Ben Burgess column: Can Blackpool loanee Lumley be absolutely fabulous?

What a week for goalkeepers! Blackpool's latest goalkeeping recruit, Joe Lumley, performed excellently to claim a clean sheet on his home debut against Bristol Rovers.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 9:00 am
Joe Lumley

The fact that it was the Seasiders’ first shutout in almost four months, shows just how important a new goalkeeper is to Gary Bowyer.

Previous incumbents of the goalkeeper jersey have failed to impress on a number of occasions this season.

That lack of conviction and assuredness between the sticks has allowed panic and uncertainty to spread through the defence.

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Two of the more higher profile goalkeepers in the Premier League didn’t quite enjoy as successful a weekend as Lumley.

Last Sunday’s epic showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City produced seven goals and some thrilling football.

Jurgen Klopp opted for Loris Karius in goal instead of the hapless Simon Mignolet and he certainly didn’t justify his selection.

City’s first goal was smashed into Karius’ near post by Leroy Sane, and he was then rooted to his goal line for the third.

Surprisingly, City’s keeper – the most expensive in the world – had a very rare off-day.

Ederson was originally bought to replace Claudio Bravo, who has the presence and shot stopping ability of a piece of wood, nut he was at fault for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s opener and then for the first time all season, his distribution let him down to assist Mo Salah for the fourth goal.

The difference between Karius and Ederson’s response to their mistakes tells a lot about their characters.

Karius continued to look shaky, while Ederson immediately got back onto the ball and continued trying to direct play, as per his manager’s orders.

As I inform the children in my class, you will always make mistakes and things will go wrong but it only matters how you respond to those setbacks and if you have the resilience to carry on.

Goalkeepers, especially, need to be resilient and look confident, even if they’re not!

Any weakness from a goalkeeper will be exposed.

I’ve had countless team talks from managers who ask you to target the opposition goalkeeper: “Pile round him from the first corner.” “Close him down on pass backs, because he can’t kick.” “Get into his head. He’s mentally weak.” Etc etc.

It can be very hard for young goalkeepers to stake a claim in a first team because inevitably they will make mistakes because they’re still learning.

I played with Stoke City and England goalkeeper Jack Butland when he was 18 and on loan at Cheltenham Town.

He was amazing in training and exuded confidence, but in one particular game at Southend, he started badly and ended up having a nightmare as we lost by three or four.

His response was a clean sheet in the next game and that confidence and mental strength is the reason he has achieved so much already in his career.

Joe Hart was like a brick wall when he spent a month on loan with Blackpool, and again he had complete belief in himself.

Goalkeepers are generally a bit crazy; after all, who chooses to throw themselves in front of a high speed projectile?

They train extremely closely with other keepers, who are openly trying to take their position.

Sadly, not every goalkeeper I played with was competent between the sticks.

That led to a nervous defence who would avoid pass backs or even have to change their game to try and almost cover for their keeper.

Hopefully Bowyer has solved his problem in goal and Lumley will have a highly productive loan spell from QPR.