Goalkeeping confidence or lack of it?

  • A goalkeeper’s confidence can be a fragile thing when the pressure is on to get a result. How the manager deals with the situation where you have two goalkeepers competing for the No1 spot can either push the two goalkeepers to perform at a consistently high level or it can lead to the goalkeeper in possession of the No 1 shirt feeling uncertain that any mistake will lead to being dropped for the next game.

    When I was at Sheffield United both myself and Simon Tracey where competing for the No 1 jersey for seven years and we both knew that if either one of us got into the side then bar a catastrophic loss of form, you would stay in the team. The other goalkeeper would have to just get on with being No.2 and support the man in possession, as it transpired, we both suffered periodic injuries that would mean a change in the No.1 shirt but because we both understood the situation, we trained in an atmosphere that pushed us both to perform to a high standard.

    Even when one of us got injured, if the injured man recovered within two games then it always worked out that you would go back into the team. I think that all the managers we worked under understood that situation and more importantly, so did we.

    With Manchester United’s goalkeeping situation changing from game to game, you can see the lack of confidence and belief of the two goalkeepers in holding down the No.1 spot, which also has a knock on effect to with their defenders, that results in wrong decisions being made which result in goals being conceded and when you look at United’s loss away at Newcastle tonight where Phil Jones and Anders Lindegaard got their wires crossed for Newcastle’s third goal then it is a position that will be causing real problems and debates throughout Manchester United.