While the controversy surrounding the vuvuzelas seems to be dominating this years World Cup, a much weirder, more disturbing narrative has evolved: what’s wrong with our keepers? From Robert Green’s howler for England against the United State, to Algeria’s Faouzi Chaouchi gifting Slovenia a goal, to Vincent Enyeama of Nigeria giving a victory to Greece, to Paraguay’s Justo Villar’s gift to Italy, this Cup has been totally filled with massive keeping blunders.
The real question, though, is why? Some might immediately jump into an argument about the new Jabulani ball; some might even blame the vuvuzelas (just to try to get them banned); some might blame the pressure. I’m not sure I buy the argument about the ball, because in a lot of these cases, the failures were 100% man-made: that is, the ball itself–and its’ odd flight path–had little to do with the howlers. Green simply let Dempsey’s shot trickle past him–he didn’t put his whole body in front of the ball, a classic mistake; Chaouchi made the same mistake; Villar didn’t even touch the damn thing; and Eyeama just didn’t trap it. Reuters, in fact, even went as far as agreeing with Adidas that the ball is the truest ball ever made–a bit light, maybe, but very “true” in its’ flight path.
As far as the vuvus–again, I just don’t see why they would have anything to do with these particular mistake: they have nothing to do with these keepers ability to hear, and much more with their (in)ability to think.
While the “blame the pressure” argument seems like the most logical one to me it still seems lacking, mainly because all of these keepers play in very high level club competitions, where the pressure can be (almost) as intense.
So what do we think, people?