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Football News: Moon views - Episode 3. The Goalkeeper Review.

Moon views - Episode 3. The Goalkeeper Review.
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If you read my Manchester United Transfer and Summer analysis 2015 you would have already read the below extract about potential Goalkeepers coming into Old Trafford, I thought I'd break it down into positional posts starting with the linked choices for Goalkeeper.


Hugo Lloris (Spurs)
Lloris has been the Tottenham number one since he signed from Lyon in 2012. His heroics between the sticks have earned him the club player of the year award for the 2nd year running in a side that has featured likes of Harry Kane and Jan Vertonghen.

May have also made reference to the 'mistakes' which Lloris apparently makes on a regular basis, but to bust the myth the Goalkeeper is much like our own De Gea where his initial mistake fuelled reputation overshadowed his development and ability as a top goalkeeper.

Eyebrows will be raised over a mediocre record of 31 clean sheets in 3 years at Spurs but a quick glance at the inconsistency of the spurs defence and all out attacking player will somewhat argue against his clean sheet record.

In the 2014-2015 season Lloris has played his best season of football ever, averaging just fewer than 2 saves per goal and slightly over 5 saves every 2 matches (both higher than that of David De Gea).

Between De Gea and Lloris this season there isn't much to separate them, perhaps with the exception of Lloris punching far more often and acting as more of a sweeper keeper, bringing the ball out from the back that De Gea. He is also far more commanding and demands more from his defence vocally that big Dave - and in that particular department would be a huge upgrade.

I think it's quite possible that Lloris will be a Manchester United player this season, although the goalkeeper transfer record will need to be beaten and a transfer in the region of £40 Million would likely secure the Frenchman.

Jan Oblak (Athletico Madrid)
My first look at Oblak came last season while he was keeping the nets of Benfica safe in Portugal. The 22 year old struggled to get a look in at Athletico until January having arrived for a huge price tag (£12.8 Million) - making him the most expensive goalkeeper in La Liga history.

It's also worth noting that Oblak only rose to fame after having a good second half to the season in Portugal, which appears to have happened at Athletico as well. Questions would certainly need to be asked about his form and consistency in the early part of the season.

His breakthrough in the first place only came when former Getafe stopper Moya was taken off injured in a UEFA Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen (Moya is a Goalkeeper I rate very highly).

He failed to take his opportunities in the first half of the season and was at times horrific in his positioning, timing and reflexes - A performance against Olympiakos (A 3-2 loss) was very similar to the performance David De Gea gave in his debut against Manchester City in the 3-2 Community Shield defeat.

Oblak's rise to fame has come through a series of high profile saves against Real Madrid and saving a Penalty against Barcelona and Lionel Messi. During the Leverkusen game more players began to take notice of the Slovenian after he saved 3 shots, all of which were impressive saves. All of this then led to what has given him the hype, playing over 5 hours - that's just fewer than 3 and half games without conceding a goal. Those 3 games however were against Cordoba (Relegated having scored 22 goals in 38 games, Getafe, 15th scoring 33 goals in 38 games and Sociedad, 12th scoring 44 goals in 38 games - not great records. To put it into perspective, QPR managed to score 42 times this season before finishing bottom of the EPL).

Statistically he has looked strong, keeping 9/15 clean sheets and making nearly 3.5 saves every game, conceding only 9 goals in the process and claiming 91% of his ball.

Alarmingly he has been booked twice in 11 appearances for rash challenges.

Overall, my opinion of Oblak is that he isn't a top goalkeeper and he needs to develop further before even being considered as a top keeper. I believe he moved to Athletico to early and staying at Benfica another year would have aided his development. For a fee of what would be close to €30 Million he should be avoided at all costs this summer.

Asmir Begovic (Stoke City)
Current reports suggest that Begovic is in line for a shock transfer to Chelsea as a replacement for Arsenal bound Petr Cech.

The Bosnian divides opinion amongst many, while some believe he is a steady option others believe he is the consistently brilliant, for me I believe he is a good goalkeeper, capable of doing a job at a top club, is he likely to develop into the a Neuer? A Buffon? A De Gea? It's very unlikely, although he is the type of goalkeeper that will install confidence into your defence and throughout the team.

Begovic has rightly been linked to bigger clubs that Stoke City for years now and it appears that this year is his year for a move.

Over the past 3 years Begovic has made 105 Premier League Appearances keeping 29 clean sheets and conceding 124 goals, the worrying issue comes from the fact that over the past 3 seasons Begovic has made 13 defensive errors which have all lead to goals. His defence hasn't helped either racking up a total of 46 (only 6 last season) defensive errors, which have lead to goals. When you remove those defensive errors Begovic will have 'only' conceded 78 goals in 105 appearances - a better record to say the least.

The worrying issue comes with the keepers high tendency to concede goals in the corners of his goal, perhaps creating a discussion over his positional place and reflexes with 81 goals being conceded towards each post and 34 goals being conceded in the low central area of the goal (10 in the 14/15 season).

His commanding skills are adequate and ultimately he's a 'good' goalkeeper, however I wouldn't make him a high priority choice with better, more formidable goalkeepers being available this season.


