Blog Archives

The difference in Keeper training – part 3

Further to part 1 and part 2 in this series, I now want to add to this, by discussing the importance in coaching correctly to the different age groups, two of the most basic categories, catching and set position. 

My great friend, the late Bernatd Day was an inspiration to me, in the needs of and how to coach these different age groups. The following is based on his wise teachings.

Bernie would always push for young keepers to catch the ball. Ok yes in goalkeeping, a goalkeeper will use any part of the body to make a save, after all a save’s a save… However and further to part 2 of this series, we can teach other techniques later in the young keepers development. For now though at the young age, his teaching was correct, in that these young keepers need to be drilled in the requirements to always try and catch the ball. Keeping the ball safe, first and foremost.

His second teaching, one which the FA and also our Head of the Academy, Julia West encourage is getting the set position right. That is with hands out in front of the body and not as I saw one coach, drilling all ages of keepers, with their hands down by the side of the body… Hands down is like you see in adult football. Young keepers do like to copy the likes of Joe Hart, David de Gea, Thibault Courtois, etc. However, even though they want to mimic their idols, this is not the best way to start coaching young keepers. Bernie’s philosophy was to start with your hands up, as it was easier to drop you hands than raise them. Furthermore, with the hands raised, they are closer to catching a fast ball heading for the upper body and more importantly the face… Ok with your hands down, the face may the  block the ball and be considered ‘a save’… Hmm, but blood from a nose bleed or concussion is certainly not the best outcome from a save. So hands up is the safest option.

When they develop as Bernie says, their hands will drop. Besides an older keeper is more agile, with better reaction and therefore the hands could be lower, they would get them up there far quicker than a younger keeper. Still, that said in a faster match sometimes it can be just as good for an older keeper to go back to basics…

Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015 – The Winner

So further to my last post on the 2015 contenders, the final game of the 2014-2015 season has been played. We now have a clear winner, meaning that my wish for a 5 way tie did not come true, with only one keeper keeping the clean she’s that mattered. 

The award went to 3 time winner and our England and Manchester City Number One, Joe Hart. That means he also goes into the record books as the only keeper to win this 4 times. That is some achievement. Well done Joe Hart. Very well deserved.

Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015

So with 1 match remaining, we see a four way battle for the Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015. With 13 clean sheets each, which one of these amazing keepers will come out on top:

  • Joe Hart, Manchester City – has won this award 3 times before and showing again why he is a world class stopper and why he is England’s number one
  • Simon Mignolet – he was dropped to the bench because of a dip in form, but we alway knew he was a quality keeper and has proved his critics wrong. Fighting his way back in to the side and now into contention for this award
  • Lukasz Fabianski – left Arsenal to gain first team football, as he was playing second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny (Last year’s joint winner with Petr Cech). Funnily enough Szczesny has also dropped to the bench, seeing Fabianski playing regulary for Swansea and showing Arsene what he is missing.
  • Fraser Forster – I did question why Southampton brought in Forster as they did at the time have 2 great keepers in Kelvin Davis and Artur Boruc (now at Bournemouth, helping them to win promotion to perhaps fight for the glove next season), however Forster has shown me and other why he is now pushing Joe Hart for the England number one Jersey

Unfortunately Fraser now looks to be ruled out of first team action with injury until 2016. So it seems it will be a three way struggle. 

Albeit let’s add one more to the mix… Thibaut Courtois. He has played a huge part in Chelsea’s Premier a League Winners campaign, keeping Petr Cech on the bench… Who would have thought that would happen, like Szczesny, last year’s joint winner, not even getting much time in the team to push for the award again (and Cech has won it 3 times before, like Hart!). However Coutois currently has 12 clean sheets and one more would see him join this club of 13… Unlucky for some, meaning a potential 5 winners. 

Hmm… Wouldn’t that be something. Even though I am pushing for no clean sheets this weekend by the 13 club, wouldn’t it be great if we had 5 winners, rather than just the one. I think they do all deserve it. What a fantastic season for Goalkeepers!

