Thursday, 23 August 2007

Flaptastic


Hi folks, JJ here,
The morning’s papers are pretty much dominated by two stories from international football…. Well one if you live in England. Over here we have Ireland’s excellent four-nil win over a very uninterested Denmark to celebrate but there were still a lot of eyes glancing over at Wembley last night. There it was Paul Robinson that was making all the headlines after truly awful display of ‘safe’ handling.

His attempted catch/clearance/bomb disposal unit throw for Germany’s first goal from Kevin Kuranyi was atrocious but let’s face it, who among the supposed goalkeeping elite represents a safe bet these days? At the other end, Jens Lehmann hardly covered himself in glory with his attempts at keeping out Frank Lampard’s whack at goal early in the first half (come on Jens, what else was he going to do?).

Last season Robinson had a few major questions to answer after being beaten from long distance on several occasions. One such time, a John Arne Riise belter from 30 yards, looked like a great goal on first glance. Look again though (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-90SCNEjUw) and Robinson really could have done better. Dirk Kuyt’s goal from the same game didn’t exactly make Robinson look like he was on top of his game either (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I_C1uZc_qI).

In the recent past guys like Edwin Van Der Sar, Pepe Reina and even Petr Cech of late have flapped at cost to their teams. Reina and Cech both have time on their side at least while you’d have to suspect that Van der Sar may be found wanting in a big game at some stage again this season.

Both Scott Carson and the injured Ben Foster have been talked of in glowing terms but the media backing for David James these days is enormous. Maybe reporters see him as one of their own after his stint of deep thinking in the Observer (gay footballers, bullying, school curriculum, it was all covered). James’ heyday of cock ups cost Liverpool the title in 1996 and he wasn’t the safest from a cross for a good five or six years after; during which time he flapped for Aston Villa and West Ham as well.

Now looking solid at Portsmouth there is a good argument that he could handle a return to the international fold quite well. Although the last time there was a clamour to get him in the side he made an absolute tool of himself against Austria in 2004.

Looking at it objectively, every keeper makes a few mistakes but it’s on what stage they make them that determines their reputation. James, you’d suspect, is great for Pompey where he can get away with letting Nicholas Anelka slip the ball through his legs, though should he do the same at international level he could be crucified.

Have England any better options and who is the best keeper out there at the minute? Being Irish, the easy choice is Shay Given though if you look outside the Premiership the heroic job that Iker Casillias (yo check the music muthafucka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRzjikoHMJ4) has performed at Real Madrid over the years cause a mixture of admiration and sympathy as he plays in front a team who can’t defend to save their lives.
Brian Clough always said that having a good goalkeeper meant that the other players step out on to the field as if they were one-nil up already. With Robinson, England seem to walk out thinking they better score two at least.

5 comments:

Mark said...

bring back ian walker!

Parrotbait said...

I thought Green is meant to be a good keeper, playing regularly with West Ham. He's young but not getting much of a look-in or press coverage- why is this?

JJ said...

He's a bit posh so Martin Samuel can't do an arse-licking interview with him and big him up for the job. The fat fuck.

tyduffy said...

The state of English goalkeepers is woeful. Even we Americans can laugh at them. That said, Carson should be the national team starter, even if he can't get into the squad at his own club. Calling up James was ridiculously stupid.

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