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Friday, 31 October 2008

Does Heurelho Gomes Have A Future With Spurs?

Most people enjoyed Wednesday night's 4-4 thriller at the Emirates but the respective goalkeepers won't be among them. For the Spurs man in possession it was another tough night in a difficult baptism to the Premiership.

Heurelho Gomes has quickly been put high on the list of players who Harry Redknapp might demote and then move out of White Hart Lane but the issue is not that simple.

The new manager made a point of saying kind words about the Brazilian as a 'brave keeper' who doesn't hide on his line. This may be his own feelings and it could also have an element of necessity in it.

With two months to the transfer window, Redknapp's options are limited unless he chooses to seek a keeper on a loan deal. His choices within the club are not strong. He could recall Ben Alnwick from Carlisle but despite his promise the ex-Sunderland man has only played 35 League games.

Sanchez Cesar hasn't appeared at all in the Premiership although he has over 100 games for Real Zaragoza. Set against that though, Gomes has 17 caps for Brazil, won titles with PSV Eindhoven and has huge Champions League experience.

To change the last line of defence at this point is probably risking too much upheaval. Plus, the new manager will want to be satisfied about who exactly is to blame for some of the problems in the Spurs defence.

Gomes has taken some stick for some ill-judged attempts to come for crosses but the key is whether he comes because he wants to, or if he feels he must because of a lack of authority in his defenders. As ever, keepers are always the most obvious target when it goes wrong but Redknapp will want to be certain his central defenders are taking responsibility.

At PSV Gomes was a cult figure precisely because he was a big presence who put himself out front. Normally managers are happy to accommodate players prepared to take responsibility and pump up their colleagues. With keepers it always comes with a risk factor though- the catastrophic mistake at Udinese being a case in point.

If Gomes gets past the Udinese player it looks like a piece of cool judgement and sends a message to his team mates- equally, when it goes wrong it puts tremendous pressure on a struggling team.

If, to use Harry Redknapp's phrase, Gomes was playing poorly by 'hiding on his line', there's no doubt the new boss would shift him out. Because of his boldness and a lack of alternatives, the Brazilian will probably have more chances, unless he drops some howlers and/or Cesar really impresses the new manager.

More than any other position, goalkeeper is the most difficult to bed into when a team is playing poorly. Clean sheets bring confidence but most of the Spurs side has misfunctioned and so Harry Redknapp is likely to give Gomes a clean slate and two months to impress.

COMMENTS

Chris Lunn

He's had a few howlers lately but let's not forget he's still carrying a rib injury and playing through it. I think he's a quality keeper...you don't do what he did as PSV if you're not. He must have more shots to deal with than any other keeper in the league and our defence and midfield in particular need to take responsibility for that. Once the team settles down and we get a regular pairing in front of him, they'll all get a bit more confidence and who knows...even a clean sheet one day?

Justin Wilcox

Its not entirely Gomes' fault doesent help he has the crock of rubbish Corluka in front of him, man City must have pee'd their pants with delight when we chucked 8.5million at them for him. He should be first to leave in january - well we can hope can't we?

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