Coaching: Distribution – Under Arm Roll

Part 4 – Under-Arm Roll Out

So to the final part of our journey on Distribution after previously looking at kicking (Dead ball kicking http://wp.me/p27nBU-cQ and Kicking from hands http://wp.me/p27nBU-d4) and throwing (Over Arm Throw http://wp.me/p27nBU-d6), we now take a look at the Under-Arm Roll Out.

Like all of the distribution methods practice can make perfect and even though this is seen as the easiest of all 4 distribution methods it can still be rushed and guidance may be needed to our younger student Goalkeepers or even to just give a reminder of the basics to those more experienced Goalkeepers to hone their technique.

So as before, lets look at what is the right technique:

Figure 1

Again the basic technique is as easy as 1-2-3, in one smooth movement, like rolling a bowling ball…

The steps then are as follows:

  • Look at your target;
  • Hold the ball in your throwing hand, with the opposite foot forward (i.e. If you throwing hand is your right hand, place your left foot forward) as seen in Figure 1 – Step 1;
  • Moving the ball forward, start crouching down, with opposite foot still forward, and the rear leg now bending so that the knee eventually touches the floor;
  • Still moving the ball forward, with the throwing arm going past the now bent rear leg (almost brushing it) as per Figure 1 – Step 2;
  • Watching the ball now;
  • Rolling through along the ground and releasing, with the throwing arm carrying through in motion after release of the ball as per Figure 1 – Step 3;
  • After release of the ball look to your target; and
  • If required to promote follow through of the arm, get them to point at the target they have just rolled to afterwards.

To progress things there are some useful exercises that can be used:

  • Put balls (of different sizes) mounted on cones out at appropriate distances, and encourage them to knock these balls off the cones by rolling out; or
  • Again for that game scenario (and to encourage accuracy) get them to roll out to a target area – although unlike kicking and throwing, the distances this time are not as far… – Set out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate distances. Having a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together rolling the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist; and
  • Mix it up a bit, so they roll left and right… creating some movement from the Goalkeeper, maybe have more than one option for them on different parts of the field. Getting them to look for who to roll to before they roll out the ball or even get some communication going between Goalkeeper and outfield

Also, it is not set in stone to just practice one distribution technique in an exercise, so to really mix things up, you could set out targets at varying distances, or get target coach/keeper/player to move about encouraging different techniques. Meaning that they may need to Kicking from hands, Over Arm Throw, Under-Arm Roll Out, or even off the floor Dead ball kicking style… Which now starts to encourage the decision-making process (Psychological and Technical)…

This series was just 4 of the distribution techniques Goalkeepers can use. There are others, however these are the main ones that a young student Goalkeeper should learn. They will all need practice to improve on and again I stress for patience, as practice can eventually make perfect… The top Goalkeepers seen at Euro 2012 this month have all had to perfect their distribution techniques, and for them too, this did not happen overnight. It took years of practice. So no pressure, take your time and above all have fun doing it! ūüėČ

To K or not to K?

Through the continual development of my Goalkeeper Coaching, I have observed and been taught various coaching techniques and styles. Understanding that different coaching methods suit different abilities, ages or situations in game play. The one coaching technique that seems to have a varying degree of opinion is the scoop technique and the use of (or not) the ‘K-Position’.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to the ‘K-Position’, but each do have their own merits, albeit in differing situations.

The following diagram (figure 1), shows 3 figures doing 3 types of scoop catches.

The Scoop Save - Which of the 3 is the best?

figure 1

1. Shows the Goalkeeper reaching down to the floor with feet close together, using the hands to let the ball roll up them, scooping the ball, eventually pulling the ball into the chest.

2. Shows the start of a ‘K-Position’ but not actually allowing the bent knee to fully touch the floor. Again¬†using the hands to let the ball roll up them, scooping the ball.

