Confidence is vital to the success of any footballer, but it is especially necessary for goalkeepers who live in a world where any wobbles and mistakes on their part are highlighted that much more.
Heurelho Gomes—whether in feeling he has let his team down or simply being unable to deal with the criticism—has struggled more than most in bouncing back from these, his challenges.
It is a shame because, despite what some might say, Gomes technically is one of the finest goalkeepers around.
Early on in his time at the club he made some notable clangers, but the main issue with the Brazilian's game was his kamikaze approach to dealing with crosses: rushing out to try and deal with every one to the extent that it engendered a feeling of panic as Spurs looked to defend in these situations.
The short-lived Austrian goalkeeping coach Hans Leitert was replaced in November of that 2008/09 campaign by former Spur Tony Parks, whose focus on solidifying the fundamentals of his new student's game resulted in a vast improvement in Gomes' form.
The eagerness to impose himself on every situation he could was remodeled into a better understanding of when it was appropriate to leave his six-yard box and when to stay. It does not sound like a huge deal, but it helped develop a greater clarity and concentration in Gomes' approach to his trade and for the best part of two years the good far outweighed the bad.
Gomes was instrumental in Tottenham's Champions League qualification in 2009-10, delivering regular performances frequently marked out by spectacular and important saves, in particular delivering a remarkable last line of defence display to seal a memorable (and long-awaited) 2-1 win over Arsenal.
In Europe the following season he performed similar heroics in the 1-0 away win over Milan, but it was his failure to overcome a mistake later on in that run in the competition that has ultimately proved costly.
The shot he let slip in from Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo was not an especially big deal in itself, with the Spurs already 4-0 down on aggregate from the first leg and unlikely to make a comeback.
No, it was Gomes' inability to pick himself up from this disappointment that was most worrying, and weeks later he slipped up again to concede at Chelsea—his confidence continuing to erode in such drastic measures.
As good as he can be, his lack of resilience is a character flaw that just cannot be overlooked at the top level, and is one he needs to remedy so as not to waste the ability he does possess.