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Villain to Hero

After posting the article about Casper Ankergren, of his momentary error that cost 2 points for Brighton an Hove Albion after a sterling display, I read some fascinating stats in another Goalkeeper also once berated by the press for similar momentary errors. Someone who the press were writing about his replacement at Manchester United almost as soon as he’d started his career there…

Fast forward to the recent stats in the Premiership and David De Gea is now showing that those critics (as usually is the case) were far to quick to judge. Keeping it clean at Manchester United for 627 minutes and now being called up to the Senior Spanish Team. Well deserved!

Let’s hope he keeps proving his doubters wrong. Although if he does make a mistake, can we please keep it real and remember the good times?

…And with the Manchester Derby this weekend with the expected barrage of shots, will he be able to keep this premier league clean sheet run going, so that he can come close to, match or even surpass the record by another Manchester United great, Edwin van der Sar, who kept it clean for 1,311 minutes?

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Hero to Villain

With Tomasz Kuszczak sidelined for Brighton and Hove Albion, Casper Ankergren took his chance to shine between the sticks, keeping out shot after shot by Nottingham Forest. After 90 minutes of superb goalkeeping and all set to win the Man-of-the-Match, it took just 1 minute of injury time to undo the great work by Casper Ankergren. A seemingly tame shot went through both the hands and legs of Casper and into the back of the net meaning 2 points lost by Brighton and Hove Albion.

You have to feel sorry for Casper, but he is not alone, I have witnessed this a number of times at Senior level and down through to grass roots level. The effect is always the same, the Goalkeeper provides a match winning performance and within seconds of being the Hero, to then almost becoming the villain as it is then that this one mistake is the one part of the match that they all remember at the end. The superb display before that seems to pale into insignificance and gone is any match award.

Fortunately though not all Managers and Coaches in the game end up blaming the goalkeeper for one single mistake, so you have to hand it to the Brighton and Hove Albion Manager, Gus Poyet as he not only sympathised with the Goalkeeper, but also summed up the life of any Goalkeeper brilliantly:

“When you are a keeper you pay the price and Casper has done that today. He was having a very, very good game, making two or three good saves, coming for crosses and kicking very well. In training he will save a 1,000 shots like that but we wanted him to save it today…

…Goalkeeper is a terrible position to play but we lose together and we win together – at least we got a point.”

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