3. Shows the ‘K-Position’. This is similar to 2., but with the bent knee touching the floor.

The biggest advantage of ‘K-Position’ is that by putting the knee down creates a second barrier, so that as a Goalkeeper you have a safeguard behind your hands acting as another ‘barrier’ in front of goal, that the ball would hit, if the ball does get through the hands…

However the ‘K-Position’ has a big¬†disadvantage¬†too, just ask Rob Green…

image from smh.com.au

image from smh.com.au

As we saw in the 2010 World Cup, when England played the USA, Rob Green had to deal with what seemed a tame shot. He made the decision to use the ‘K-Position’, and saw the ball end up in the back of the net. For the biggest disadvantage of the ‘K-Position’¬†is that once committed to it, your movement as a Goalkeeper is limited, so if the ball hits a divot and changes direction you are already committed and will find it as difficult as Rob Green did to recover…

This doesn’t mean that the¬†‘K-Position’ is truly bad, if used when completely behind a ball (ensuring movement to get into a position to take behind the ball), it is can be very effective. So one school of thought is to use it when dealing with slower balls… Or as Figure 1 drawing 2, to coach the Goalkeeper to not let the knee fully touch the ground as then you are not fully committed and have a little more flexibility in movement.

The other school of thought though, is not to use it at all, and to just coach as Figure 1 drawing 1, ensuring that the feet are not too far apart, so that the legs can become the second barrier. That if needed, when dealing with a faster ball, to either do a collapsing save (dropping down straight on top of the ball) or to smother the ball (by scoping the ball up but dropping forward onto the ball).

Which ever school of thought, each can be used and each have their merits…¬†of which I am slowly starting to learn more about, and also of what their drawbacks might be. It is our job as Goalkeeper coaches to therefore understand each and of which would best suit the Goalkeepers we train. We can then assist them to make¬†the¬†right decision… However, that said, with the many different¬†scenarios¬†that could present themselves to a Goalkeeper in an¬†actual¬†game, it can sometime be difficult for any Goalkeeper to ensure that they make exactly the right choice. For they can only make one, which will be in the split second they have to think about it and one that they feel is the right one to do at¬†the¬†time.

Understanding these different techniques and deciding when to use and not to use which one, is why the life as a Goalkeeper has its challenges. With¬†the¬†biggest challenge being the critics, especially those who aren’t¬†conscious¬†of¬†the¬†fact that Goalkeepers have so many choices to make. As¬†Rob Green discovered, choosing the ‘K-Position’, seemed right at¬†the¬†time (as it would for most Goalkeepers), as this seemed such a straight forward catch… but as we all saw it was a decision that meant yet again another Goalkeeper was to be slated by our unforgiving press. ¬†Just look at Joe Hart over¬†the¬†last 2 weeks, a hero for England against Brazil and then a¬†Villain¬†for Manchester City… or the ever slated David deGea, now lauded as one of the best Goalkeepers after his heroics for Manchester United to deny Real Madrid… and all because of¬†the¬†choices made… Who’d be a Goalkeeper… me definitely – it’s just too much fun! ūüėČ

Deadline Day – Premiership Goalkeeping Headaches

We knew he was a talent prior to the European Championships and then witnessed as to why he is one of the worlds best Goalkeepers keeping the score low for the French. Now former Olympique¬†Lyonnais Goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris¬†comes to the Premiership So we can watch in awe as he steps between the sticks for Tottenham Hotspur… Oh hang on a minute… Spurs already have a top class Goalkeeper¬†in Brad Friedel… He might be 41 but he is still top class. This surely would give any Manager a selection headache having two¬†great Goalkeepers… But what a fantastic headache for any manager to have… Although spending ¬£11.9m on Lloris would suggest that it won’t be long before Brad has to make way… Even though his heroics this weekend against Norwich, kept the score line down… how could he be sidelined?

And what of QPR… They sign England Goalkeeper Robert Green at the start of the season¬† to replace the outgoing Paddy Kenny (now at Leeds United). A Goalkeeper with a decent Goalkeeping¬†record in the Premiership.¬†Coming¬†to QPR¬†from West Ham, after an impressive 15 clean sheets for the Hammers¬†last term…¬†And although he has made the headlines for¬†England, sometimes for the wrong reasons,¬†he still remains¬†great back up for Joe Hart in¬†the England Squad… A useful acquisition then for QPR. However¬†deadline day¬† saw free spending QPR¬†sign another great Goalkeeper, Brazilian¬†Julio Cesar from Inter Milan. Will that also mean sidelining one talent for another.

