The forgotten art of Goalkeeping


In my opinion Spurs have been weak in a couple of area’s this season that have cost us a top 4 spot and there is no other position that can single handily cost you more points than goalkeeper. This summer we should see a top-class goalkeeper arrive at the lane, especially after rumours have surfaced that Gomes wants a return to PSV. But unfortunately we are not the only side on the lookout for a keeper, Arse*** may sign someone as quality competition for the young Szczesny, Man United need a replacement for Van Der Sar and have been linked with inexperienced Atletico keeper De Gea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they got someone else as well.

For me there is no doubt it is time for Gomes to go, I like Gomes as a character, he is a quirky person who we all enjoyed because of his passion and interaction with the crowd. But opinions change, every keeper will make 2 or 3 big mistakes a year, that is the nature of the position, but this year Gomes has had one too many. I think we are all agreed that he now has to step aside and we have to bring in a top-class keeper. But who is available and who can we actually get:


Maarten Stekelenburg – Ajax

Now technically any player in the Dutch league is gettable for us, they don’t get paid much so we can easily afford the wages and the transfer fees are not as high as elsewhere. There are also added benefits of signing players from Holland, they usually speak near perfect English, they are used to the climate and integrate well…plus he will know Rafa. Problem is Stekelenburg is in high demand and is hotly tipped to become the new Man United number 1, following in the footsteps of compatriot Van der Sar. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for him.

Now he may have dropped the Eredivisie trophy off an open top bus, but Stekelenburg has a lot of quality and a safe pair of hands. He stands 6ft 6ins and is only 28 years old, so you are buying a keeper with not only a lot of quality, but coming in to his best years. He is the Dutch number one as well as the Ajax number one and is ready to take on a bigger challenge.

Handling: 8 (out of 10)

Shot Stopping: 9

Aerial Ability: 9

Positioning: 8

Distribution: 7

Decision making: 8

Communication: 9

Potential Transfer Fee: €10-15m

Chance of signing: 8

Hugo Lloris – Lyon

Hugo Lloris may not be a name that football fans outside of France recognise, but he is a keeper that is fast becoming one of the world’s best. You may have seen him play for Lyon in the Champions League this year or could remember him from the France v Rep. of Ireland playoff game, in which he had a blinder.

Lloris started his career at hometown club Nice, making his first appearance at the age of 19 and is the French equivalent to Iker Casillas. There has been a lot of previous speculation about the future of the young Frenchman, previously linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal his future looks away from Lyon. Wages would more than likely be affordable, the only problem would be with interest from Europe’s top teams that could scupper a move to Spurs. We were previously interested in him after we got rid of Robbo, but opted for Gomes instead and Lloris then nearly signed for AC Milan.

But if we want a keeper, this guy is good. He has a reputation for having some of the quickest reflexes around and is a great shot stopper, both high or low. He is a little smaller than Stekelenburg at 6ft 2ins and the main criticism of his game is his physical presence. That said he commands his area well, his positioning is good and if you want to see an acrobatic save, this guy will provide one. He is the French number 1, two time French goalkeeper of the year and has been nominated for best keeper in the Champions League. At only 24 years old this would be a real coup if Spurs could get him.

Handling: 9

Shot Stopping: 9

Aerial Ability: 9

Positioning: 8

Distribution: 8

Decision making: 9

Communication: 7

Potential Transfer Fee: €15-20m

Chance of signing: 7

Samir Handanovic – Udinese

Serie A has boasted some great keepers over the years, Buffon, Toldo, and Peruzzi spring to mind from a golden era and Udinese’s Samir Handanovic is starting to be recognised as one of the best keepers in the league. He is the Slovenian number 1 and is a big star in his home country, seen as a bit of a playboy. But it is not his looks that is attracting the accolades, Handanovic has been one of the main reasons for Udinese’s impressive season in which they finished 4th in Serie A and qualified for the Champions League.

