A weekend with a classic match is one of those weekends of football, goal, sitting in front of the TV and enjoy. Barça headed out as favorite and it did. Very little could Courtois do to avoid the culés hammer.
It’s not the first time we consider Courtois positionings and interpretations in the back passes / end lines. Pay attention to the initial situation that generates the 1-0:
Regardless the goal, this is just a consideration, not a criticism;
Is Courtois positioning too much forward? Do you think that position makes him lose the reference of the first post?
Courtois possibly intends or wants to play a short shot in this type of situation rather than a back pass. However:
Can two more backwards steps and taking reference based on the goal and the player with the ball, be enough to avoid the goal? Or has he got at least more success guarantees? Or at least before that back pass, he wouldn’t have had to run so much to defend the shot disorientating himself completely.
The second penalty score was a shame because he not only guesses where the shot is going to go, but, despite the shot is an “A”, he is about to touch it. And the third one is a Suárez marvel in light of what we think it was a cross to another team mate, where Suárez makes a majestic header, and where not even the fastest corrections nor reactions can do anything to avoid the goal. What is more, we thought Courtois defended the possible shot and the pass to the space very well thanks to his orientation and body position, but… Who could have imagined that cross-shot?
In this situation we only intend to offer different considerations, since for many people it will be ok to reduce, and for other people the best option is to stay and risk a shot, because we have the support of the midfielder at an angle.
But let’s go beyond “right” or “wrong”:
We are used to see tall goalkeepers (+190cm) reducing too much. Why do you think it happens? May it be precisely that size that gives them more confidence to make reductions rather than staying at the goal and risk a shot? Is the body size a determining factor when deciding?
Should then the goalkeeping coaches correct and modify these behaviors? How?
The last goal is something like the first one. A lateral situation with two close marks where…
What can his body positioning tell us about what he’s watching? Is the goalkeeper able to see what’s behind his back from that situation?
Should he be stay behind, not being the back pass nor the shot an imminent situation/action?
Those two more backwards steps, would have given him a broader sight/perspective and maybe that would have triggered a different decision?
It’s true that Ter Stegen wasn’t as busy as Courtois, however, we can make some reflections on the goal he conceded.
It’s true he can’t entirely intercept the back pass but…
How do you see this position?
He takes long to stand up after not taking proper action in the back pass…
Can this be the reason of the goal?
If he stands up faster and keeps his position faster…
Can he reach to deviate/block Marcelo’s shot?
Why do you think he loses his balance just by the time of the shot?
Is he late and he positions late?
We think the reflections are part of the daily goalkeeping coach improvement. Restrict ourselves to a poor and critical analysis such as “right/wrong” … will lead us nowhere. And it’s precisely the “GOAL”, an opportunity to improve, a chance to reflect and a perfect basis to:
What do I need to do as a goalkeeper coach to prevent these situations to happen to my goalkeepers? And if they happen… What tools am I going to give them?