This coming year, I have a few new things I would like to try. Some would call these New Year's Resolutions, but call 'em what you like, I'm writing them anyway. This year, among things, I want to get closer to the fans on this site (this goes for the most experienced and the guy or girl who is just starting to learn about the game) and to build the soccer fanbase on this site so it rivals any other. I will do this by doing a few things, such as bringing my mailbag back, but first you have to promise to send me questions. If you can do that, then I will continue to run this type of blog at least once a week. Today, I will start you out by telling you about the position of goalie or to us soccer fans, goalkeeper.
The goalkeeper is the last line of defence for every team. A goalkeeper can be the difference between winning, drawing, and losing a game. Sometimes, you may have a team (let's say Sweden at the World Cup 2006) that should be winning and is taking all kinds of shots on you. But sometimes, a great goalkeeper or just someone who is having a good day (let's say Shaka Hislop of Trinidad & Tobago) can shut down a whole team by himself and he did just that by holding Sweden at 0-0.
Most people say this about goalkeepers: they have to be crazy to do what they are doing. And that is very true. You have to be pretty crazy to dive at someone's feet when both men are at full speed. When that happens, anything can happen. A goalkeeper can get kicked in the sternum or worse the head. Kinda like Petr Cech, who now wears a special protective hat. Goalkeepers are very brave and have to know how to analyze the game as well. If a 'keeper can't do that, then they are already beaten. In goal, you must be able to give your teammates orders, because you can see everything. And if you don't tell them, chances are that no one will.
In my opinion, there are three types of goalkeepers. First off is the Conservative Goalkeeper. A conservative is usually a person who stays on their line, unless they have to act. They are usually keepers that I consider to have less skill, but have great positioning to make up for it. Then you have a Risk-Taking Goalkeeper. A risky 'keeper can cut any play off. They usually come way off their line just to clear a ball. Whether it be with their hand or feet. And then the third type of 'keeper is the kind that is in-between. This type is not very good in my opinion. If you can't make up your mind, you can't play the game correctly. So that is the three types of players according to me.
The position of 'keeper can be compared to catcher for you baseball fans and a safety for a football fan. You are supposed to keep the ball in front of you, and don't let them by. As a goalkeeper, you're main purpose is to keep it out, most know that. But there is more to it. One of the key things is to keep the near post protected. You always want the opponent to have to beat you far post. The other thing that a 'keeper must do is keep players out of his area. If you allow players to run free through your area, you are setting up for trouble. Well, that is just a few things, but this has become a long blog.
Please send Keeper your questions so that he can answer them. Thanks for your time and have a Happy New Year.