No goalkeeper has ever had a good day when he picks four balls from his net.
So, Brad Friedel’s re-appearance in a league match for Spurs was hardly a moment of glory. Not for anyone in the club, really, when a home match turns into a 4-2 loss.
Tottenham was missing important starters for this one, so even at home Saturday’s contest against the current league leaders was always a bugger of an assignment. And when William Gallas has one of the worst performances of anyone in the league, well, that’s no recipe for goalkeeping success.
Still … four? His fault or not, it just doesn’t look good.
Gary Cahill’s opening goal blew right past Friedel, but it was such a poor defensive clearance that set up the shot, and such a fiercely lashed number (not to mention that it took a deflection on the way screaming through) that it’s hard to fault any ‘keeper for that one.
The second and third goals? Perhaps you can make an argument that Friedel could have done something special – but that’s what either shot would have required, some kind of extraordinary, Saves of the Week-worthy effort.
The fourth was a dreadful defensive give-away with zero fault attached to Friedel.
So, no real wobbles for the American, and yet this will do nothing in his efforts to take some starts away from French No. 1 Hugo Lloris, who crept closer to a solid hold in the position by doing nothing more than holding his gloves along the sideline.
Before the international break, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said he would begin rotating the goalkeepers, which looked to a lot of us like the manager’s way of saying, “Lloris for league contests, Friedel for the others.”
But Villas-Boas did, in fact, re-insert the 41-year-old Friedel for this one. Now, however, given the “four” now hanging over his incumbent in goal, and given Lloris’ massive mid-week performance against Spain, I’d say this is the bottom line:
Friedel’s place at White Hart Lane looked more stable than we thought this morning, and by this afternoon it had turned less stable than we thought previously. Make sense?
How’s that for a big turn over 90 unfortunate minutes?