VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The tumultuous tale of Heurelho Gomes at Tottenham
We’re not advocates for scapegoating and comedy at one’s expense here at the Faculty, but Adam Federici’s heartbreaking howler at Wembley on Saturday- a gift that saw Arsenal advance past Reading to the FA Cup Final- cast our minds back to the worst goalkeeping errors in English football.
One (giant) man stood out for us in this field of mediocrity (literally), and that was Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who didn’t become known for a single-error, but an array of high-profile gaffs that were as farcical as they were tragic. He was so consistently inconsistent that it’s difficult to understand how he was related to his flying equivalent who impressed enough at PSV to earn a £7.8m move to Tottenham in the summer of 2008.
Arguably, goalkeeping coach Hans Leitert and manager Juande Ramos both took the fall for his shortcomings in that period, and Brad Friedal was eventually snapped up from Villa on a free transfer to restore some normality to Spurs’ befuddled base .
On an aside, Gomes’ inconsistency adds weight to the thesis of how you judge the ability of a goalkeeper. A fine shot stopper when he wanted to be, Gomes ultimately failed because of his unreliability; it is that very quality that defines the world’s best. Scan around the football league and you’ll find excellent shot-stopping goalkeepers with decent reflexes; what actually makes the best are those who never slip up.