The Goalkeeping future is bright for England

So the Premiership is bad for English football? That English football clubs are damaging the England team, with them bringing talent in from abroad rather than develop or look to bring in home-grown talent?

OK, certain rules are now in place and there is an expectancy for top level clubs to develop their own players. However, doesn’t it seem that things are changing naturally anyway, that our English keepers are slowly being seen on the big stage as some of the best in the world. Talented keepers previously overlooked like Ben Foster (previously posted about) of West Bromwich Albion and Joe Hart of Manchester City, who went to other clubs to show that they should be first choice keepers. With some now citing Joe Hart as being one of the best keepers in the world!

Where as in previous years the press were questioning our goalkeeping talent as not matching that of other countries, including that of current world champions Spain, that now we have a pool of talented keepers that are getting themselves recognised on the biggest stages, through international, premiership and cup competition matches. With the Cup competitions also elevating the talent that is emerging in the lower leagues. Talent that includes Tom Heaton of Cardiff City (previously posted about) and that of Frankie Fielding the bright prospect at Derby County and already in the England U21 set up.

Also consider Jack Butland of Birmingham City, who like Ben Foster and Joe Hart has gone out on loan to get first team action at Cheltenham Town. That from his incredible displays for Cheltenham, has now being noticed by the Premier League, being linked to Arsenal and Tottenham. This shows that the search for talent is not always abroad, but local too. He has also represented England at every level up to the Under 21s! [ ]

For me, all this shows that we have much to look forward to with England. With our current crop of keepers, those waiting in the wings and of the development of the next talent through the expansion of top-level development or at goalkeeper specific centres (like that of our own Academy), the future for England goalkeeping most definitely is much brighter than ever before!


Posted on Thu 22 March 2012, in Goalkeepers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Simon.
    I don’t tend to get involved in online debates but I’m going to throw a hot potato for others to catch (or drop or parry) lol
    I appreciate the sentiment and recognise that we do have a (small) current crop. However, look at the bigger picture….. how many Premiership keepers are British, let alone English compared to years gone by? As for the long-term pipeline of talent, how many Academy (U18/U16) are similar?
    How many British/English keepers get signed to ply their trade abroad?

    There has been millions spent on facilities, coach development, courses and GK specific qualifications, let alone greater knowledge of the make-up of keepers and the physical and mental conditioning required. Add to that the huge leap in equipment and glove technology in recent times and the fact that a regular ‘qualified’ keeper coach has been in situ at most clubs (full time or part time) for a number of years and I personally think we are stagnant, if not in decline – and that personally pains me to say it through gritted teeth!!
    The Cost/Investment/Return ratio is sparse and if it were a sales product, we would have stopped manufacturing on these shores years ago and we would import – oh, we do!!!

    I watch and observe many keeper coaches wearing a variety of hats and the standard of pure TECHNICAL coaching is poor to inadequate. We have huge numbers of ‘session’ keeper coaches who work keepers in various drills till the cows come home – very few recognise mistakes, let alone know how to show and rectify errors and develop from the ground up. We also have thousands of outfield coaches who know next to nothing about the position – a simple side-ways glance at their keepers starting position would be a huge start even if they’re not technically aware. ‘We’ have to do ALL the outfiled courses before ‘we’ are able to book on a GK qualification (I personally agree with this re levels 2 and 3) which costs us double but outfield coaches would benefit hugely at grassroots level if they were mandated to do a GK level 1!

    The devil, as they say, is in the detail and if you don’t spot it, encourage, show, demonstrate, clarify from a technical perspective at a very early age and align that with game awareness AND with a knowledge of the game, then we’ll have a real problem on our hands – unfortunately, after letting balls slip through them!!

    Rant over!

    • Very interesting comments Kevin. I agree that we do have some talent coming through and if we don’t actually take the lessons and see development and knowledge improving (especially for outfield coaches) then things could stagnate… In other words even though we have talent now, this may only be short term…

      There are a few others in this country who think the same as you and I. Hopefully we and postings like yours and mine can inspire others.

      Thank you

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