When you see Pep Guadiola’s teams in action, you know beforehand that the goalkeeper’s direct involvement in the offensive game is key. Further, his goalkeepers have always been characterized by having superior ball skills and control than other goalkeepers. That’s the reason why he signed Ederson, as a goalkeeper with this specific profile.
After watching the Chelsea vs Manchester City match last December the 8th and analysing both goalkeepers’ performances with their feet… several reflections arise.
As goalkeeping coaches, we’re limited until certain point when we work the footwork with our goalkeepers. Why? Because we can generate real game situations simulating pressure over the goalkeeper, several pass options… but, unlike other situations, we realize that there are two important concepts the goalkeeper needs to internalize when playing out from the back.
- Team integration
After watching these Manchester City situations, I think it’s clear all of them are somehow beforehand trained. For that, we need the team. This “need”, as a general rule, is something easy to meet, because most times the head coach usually suggests it, due to his philosophy and game style. As goalkeepers’ coaches, we must adapt and work to make it true.
Can it be worked?
Personally, we think so, despite the fact that if one has it naturally, it will project a different self-confidence. We think Ederson case is natural and, of course, it’s been growing strong over the years, because of the hard training.
It’s true that this type of philosophy sometimes is hard to embrace and the goalkeeper or the goalkeeping coach can interpret it as:
Too risky for the benefit I get!
As we have been repeating from the beginning of the magazine, any philosophy is valid as long as is contended. Let’s see Ederson’s record, for instance:
In his last three matches, he performed an average of 32 foot-actions per match, including long balls and short passes, with a terrific effectiveness:
- Long balls turnovers, 4% per match. An average of two per match.
- Short passes turnovers, 0.75%. In other words, less than a short pass per match.
Curious fact, isn’t it? So curious that more than 94% of Ederson’s game is footwork, and just 6% involves a goal defensive action.
Can you imagine a goalkeeper’s profile that had footwork issues in such game style as Manchester City’s? Impossible! Isn’t it?
That’s why we talk about personality, because a good footwork is not enough. The current football goalkeeper must interpret and be the first attacking play builder.