Ok there is some method in the madness, of which some other clubs could learn from (those with complacent Goalkeepers), that having another talent on the bench could push the man between the sticks to perform better for fear of losing their place… It can work well, but if the¬†Goalkeeper between the sticks then performs well enough to stay in goal, eventually (if not there for the pay cheque) the Goalkeeper on the bench starts to grumble, which either results in the occasional cameo appearance to appease them or that they start to look for the exit… Like Shay Given did after being in Joe Hart’s shadow for so long…

Shame we can’t play more than one Goalkeeper in one team… After all, they do say that some Goalkeepers are frustrated strikers at heart. Perhaps swapping positions in a match ūüėČ

The sparkling new season kicks off – So which Goalkeeper will shine?

A new season with new opportunities for Goalkeepers to cement their place in their clubs folklore, to show them self as the new star on the block or just try desperately to deal with all that is thrown at them…

So who do we have to watch this season? Who will we be most excited about and who will excel?

In the English Premier League, we will get chance to see those Goalkeepers again who impressed last season, through their impressive stats, such as¬†Manchester City’s Joe Hart¬†(Awards: http://wp.me/p27nBU-c1 and Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-80)¬†and Manchester United’s David De Gea (Awards: http://wp.me/p27nBU-c3). Will they impress again or for De Gea¬†will he be pushed this time¬†for his place in goal by the equally impressive Andres Lindegaard now that he is back from injury?¬†

Will Arsenal’s Worjciech¬†Szczesny¬†(Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-5u)¬†put his Euro 2012 red card behind him and build on his stats last season to be the¬†Goalkeeper that lives up to the potential Arsene Wenger believes he has to be one of the greatest Goalkeepers?

We have some new¬†Goalkeepers¬†to watch too, where¬†through promotion from the Championship we see two exciting propositions, with equally¬†impressive stats,¬†Reading’s Adam Federici (Awards: http://wp.me/p27nBU-bA and Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-am) and Southampton’s Kelvin Davis (Awards http://wp.me/p27nBU-bX and¬†Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-5o). Can they continue their impressive form or is the Premiership too big a step up…?

West Ham also promoted lost England Goalkeeper Robert Green to QPR¬†who felt that he has the potential they need to keep it clean at the back and help¬†QPR¬†avoid their dalliance¬†with the¬†drop zone this term… A great Goalkeeper indeed with the¬†potential to¬†be their saviour, however will they be too reliant on him and perhaps¬†will he then¬†be as busy as Wolverhampton¬†Wanderer’s Wayne Henessey¬†was last season if the QPR defence is not there to help him?

West Ham instead bring in a new Goalkeeper but one¬†who is very¬†experienced¬† in the Premiership, Jussi Jaaskelainen¬†from relegated Bolton Wanderers to work once again with Sam Allardyce. Jussi’s stats were also impressive last term, before he was unfortunately out for the season through injury. However if he rediscovers this form, could he help Big Sam bring back a mean defence like that which they both experienced in the old¬†days at Bolton Wanderers, to keep West Ham in the Premiership? A defensive record similar to that which Martin O’Neill can boast in his time in the premiership, that may also see Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet (Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-6k) shine?

We have already discussed QPR¬†but what about second season syndrome for last terms other Premiership new boys, will the defensive records slip for Swansea’s penalty king¬†Michel Vorm or¬†Norwich’s England new boy John Ruddy?

Will it be these that I have mentioned or the other equally impressive¬†Goalkeepers of Stoke City’s Asmir¬†Begovic, Wigan Athletic’s Ali Al-Habsi¬†or Newcastle United’s Tim Krul that shine?

