The ancient phrase of ‘catch the ball, boot it up’ and the evolving art of the goalkeeper in the modern game

“Goalkeepers need an element of insanity.”

These words from former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, one of the most successful German players in recent history, have been repeated many times over the years.

As someone who has played in goal I can understand that sentiment. You’re expected to be alert every second of every game, make the important saves, constantly talk to your defenders and be prepared to throw yourself in front of anything. As Peter Cech found out in 2006, that last one can sometimes be painful.

Continue reading “The ancient phrase of ‘catch the ball, boot it up’ and the evolving art of the goalkeeper in the modern game”

Why full-backs are crucial to Pep Guardiola’s style of play

By Lewis Steele

Manchester City lost three games in December, which put a good few nails in their bid to become the first team to retain the Premier League title for over a decade. The reason mooted by many is complacency, the loss of Fernandinho, or simply a bad spell of luck, with many conceded goals being ‘screamers’. Given Guardiola’s meticulous nature, there is no such thing as ‘luck’, good or bad, and the issue always lies deeper. Continue reading “Why full-backs are crucial to Pep Guardiola’s style of play”