The life of a goalkeeper in the top-flight is a tough one as every mistake can prove costly.
Hugo Lloris was on the receiving end after his mistake against Sunderland last weekend. A flap left the ball at the mercy of Adam Johnson’s right foot, and he dispatched it with aplomb. While he deserved the blame for failing to clear with his punch, it was amazing to see people queuing up to compare Lloris to Heurelho Gomes.
His goalkeeping style is such that he will forever be judged on hindsight. He likes to rush off his line and he likes to punch rather than catch crosses. If he rushes off his line and saves, he is brilliant, if the same scenario results in a goal, he is pilloried.
Lloris’s strategy is risky, but sometimes he is given a lot of unfair stick. The speed and certainty with which he comes off his line may carry an element of risk, but his decisiveness deserves a lot of credit. Yes, he may risk making a fool of himself sometimes, but he saves a lot more goals with his way compared to the occasional mistakes.
Ultimately, all goalkeepers have different styles, it's just that the Frenchman's style is one that leaves him vulnerable to sporadic errors compared to a goalkeeper who plays it safe and prefers to avoid rushing off his line.
That goalkeeper may save less compared to Lloris in one-on-one situations, but he avoids the occasional negative spotlight that accompanies the Lloris way of keeping. To be fair, Lloris deserved the criticism for his performance against City at the Etihad, but that was more of a bad day in the office rather than anything else.
Overall, his performances have been consistently good for his club. Considering Andre Villas-Boas’ love for the high defensive line, he is an ideal goalkeeper for Spurs.
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