Perhaps¬†indeed it could be a more¬†experienced Premiership Goalkeeping¬†head that steals the lime light such as¬†Tottenham’s Brad Friedel, Aston Villa’s Shay Given, Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer, Chelsea’s Petr Cech, West Bromwich Albion’s Ben Foster (Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-6Q), Liverpool’s Pepe Reina, or Everton’s Tim Howard, that stand out this season?

It’s early doors in the Premiership with a number of goals scored against some of our hopefuls,¬†whilst¬†some others are already¬†impressing… ¬†However with another¬†37 games to go I wonder who will stand out from the¬†crowd¬†(and for the right reasons!). Who ever it is, for now I think¬†we should sit back and watch as we are most certainly all¬†in for a treat of some tremendous displays of Goalkeeping – I can’t wait ūüėČ

Euro 2012 stats continued – Is Iker Casillas the greatest ever?

Euro 2012 Stats Part Two: The remaining stats awards…

I looked at the number of shots¬†Spain’s¬†Iker¬†Casillas¬†had to deal with on goal and wondered if he was actually one of the¬†best Goalkeepers in Europe as it seemed that he hadn’t necessarily been tested. However when I looked started calculating the stats from the tournament I could believe my eyes when he almost wiped the floor of awards on offer… I say almost as there was only one he did not get, which was the busiest keeper, but then with the Spanish defence and an average team possession of approximately 60% he was never likely to be… but he showed just why indeed he deserved to be classed as one of the best Goalkeepers in Europe and indeed the World…

So from the stats Iker Casillas picks up the awards for:

  • The¬†Golden Glove – Most Clean Sheets¬†–¬†Iker¬†had¬†5 clean sheets in total from the¬†6 games he played, with the next best being 2 clean sheets from 4 other Goalkeepers (England’s Joe Hart, Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon, Portugal’s Rui Patricio and Greece’s Michalis¬†Sifakis);
  • Clean Sheets vs Games Played – An impressive 83.33% with the next best being Greece’s Michalis¬†Sifakis at 66.67%;
  • Clean Sheets vs Shots on Goal¬†– Even though (as we previously saw in the last post) Iker had only 16 shots at goal to cope with, with keeping 5 clean sheets meant that he topped the charts at 31.25%, with the next best being again Greece’s¬†Michalis¬†Sifakis and Portugal’s¬†Rui Patricio at 13.33%;
  • Meanest Keeper Part 1 : Goals Conceded vs Shots on Goal¬†– Iker¬†only conceded 1 goal in the whole tournament meaning his ratio was at 6.25 %, with the next best being England’s Joe Hart at 9.09%; and
  • Meanest Keeper Part 2 : Goals Conceded vs Games Played¬†– this has got to be the greatest stat of the lot with playing 6 games and conceding only 1 means that Iker¬†has a phenomenally low 0.17%. No other Goalkeeper could come close with the next best being Poland’s Przemyslaw¬†Tyton at 0.67%.

I think I speak for many Goalkeeping fans when I say Wow – What a great Goalkeeper. The stats say it all – he most definitely deserves the accolades!

Here are the stats in full for all of these awards:

  Player Country Clean Sheets
1st Iker Casillas Spain 5
2nd = Joe Hart England 2
2nd = Michalis Sifakis Greece 2
2nd = Rui Patricio Portugal 2
2nd = Gianluigi Buffon Italy 2
  Player Country Games Played Clean Sheets % Clean Sheets vs games
1st Iker Casillas Spain 6 5 83.33%
2nd Michalis Sifakis Greece 3 2 66.67%
3rd Joe Hart England 4 2 50.00%
4th Rui Patricio Portugal 5 2 40.00%
5th Przemyslaw Tyton Poland 3 1 33.33%
  Player Country Clean Sheets Shots on Goal % Clean Sheets vs Shots
1st Iker Casillas Spain 5 16 31.25%
2nd Michalis Sifakis Greece 2 15 13.33%
3rd Rui Patricio Portugal 2 15 13.33%
4th Przemyslaw Tyton Poland 1 9 11.11%
5th Hugo Lloris France 1 11 9.09%
  Player Country Goals Conceded Shots on Goal % Conceded vs Shots
1st Iker Casillas Spain 1 16 6.25%
2nd Joe Hart England 3 33 9.09%
3rd Vyacheslav Malafeev Russia 3 21 14.29%
4th Stipe Pletikosa Croatia 3 18 16.67%
5th Andrij Pyatov Ukraine 4 19 21.05%
  Player Country Games Played Goals Conceded Average conceded/ game
1st Iker Casillas Spain 6 1 0.17
2nd Przemyslaw Tyton Poland 3 2 0.67
3rd Joe Hart England 4 3 0.75
4th Rui Patricio Portugal 5 4 0.80
5th Vyacheslav Malafeev Russia 3 3 1.00

