Monday 8 March 21
I slept in today even though l was awake early but the ‘nip in the air’ see my me back to my bed and much to my surprise it was just before nine when l woke again and l knew immediately that we, Tony and I, had a date with Clive Tyldsley, that famous football commentator.
I knew much about his work but this was originally going to be about the loss of his very close friend lan St John who we sadly lost this week.
Clive was very interesting, so much so, I thought Tony was going to propose to him – a journalistic thing – much like when those goalkeepers get together, and they have to stick together especially today because they are more than simple shot stoppers, “they can play” the game with their feet all of a sudden?
Yeah, since I’ve been in the game the saying always was that “you have to be nuts to be a goalkeeper” has suddenly gone, for these days they’ve turned it all around to becoming technicians of our game with their step-overs (which I could never do), their Cruyff turns (I couldn’t do that either), their dropping the shoulder (only in the Markham Arms or Park Tavern) and the one where for a split second you haven’t a clue what’s coming next? And if you haven’t what chance have they?
When the Allison the Liverpool keeper cocked it all up against Manchester City there should have been a new law in that: Goalkeepers, unless you are taking goal-kicks or kicking the ball out of your hands, you must NOT use your feet’ signed Pepe Guardiola, even though he was the beneficiary of Allison’s truly world beating cock-ups. What made me chuckle was after he made the first massive cock-up, when Liverpool were in with some kind of a chance in this match, had I been playing there wouldn’t be any chance in the world I would ever pass it to him again – not that I would before – but two minutes later the Liverpool defender passed it straight back to him with a Manchester City player closing in and Allison panicked like it was an oncoming Liverpool to Manchester train.
I’d like to say that I felt sorry for him. But after all the talk since Pepe introduced footballing goalkeepers, “He should have known better”, another Beatles song funnily enough, being Liverpool. The bottom line is that I have never seen anyone other than that Colombian keeper having the ability to play our game, but at least he the common sense to do it out on the wing taking on full-backs away from danger.
At Chelsea Peter Bonetti liked to play in our five-a-sides in the Stamford Bridge forecourt and The Cat was quite decent as he saw it as a run-out and an opportunity to get out of goal, and I saw that as healthy and Peter was quick and full of running, whereas at Stoke City in our upstairs gymnasium Peter Shilton left the goal to pit his wits against the best midfield players, thinking he was some kind of Platini or Brady (more like Pete Brady) or Currie even, a Man For All Seasons type of character.
And then one day we played Newcastle United at home in a vital last match of the season at the Victoria Ground and as we were pounding the Newcastle goal a ball was hacked upfield and Shilton came out and just as the referee had the whistle to his lips, Peter kicked the floor and the final whistle went and that was the last I saw of him lying on the mudheap that was the Old Vic.
At Arsenal Pat Jennings would NOT dream of believing he could play outfield, maybe because he played with George Best for Northern Ireland and he knew that George couldn’t play in goal and he couldn’t do what the one-and-only could do, just a thought, Pepe?
What happened to “Keeping it simple” goalkeepers use their hands to stop the ball from going into the net, centre-halves head it away from corners, midfield players create and front players do the opposite of what goalkeepers are supposed to do. It ain’t rocket science Pepe, although you are back on top, and it ain’t your goalkeeper that got you there.
There is no argument!
If I managed Barcelona, Bayern Munich and this Manchester City team I don’t really think I’d have a goalkeeper I’d just put Peter Shilton in there.
After all, Brazil never need a goalkeeper in 1970 when they were the best football team on earth, and to prove that not many people know his name, a clue is that he was mistaken for Peter Bonetti at Chelsea?