moyes talks a big game, but putting a player as talented and vocal as Hart on the bench is not something that will benefit the team in the medium and long-term.

Joe Hart of West Ham United reacts during the Premier League match between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on November 29, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

Hart is the kind of big personality you could build a team around, a figure of relentless (and at times unwarranted) confidence, The kind of man that could foster a team spirit that would help West Ham avoid relegation. Adrian is a decent stopper. That's it.

The change worked in the short-term (Adrian played well against Manchester City and Chelsea) but we've seen what Adrian can deliver before, and he's not going to get much better. So it seems a sideways move.

Still, a sideways move made with enough conviction can be a powerful thing, but Moyes has done it so wishy washily. He's dropped Joe Hart, but then said Joe Hart will get back in later. What does that do to Hart's confidence? To Adrian's?

David Moyes would be better served on working with his team to ensure that they become a rugged defensive unit rather than tinkering with the very base of his team, creating uncertainty where there need be none.

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