Stekelenburg: A keeper’s priority is to make saves, not passes

Date published: Saturday 22nd October 2016 1:58

Maarten Stekelenburg: Saved two penalties at Man City

Maarten Stekelenburg: Saved two penalties at Man City

Everton’s Maarten Stekelenburg insists a goalkeeper’s priority must be to make saves, despite the trend for goalkeepers to act as playmakers. 

Some managers now expect their stoppers to play as great a part in their team’s attacking play as well as their defensive duties, with Pep Guardiola preferring Claudio Bravo over Joe Hart at Manchester City because of the Chilean’s supposed ability to orchestrate the play from the back.

The likes of Manuel Neuer and David De Gea have also seen the demand rise for ‘sweeper keepers’, but Holland international Stekelenburg has warned that No.1s must focus first on acting as a last line of defence.

“Basically the main priority for goalkeepers is saving balls,” he said.

“I come from the Ajax Youth academy, I’m used to playing with my feet. I don’t have any problem with that. But people don’t have to forget that the main thing for a goalkeeper is saving balls and then everything you do extra to help the team is a bonus.

“These days goalkeepers have to be all round. They have to be good with their feet, high balls, the basic goalkeeping stuff. There are a lot of demands on goalkeepers these days.

“The position has become more complicated because I think every period has something.

“It started when goalkeepers couldn’t pick up the ball anymore when the defenders played it back.

“It is just the new rules and the development of football itself. It is not only the goalkeepers, the strikers have to do everything – defend, lay off the ball. There are a lot of demands in football.”

“It started when goalkeepers couldn’t pick up the ball anymore when the defenders played it back.

“It is just the new rules and the development of football itself. It is not only the goalkeepers, the strikers have to do everything – defend, lay off the ball. There are a lot of demands in football.”

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