Stats by www.goalkeepingitreal.co.uk

Euro 2012 Goalkeepers – What the stats showed:

In the previous posting http://wp.me/p27nBU-fP it was seen that UEFA had chosen their 3 goalkeepers of the tournament. However what did the stats say… who are the goalkeepers that the stats showed to deserve recognition…

Euro 2012 Stats Part One: The busiest Goalkeeper of the tournament (Shots on goal per game)

Sometimes you have to feel for these Goalkeepers as they have a barrage of shots on goal, meaning that either their team is up against huge fire power or the defence isn’t doing their job or perhaps the team are not taking the action further up the field, meaning that the Goalkeeper has to deal with a lot more shots on goal, which makes the job of keeping a clean sheet that much harder (student Goalkeepers should take note, that it can be difficult to keep clean sheets in such situations – even for the vastly experienced Goalkeepers).

With Spain keeping the ball more than any other team and having one of the best defences, it is unlikely to see Iker Casillas in the top 5 of this stat…

Winner: Shay Given

So the first award, is for the busiest Euro 2012 Goalkeeper and there was none busier than Ireland’s Shay Given who had an incredible average of 10 shots on goal per game. He most definitely deserves this award as throughout the tournament Shay had to put up with tremendous back pain whilst still pulling off some great saves in the processes.

Runner up: Joe Hart

Shay Given was closely followed by England’s Joe Hart who not only from stats claimed to be the second busiest keeper (at an average 8.25 shots per game) but in the last match against Italy had more passes than any other England player… some feat…

The top 5 stats in full:

Player Country Games Played Shots on Goal Shots on per game
1st Shay Given Republic of Ireland 3 30 10.00
2nd Joe Hart England 4 33 8.25
3rd = Vyacheslav Malafeev Russia 3 21 7.00
3rd = Maarten Stekelenburg Holland 3 21 7.00
5th Andrij Pyatov Ukraine 3 19 6.33

Stats by www.goalkeepingitreal.co.uk

Euro 2012 Goalkeepers of the Tournament

So Euro 2012 is now over, with Spain crowned the kings of Europe again. What a tournament –¬†not just for the dazzling goals and outfield action¬†but for the Goalkeeping too!

We saw fantastic examples of Goalkeeping¬†and then again some not so good examples with Arsenal’s Worjciech¬†Szczesny seeing red or¬†seeing errors from Goalkeepers who we have recently seen to have had excellent seasons relatively error free. However to jump to the defence of a number of Goalkeepers here,¬†some of these¬†were errors¬†not because they were poor on judgement, that they had to deal with a very unpredictable ball… As Joe Hart experienced and as only one camera angle caught, the ball flew through the air almost ‘wobbling’ in flight. So Goalkeepers had extra factors to deal with in this tournament rather than the obvious ones…

So with the tournament over, UEFA posted their 23 man squad of the tournament, showing that they felt the 3 best goalkeepers had been:

  • Iker¬†Casillas;
  • Gianluigi Buffon; and
  • Manuer¬†Neuer.

3 quality Goalkeepers who I agree deserve recognition, however what did my followers think and who do the tournament stats say were the best? 

There is still time for you all to vote for your favourite, with polls closing this week. I shall then provide an insight into who else deserves our recognition from this great tournament…¬†

%d bloggers like this: