Hugo Lloris and the Lack of Patience
With the second round of Carling Capital One Cup fixtures starting today, and Tottenham ready to face up to Carlisle, the big team news is that Hugo Lloris will not play in favour of Carlo Cudicini. The fourth most important competition Tottenham compete in, having the third choice goalkeeper taking a step towards valuable match sharpness? Sensible.
Of course, if this comes to pass, it’ll be blown way out of proportion by those who pen the back pages.
It’s getting ridiculous, frankly.
The attitude is more understandable back in France, where the best goalkeeper in the country and, by virtue of being French, the world, is being kept out of the team by a Bruce Willis lookalike they haven’t ever heard of. That said, Fabian Barthez’s comment that the situation is “incomprehensible” has a touch of The Princess Bride about it.
Brad Friedel has been the reason why Tottenham and Andre Villas-Boas have not been seriously humiliated yet. For the last five games, the American shot-stopper has made world-class save after world-class save, turning potential losses into draws and draws into wins, while the players in front of him struggle to shift beyond second-gear.
On the other hand, you have Lloris. A player that I have been assured is world-class by the media and other fans. But rather than that, the little I have seen from Lloris is an erratic shot-stopper with a tendency to flap.
Exhibit A? Joleon Lescott, Euro 2012.
Now, I’m not a connoisseur of Ligue 1. I doubt I ever will be, no matter how much money PSG throws at the world’s biggest stars. But there is no doubt that there is a difference in style between the two leagues, and most would argue a difference in quality. Promises may have been made during negotiations which may have caused the fuss to be kicked up in the first place, but perhaps this was done as a gentle introduction to the rigours of the English top flight, which may be needed.
Exhibit B? Heurelho Gomes.
Ignored for his incredible reflexes and uncanny ability to win one-on-ones these days, he is now remembered for his inability to deal with crosses and his habit of fumbling the ball at the worst possible time. That he was given the Number 1 jersey and shoved straight into goal in a country where he didn’t understand the language cannot be a coincidence. An extreme case, yes, but I am not keen to see history repeat itself.
Away from all the hearsay, the weighing up of his benefits and deficits, and Andre Villas-Boas’ hardly stellar handling of the media (seriously, he should hire a PR man immediately) the fact remains: Hugo Lloris will be Tottenham’s number one. He needs to wait it out, but his time will come. But while his rival puts in performances that John McClane would be proud of, the man who hasn’t missed a match in eight years won’t be stopping that run in the short-term.
Especially considering the fixture this weekend. Seriously, Friedel’s been godly against Manchester United before.