Handanovic is quickly becoming a much sort-after keeper, he was originally linked with a move to the Premier League after some impressive performances at the World Cup in South Africa and it could now be time for him to make the move. Handanovic is a good keeper who is very agile, he gets around his box well and is a bit of a specialist at penalty saves. One drawback could be his aerial ability, but other than that is a solid all-round keeper. If Spurs wanted to get him they could, Udinese may have reached the Champions League this season, but the squad is about to be dismantled. Other stars like Chilean Alexis Sanchez, Serie A top scorer Di Natalie and Swiss midfielder Gokhan Inler will more than likely depart and Handanovic shouldn’t be far behind as Udinese’s financial model means they are a selling club.

Handling: 8

Shot Stopping: 9

Aerial Ability: 7

Positioning: 8

Distribution: 7

Decision making: 8

Communication: 8

Potential Transfer Fee: €10m

Chance of signing: 8

I didn’t mention any domestic keepers for two reasons, one they are not that good and we need to be shopping in the world-class isle and two we already know about them. Out of who would be available then Ben Foster & Shay Given would be the only keeper’s in consideration for me. Foster’s distribution is like Robbo’s on the deck and is a decent enough shot stopper. But he is another keeper that likes a Rohan (Ricket). Shay would only be short term and he is suspect in the air, an area where Gomes has come unstuck this year.

If we want to progress we need someone of a high standard and there aren’t too many keepers that fit the bill. We will see what happens, there are other options like Mandanda at Marseille or Akinfeev from CSKA Moscow, but the most important part about a being goalkeeper is communication with your defence and it is this factor that will rule a lot of keepers out. Hopefully we can find the right man, I would love Lloris as he is like Casillas, but whoever we get let’s just hope we don’t end up with Rob Green.

By Nick Walter of the excellent Football Rascal Blog

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  1. Paul Robinson made some mistakes, some real, some not his fault (such as supposedly taking the ball into the goal, which Sky later proved he didn’t, rather like Gomes at Chelsea).

    The media went after him, he lost confidence and left. Now he’s doing OK again and there was even talk of him coming back.

    Looks like history is repeating itself. The media now have a thing about Spurs keepers and whoever we get to replace Gomes the first mistake (and there will be one of course) and the media will start getting on his back. No wonder Gomes wants to go back to PSV.

  2. For goodness sake. Unless Gomes wants to go, he must stay. Harry wants him to stay. Gomes properly muffed up in just 3 games that actually cost us. I remember Reina, and Van Der Sar both cocking up and costing points. Gomes simply needs a bit of competition.

  3. Quick to forget the number of saves he's made to earn points but as with Robbo the groundswell to get rid soon builds.

    Every keeper will drop the odd clanger but stability in defence is paramount. Other than BAE Gomes is the only defender to pass 40 apps so the law of averages says he'll slip up now and again. All these guys you've mentioned look good in their respective leagues but none compare to the pressure of the Prem.

    Add 'em up and Gomes will earn more points than he gives away, he's big, brave, agile. We'd be mad to move him on.

    Last point, if Defoe, Pav, Crouchy had weighed in with another 10 goals between 'em in the games we've drawn or lost to the bottom sides, there would be no discussion about our goalkeeper, just who we'd get in the Champs League.

  4. Iain I agree with you and I want to go on and say that Gomes is a great keeper.

    So what if he made some mistakes? If the rest of the team learnt how to score we would never have mentioned these errors. And if it wasnt for Gomes we would have dropped more points that we have already dropped. Ok I was also frustrated with the silly goals he let in but after calming down I realized that a keeper is bound to concede a goal if he does not have the decent support in front of him.

    What I mean is that if we are the better team for the first 60-70 minutes (try not to concede in the first minutes as often as this year) and score a couple of goals then the opposition will lose their confidence and would not have the same will to push on.

    Another point is that as time is running and we have the possession we do not defend with the same spirit; thus we are prone to more errors.

    So my conclusion is keep Gomes, he is a great goalie and very few are better than him, and get strikers that can actually score and keep our best defensive midfielder we have that can score – Sandro.
    (Key word is SCORE!!)

    After all football is simple. You have to put the ball in the opponents goal more times that he has put the ball in your goal!


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