Obviously not a paid-up member of the union, Thibaut Courtois has chided England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for his lapse technique while conceding against Belgium in the World Cup group game between the two sides on Thursday.
Adnan Januzaj cut inside from the right flank and curled a excellent shot into the far top corner to score the only goal of the game, but watching on at the other end, Courtois was distinctly unimpressed by the Pickford’s flailing attempt to save it.
Asked for his thoughts on the goal by Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad (via Voetbal 24), the Chelsea stopper was somewhat less than complementary:
The England goalkeeper (Pickford) is 10 centimetres smaller than me. I would have caught it.
He was too busy throwing his legs in the air.
Seems a little harsh to professionally denigrate a man for not being 6′ 5”. We can’t all be built like sinewy Giacometti sculptures – and generally your legs have to be in the air if you’re jumping.
It’s actually more than a little disheartening to see what gets callously passed off as ‘goalkeeping error’ these days. Januzaj buried a shot in the far top corner and still we’re berating Pickford for ‘going with the wrong hand’, or not having the clairvoyant foresight to position himself four inches to the right.
It’s bollocks, is what it is. Sometimes, a lot of the time in fact, goals get scored that aren’t anybody’s fault. To lambaste a man for not being able to predict and react faster than is actually humanly possible seems more than a little futile.
That’s what tends to pass for #analysis these days: the apportioning of blame, carried out forensically, frame by frame, both in hindsight and in super slow-motion.
It’s come to be a nigh-on Pavlovian response (“questions about the ‘keeper there”, etc, etc, etc…) for most pundits and it grates like sandpaper knickerbockers, yes it does.