David Moyes must have been left slightly concerned after witnessing Darren Randolph prove wasteful in possession as the Republic of Ireland lost 4-2 on penalties to Slovakia on Thursday night.
It was agony for Stephen Kenny’s Boys in Green after 120 minutes in Bratislava as they played out their UEFA Euros Play-Off tie with a drab display featuring defensive resilience but offensive bluntness, which mostly kept Randolph quiet between the sticks.
Slovakia were held to just three shots on target from 12 efforts, with Ireland getting bodies in the way of three strikes and watching as six sailed wide of the post, per SofaScore. Ireland, themselves, only managed to direct three of their 13 shots on target, with five blocked and five directed wide.
Only one of Slovakia’s on-target efforts also came from within the box, as Randolph was left to make just two saves over regular and extra time. His stop of Ondrej Duda’s strike just before the break being the pick of the bunch, tipping an acrobatic volley out for a corner.
But in possession, Randolph struggled with just 16 accurate passes from 32 attempts, while failing to pick out a teammate with 15 of 20 attempted long balls as the 33-year-old turned possession over time and time again.
If Moyes ever finds himself needing to rely on Randolph to cover for Lukasz Fabianski in the Premier League, the Scot will be well aware of the threat the Irishman will pose to his own side with the Irons set to often be welcoming pressure back upon themselves.
Moyes has managed to tackle the start of the league season only needing to favour the £2.52m-rated shot-stopper as a substitute, while awarding him minutes in the Carabao Cup before a 4-1 loss at Everton brought a halt to the Hammers’ charge.
Randolph coped with retaining possession far better at Goodison Park than he did for Ireland, with only 26% of his 19 passes going astray, but also conceded from two-thirds of the on-target shots he faced and only attempted nine long balls of which five found Everton players.
With a recent record like his, Randolph is set for an uncomfortable few months watching on from the sidelines until the FA Cup presents him with a new opportunity to feature in east London.