What Is The Modern Day GK?
Goalkeeper Education: Harsh Treatment of Goalkeepers
You shouldn’t have to tell someone you’re a good goalkeeper, but you can try and educate people on what qualities you need to be a good goalkeeper, especially for those who have never played the position and have little idea of how hard this position is.
This is where we got the idea of doing more blogs, to hopefully educate more people on goalkeepers. We are the minority in football and also the most scrutinised out of all positions you could choose to play, normally by people who have little knowledge about goalkeeping.
An outfield player wouldn’t be criticised about foot position or bodyweight when misplacing a pass or missing the target. When a goalkeeper concedes, everything they do is scrutinised, hands too low/high, didn’t dive forwards, feet weren’t planted. These are tiny details that people blame for a ball going past you. Whether this is fair or not, this is part of being a goalkeeper.
We’ve had plenty of messages regarding match footage, so we’ve been uploading some of it to our YouTube channel and have merged it into this blog to show people how Lee has played over the years. But it’s not always appreciated as people don’t know enough on the position.
Style of Play
- Distribution/Comfortable on the ball/Carrying the ball
- Sweeping up/Coming for crosses
- Chance Prevention
- Shot stopping is a massive part yes, but that is the absolute minimum of being a goalkeeper. You’ll find some of the best shot stoppers ever who play in your local 5 a side league! It’s all of the other attributes that make a good goalkeeper these days.
The clips are from previous seasons but his style of play has always been the same since he was a young lad. He takes RESPONSIBILITY. He wants to take part in the game. Not all goalkeepers play this way, a lot of keepers would rather play it safe than put themselves in a position where there is more chance of something going wrong.
“One of the best goalkeepers with the ball at his feet.” - Graeme Souness on The Modern Day GK
The modern way of playing means you take on a lot more responsibility – sweeping up, coming for crosses, trying to hit teammates rather than a punt. You’ll get more stick when things go wrong but you’ll take a lot of pressure off your team. This is what we want, more keepers to try and play this way.
As a goalkeeper, you can stop chances being created and take pressure from your defence by being able to sweep up, come for crosses, organising your defence and asking for the ball from your defenders. You can start attacks from quick and accurate distribution. Technical ability and athleticism really helps you do this. Work on your touch, both feet, kicking style, distribution from hands and feet, speed, strength, balance, spring, power, mobility, agility, coordination, reactions and you’ll be able to add more to your game.
Here’s one I’m sure all goalkeepers would have experienced; you could make a very good save look easy because you’ve had the confidence to catch/keep a hold of the ball but people will think it’s a routine save so you don’t get the praise. This also eliminates the chance of having to deal with rebounds and pulling off a double save.
Distribution/Ball at feet
In our first blog, we had mentioned how Lee was regarded (by others) as having some of the best distribution around. I’m sure after watching these clips you’ll be able to see why.
He wants to set attacks away with quick and accurate distribution but will take the ball under pressure as he’s very comfortable on the ball. One thing he can do that you don’t say many keepers do is being able to carry the ball to create space!
Sweeping Up/Coming for Crosses
We love seeing goalkeepers sweeping up and coming for crosses because it reduces chances massively! This side of a goalkeeper can easily go unnoticed because the GK has not had a save to make because he’s cut the chance out before a risk of a shot has even occurred.
If a Centre Back has done this, it would be classed as great play by them. They’ve showed they read the situation very well.
He loves to sweep up and come for crosses or high balls into the box which can take pressure off the defence.
What you can find is:
1. Not every goalkeeper can play high and cut out through balls, they don’t come out but could end up making a save for not coming out
2. If you can sweep up, you PREVENT a chance from being created but this isn’t appreciated as much as making a save. It’s seen as the norm, but not all keepers can do it. Not all goalkeepers can judge a through ball or even get to it because of being in a deeper position or not having the speed.
For example, how can you get the blame for coming out to intercept a through ball and the striker getting there first, if you were never coming in the first place, staying safe inside your 6 yard box? Yeah, not all goalkeepers are going to be able to get their first, but we want managers/fans/pundits to appreciate the goalkeepers who can get there.
Chance Prevention By Taking Responsibility
If you take responsibility, you can minimise chances. This can all come down to the things mentioned in the blog. Yes it can easily go unnoticed, but hopefully people start to realise how much of a difference it makes.
There have been games I’ve seen where he’s not had a save to make but he’s prevented numerous chances by sweeping up outside the box/ taking high balls on the penalty spot/ coming for crosses (high and low).
“TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and PLAY POSITIVELY, you’ll enjoy it more and be able to make a massive difference to the game. Don’t wait for the game to come to you!” - The Modern Day GK