Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Has He Got To Gomes?

The Jake Briggs Column at TheProudCockerel.co.uk

A while ago a friend of mine created a loosely scientific theory for the gaffes that England goalkeeper David James was prone to so often in his earlier career. He called it Roli’s Barnet Theory of Culpability, which had a formula M=HF². This equated to H=hair, F=flamboyant and M=(night)mare. So in easy speak every time James did something flamboyant with his hair a mare was not far round the corner M=HF².

Alas I have no such explanation or theory for Senor Gomes, who seems to have been at fault for the vast majority of goals that Spurs have conceded this season. Which has surprised me for of all the signings that Tottenham made this summer, Gomes was one I expected to excel and become a cult hero at White Hart Lane.

You see I can understand mistakes and errors while playing in a team that is making them all over the pitch, as we were under Ramos, but as Tottenham under the guidance of Redknapp have started to flourish and play with confidence Gomes continues to disappoint. I admit the Brazilian has made some outstanding saves since his big-money move from PSV Eindhoven this summer, but his decision making and positional sense on crosses leaves a lot to be desired and is very reminiscent of a younger James. Not to mention his habit of hospitalising his own team-mates.

It seems that Harry is also of the same opinion and has been linked with a number of keepers since his arrival at White Hart Lane, with Spurs linked to England International’s Robert Green and Ben Foster along with Shay Given at Newcastle United, who Redknapp has publicly revealed an interest in and from further ashore Russian International Vyacheslav Malafeev at Zenit St Petersburg.

So if Gomes is to be shown the door at Tottenham in January, who is the most likely to replace the Brazilian between the posts at Spurs, Green, Roberts, Given or Malafeev?

Well if we rule out the Russian keeper then we are left with three who all know what the Premier League is about. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has started to think in terms of use Foster or lose Foster in light of our interest and is ready to play him and offer a new deal, while the impending fire sale at Upton Park in January could see us land a reportedly unhappy Green from West Ham for a song. With the Hammers Player of the Year last season believed to be unhappy at not being on par financially with other players at West Ham.

However, I believe Given would represent the best option, having been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the Premiership over the past decade for the Magpies. The chances of luring Given away from St James’ Park are pretty good to, with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley reportedly prepared to sell any asset he can before selling the club and with a source close to the Republic of Ireland International claiming recently that Given is still hungry to win something in his career and is prepared to leave the Toon in order to achieve that.

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