Tim Krul (Newcastle United)
There would have been a time, namely during the 2011/12 Premier League season that I would have taken Tim Krul as the Manchester United number 1 goalkeeper, his performances up until that point drew similarities to fellow Dutch goalkeeper and Manchester United legend Edwin Van Der Sar - Although perhaps comparisons to his time at Juventus rather than his time at Manchester United.

Over the past 3 years Krul has made 90 appearances keeping 22 clean sheets and conceding 138 goals. If we look at his defence over that time we can see that 67 defensive errors have lead to goals and a further 16 errors which lead to goals made by Krul himself.

Many argue that Krul's strongest attribute is shot stopping, however out of the 138 goals the Dutchman has conceded over the past 3 years 77 have been from inside the area, although his save record of 2.62 shots saved in the penalty area per goal over the course of the past 3 seasons indicate a high level of saves have been made and although I wouldn't consider Krul to be a strong shot stopper, I would consider that to be his strongest attribute.

Tim Krul as a squad option would be a viable transfer, however for the financial outlay involved it maybe best to avoid this one altogether, especially considering his record is worse than that of Asmir Begovic.

Jasper Cillessen (Ajax)
Jasper Cillessen's goalkeeping career has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and more recently his performances and controversial substitution in the World Cup finals have given him a platform to build on.

Admittedly, when I first considered Cillessen I dismissed it immediately, however the more he was touted the more I thought about it and I would consider him a strong candidate for the United number 1 jersey this summer.

Unfortunately his vanilla name has earned him a pretty negative response to the rumours circulating and it's certainly understandable.

Many football fans look at the substitution for the Penalty Shootout in the World Cup as a sign of no confidence in the 26 year old, however in my opinion that was a tactical decision bringing on a goalkeeper who is known for his penalty and shot stopping ability.

So let's look at the statistics over the past 2 seasons taking into consideration the level of the opponents faced during this time period.

So firstly we must recognise the difference in the quality and league opponents, therefore things like goals conceded, etc. will be looked at and scrutinised slightly more, because of this references to international fixtures and European competition will be used to gain a greater picture.

Over the past 2 years Cillessen has made 57 Eredivisie Appearances keeping 26 clean sheets and conceding 39 goals, as opposed to Krul and Begovic, Cillessen will put your mind at rest with the fact that over the past two seasons Cillessen has made 2 defensive errors, which have lead to goals. His defence hasn't helped but have only totalled 21 defensive errors, which have lead to goals.

Internationally, in the 2014 World cup Jasper made 7 appearances keeping 4 clean sheets and conceding 4 goals, only 2 however cam from open play. The Dutch also averaged 3 saves per goal, an impressive statistic especially considering the 3 defensive errors that lead to goal scoring opportunities.

Against world-class opposition in the UEFA champions League Cillessen has made 11 appearances over the past 2 years and had 3 clean sheets, conceding 14 goals in the process. Defensively he hasn't made any defensive errors while the rest of his defence pitched in 6 defensive errors. Although it is worth noting that in this 2 year period of UEFA Champions League football Ajax have faced Lionel Messi's Barcelona 4 times, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's PSG twice and El Shaarawy's AC Milan twice.

In the Europe league Cillessen has made 5 appearances in 2 years, with 2 clean sheets and conceding 6 (5 goals conceded in a tie vs. Salzburg) goal making 3.5 saves per game and a 100% success rate in punches and claimed balls. Cillessen in this time made 2 defensive errors that lead to goals.

Having watched Cillessen for most of the Eredivisie season and having the pleasure of watching him live on 3 occasions this season I feel well equipped to give my opinion of the Ajax number 1.

His footwork and confidence on the ball is incredible and he constantly brings the ball out of defence at times taking on opposition players, although that would be tolerated less in the premier league, his ball playing skills and comfort within tight spaces are highly appreciated.

One of the biggest things you'll notice when watching Cillessen is his brilliant positioning, decision making and ability to make himself big, closing down the angles, during the past 2 years against Barcelona it is demonstrated heavily in the incredible amount of 1v1 saves made.

Jasper also has a tendency to parry away the ball after making a save and although he has strong hands they're not always used as effectively as they can be, in the Premier League that would be punished severely by the opposition and therefore needs to be ironed out of his game much like it was with De Gea.

His diving technique is also below average (not quite poor) and he could use help with getting the full use of his athleticism involved when making saves. Cillessen's quick reflexes go some way to making up for his lack of diving technique and his understanding of the game is of a high standard, he knows where to be and when to be there understanding the game around him and the positioning of other players very well.

As a goalkeeper, one thing we lacked in De Gea was vocal ability and it is something that Cillessen has, the Dutchman has a very 'Dutch' attitude and as such wants to be the best, therefore if you make a mistake he will make you aware of it.

His confidence is also reflected in his play.

Finally, a new age trait that most goalkeepers have taken on is the use of their feet, and for me Cillessen is just as good if not better than David De Gea at using his feet when shot stopping.

Jasper Cillessen is a goalkeeper with the need for some improvement but ultimately is a solid purchase, and he would be a quality replacement for David De Gea.

Written by Jordan Lombard July 08 2015 21:26:45