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World News Goalkeepers | Notizie ed articoli in lingua straniera dal mondo del Portiere

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The Problem with Goalkeeping Analysis

Print Editor, Harry Wilkinson, criticises the lack of constructive goalkeeping analysis in football punditry

Most people seem to understand that the GK is important, but the lack of constructive analysis by pundits gives people a limited insight as to why and how this is.

The influence of punditry and media on spectator’s opinions on football is perhaps most evident when looking at goalkeeping analysis. Regarding goalkeepers, interpretations of everything from overall ability to specific saves is provided by football media. But the descriptions always seem to be so inadequate and meaningless, especially when compared to the depth of analysis in other areas of football.

Passes, goals and assists are analysed in incredibly intricate detail, with their skill, intelligence and technique broken down systematically by pundits. Pieces of goalkeeping, however, are often vaguely described with little elaboration or reason attached to such statements. For many people watching it provokes a deep dissatisfaction and frustration, particularly for people who know goalkeeping.

Football pundits are often former players, which is good because they can provide expert accounts that are backed up by real experience. But it is perhaps worth considering that the expertise provided, particularly regarding aspects of the actual game, are limited to the specific position or clubs in which they are played. Therefore, the opinion of former-strikers on goalkeeping analysis should be given no more credibility just because they are ex-players, unless of course they were goalkeepers. The amount of times lame and uninformed observations are made by pundits on goalkeeping scenarios is pretty staggering - but what is more surprising is the seldom amount of times they are pulled up over it. Gary Neville is an exception to this rule. He makes an effort to add some extra dimension to his analysis as he actually thinks about what he is saying, and goes into the details of his interpretation, rather than making feeble and flimsy comments like many others in his profession.

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di Harry Wilkinson

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