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Courtois credits new goalkeeper coach with key improvements in his game this season

Gianluca Spinelli, the man with the magic touch

Thibaut Courtois’ future was one of the big storylines over the summer, with the young Belgian getting constantly linked to moves back to Spain and rumors of discord within the goalkeeping camp with coach Christophe Lollichon brewing ominously.

Given that new head coach Antonio Conte also had his preferred coaches to bring alongside with him to the club, Chelsea did the sensible thing and moved Lollichon into a new role after almost ten years at the club. (Chelsea are calling him a “goalkeeper development coach”with vague duties of developing the club’s goalkeepers and “identifying future ones.”)

The new man in charge of goalkeepers was 49-year-old Gianluca Spinelli, who had worked with Conte for two years at the Italian national team and had been Genoa’s goalkeeper coach since 2004, winning top coaching honors in the Serie A three times since 2012. Most importantly, he’s brought new ideas to the position at Chelsea and Courtois credits those for his improvement in key areas this season.

“Training with Spinelli is completely different as he’s from the Italian school. He wants me to push more laterally straight away when I dive, rather than taking a step forward first. As a youngster I learned to put one foot forward before I dived, but he prefers goalkeepers to move laterally first. It has improved the speed of my diving and I’m getting down quicker.”

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di David Pasztor

( Fonte SB Nation )

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