Tottenham Should Take A Page From Arsenal’s Book To Solve Goalkeeping Woes

Posted by’s Thierry Adams (yes, you read that right) finds amusement in the suffering of others.

I have to admit I haven’t laughed so much in weeks, watching Paul Robinson attempting to single-handedly lose Martin Jol his job and crown himself the clown prince of goalkeepers. Martin Laursen, Aston Villa’s unlikely goal machine, must be wishing he could go up against England’s No.1 on a weekly basis. And Ray Clemence has the cheek to come on the radio today and say Robinson’s howlers were not costly because Spurs hadn’t lost!

Across North London, Jens Lehmann has also shown himself to be a bit of a liability in Arsenal colours. After his cock-ups against Blackburn and Fulham at the start of the season Arsene Wenger had no choice but to drop the German stopper. Maybe it’s about time Jol was brave enough to do the same with butter-fingers Robbo. If it was just on grounds of form alone, and not reputation, then there is no doubt Robinson should be axed. The catalogue of blunders against Villa were not even his first of the season. His defence must have so little confidence in the man who has made similar errors for his country. The most recent was against Germany at Wembley when the former Leeds shot-dropper decided to fling himself at a cross-shot and hand the ball to an oncoming striker to tap in.

Let’s look at the facts – just as a striker is judged on his strike rate, than a goalie should be judged on how many goals he concedes, just like the defence behind which he stands. In his last 46 Premier League games Robinson has let in 70 goals and kept just seven clean sheets. By comparison, Edwin van der Saar has kept the same number of clean sheets as Robinson in the past six weeks or so!

Whilst it’s true that Spurs don’t have the most solid bunch of defenders, 27-year-old Robinson is hardly inspiring confidence among those in front of him. The way his defence looked at each other after the second goalkeeping mistake against Villa said it all – they looked annoyed and, probably more worryingly, not at all surprised.

It seems indisputable that a player who is so off form should be dropped. Czech Republic keeper Radek Cerny should be given a chance – after all, he has only conceded nine goals in the nine games he has worn a Spurs jersey. No one should be in a side simply because of who they are. Robinson has been a virtual ever-present for a number of years and, whereas there is no doubt that on his day he is a world-class keeper, it is also clear that he hasn’t been on top of his game for some time and it’s only fair that he should make way for someone less error-prone.

After all the Gunners had no qualms about putting Lehmann out to grass … and look where they are now!