sabato 13 ottobre 2012

How a goalkeeper controversy can be disruptive

Brad Friedel's EPL stretch of consecutive match played showed no sign of interruption. So Frenchman Hugo Lloris had to wait his time. But Tottenham’s keeper controversy wrote another chapter when Friedel’s stretch of 310 consecutive EPL starts abruptly came to an end Sunday when Andre Villas-Boas named Lloris as starter against Aston Villa. The Frenchman played well so the questions is: would it be a permanent move? Should it be? From the moment he went in London this summer, Lloris found himself in a strange situation: he’s the France’s goalkeeper and captain and the starting goalkeeper in waiting for the Spurs, just that no one knew when it would take place. At just 25-years-old, Lloris established himself as one of the best goalkeeper in the world. When Lloris went from Olympique Lyonnais to the Tottenham Hotspur, fans and analysts was thinking he was the automatic choice at keeper for a club ready to establish itself in the EPL elite. Instead, Andre Villas-Boas made an unclassic move, appointing the 41-year-old keeper as starter and confirming it after Friedel’s great performance displayed against Norwich, earlier in this season. At Chelsea, Portuguese manager was accused for changing too much the club’s culture, sending veterans out of the starting line up. Well, it didn’t happen at Tottenham. Friedel is a product of the American goalkeeper farm that produced other good netminders such as Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, or David Yelldell. The surprising thing is that Spurs accepted to pay Lyon €10 million, plus another €5 million, or $6.45 million, as potential bonuns depending on Lloris success in London. Contrary to what readers can think, have a keeper controversy isn’t a good thing. Goalkeeper is a particular position: they have to be always ready, always calm and quite, they are solitary men. They need of  phsycological security. Friedel has the edge in term of experience with more than 400 EPL matches in a résumé that includes stints with Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, and Aston Villa. Goalkeeper controversies can be disruptive. That was the case with Italy, the defending champions in 1986 FIFA World Cup. At that time, former Azzurri’s head coach, Enzo Bearzot, stressed netminders’spirit with a controversy between Giovanni Galli and former As Rome’s goalkeeper, Franco Tancredi. A similar situation happened during 2010 World Cup with the controversy between England’s netminders Joe Hart and Robert Green, and at Aston Villa, where manager Paul Lambert pick Guzan ahead of Shay Given. A goalkeeper’s mistake often means a goal allowed. Lloris is a young men at 25-years old and still has a career in front of him but keeping him on the bench is a tough call. People were surprised Lloris doesn’t get the job yet. Against Fabien Barthez’s thoughts, I don’t think Lloris be faster or jumps higher than Friedel. If AVB will come back to Friedel, maybe a nice move could be to send Lloris on loan in the way to adapt him to the EPL football. In any case, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has to be calm and quick to fix the goalkeeper situation.