Tottenham Hotspur: 5 Possible Replacements for Bumbling Heurelho Gomes
Tottenham Hotspur fans must be fed up by the sight of their bald-headed goalkeeper by now.
Heurelho Gomes is dodgier than a bar of soap; he has made so many calamities this season the club should release a DVD titled “The Top 10 Comedy Moments in the EPL” in a tribute to him.
The DVD would sell faster than the entire series of the Mr. Bean comedies; such is the slapstick and humor the Brazilian has produced at times.
All jokes aside, Gomes has been a walking time bomb. Apart from some decent shows against AC Milan and Blackburn Rovers, horrific blunders against Manchester United, Real Madrid and, most recently, Chelsea and Blackpool, has ultimately cost Spurs a place in the Champions League next season.
Gomes seems to press the self-destruct button almost at will—even the much maligned Massimo Taibi looks a tad class better at times.
Tottenham Hotspur fans have always had their doubts about this brilliant yet inconsistent shot-stopper, but after this season’s countless howlers they are calling for an immediate replacement to put an end to the freak show.
Harry Redknapp has defended Gomes time and again, but after last week’s blunder against Blackpool his face expressed only one thing—a desire to get a new goalie.
We take a look at five replacement shot-stoppers who could prove a steady hands to lead Tottenham Hotspur into domestic and European glory next season...
1) Tim Howard
A solid presence between the sticks, Tim Howard illustrates consistency each time he takes the field.
A foundation of Everton’s growing success in recent seasons, Howard can always be counted on when it mattered most.
He may be suspect when dealing with crosses but, when it comes to agility and reflex saves, he is second to none.
He is also extremely good with the one-on-one situation, and is not afraid to put his body on the line to prevent a goal.
This season has been personally one of his best at Everton, especially during the latter stages of the league.
He still has a few more years in him, so Spurs would definitely benefit from having a top class keeper who has the experience and reliability they so desperately crave.
2) Ali Al Habsi
Ali Al Habsi has been a revelation for Wigan ever since being signed on loan from Bolton Wanderers.
Hardly a household name in the EPL, Ali’s fine performance has kept Wigan from certain relegation candidates to promising survivors in this unforgiving league.
Apart from one howler, in which he let David Silva’s tame shot through his legs, Ali Al Habsi has matured with each passing game. His ability to read dangerous situations and foresee potential strikes at goal is his main strength.
As a result, his entire backline have reduced their individual errors thanks to Al-Habsi’s constant outcry from goal.
With 108 saves in the league, this keeper doesn’t have a moment to rest on his laurels, yet he has the resolve to fight till the very end.
Spurs needs someone with his character to keep goal, and his experience would complement the likes of Gallas and Dawson as well.
He would certainly fit the wage bill—something that would suit Spurs very well, knowing their intentions to splurge on the upcoming transfer market.
3) Shay Given
Shay Given is perhaps the most frustrated player in the English Premier League this season.
Ever since the emergence of Joe Hart, Shay has been reduced to warming the bench in almost every game.
He certainly has done nothing to deserve this; Roberto Mancini simply prefers a younger bloke to guard his goal.
A goalkeeper with lighting fast reflexes, Shay Given has the ability to produce saves which are just out of this world at times.
He is also an excellent professional, never complaining even though he has yet to play a game for Manchester City this season.
Even with his lack of action with club football, the Irishman continues to be an integral member of his country, featuring in almost every game.
He would be a perfect signing for Spurs, a top goalkeeper who has the ability and class to make them a domestic and European force once again.
4) Maarten Stekelenburg
Maaten Stekelenburg has been an ever-present figure in the Ajax team this season.
He has conceded only 29 goals all season, the lowest in the Dutch Eredivisie.
With leaders FC Twente yet to play on the final day of the season, the Dutchman could yet emerge the hero of Ajax, who only trail by a single point.
At 6’6", Stekelenburg cuts out an imposing figure to strikers.
Do not let his huge frame deceive you, he is extremely agile for his height and can get down within a split second to make a save.
A composed character in the air, Stekelenburg also almost always comes out top with one-on-one situations.
Spurs have been rumored to show interest in him, and it is best they make their move soon.
Stekelenburg would be perfect for Spurs; he has all the traits to emulate his legendary counterpart, Edwin Van Der Sar.
5) Ben Foster
Long gone are the days when Ben Foster was booed by his own supporters at Stretford End, while playing for Manchester United.
The English lad has been a revelation ever since, signing for Birmingham City last year.
He has flourished tremendously this season, helping his club win the League Cup and secure their first trophy in 48 years.
He also holds the record for making the most saves in the EPL this season, a total of 167 in which nine games have resulted in clean sheets.
This is a remarkable record considering how Birmingham have been struggling in the league—Ben Foster’s shutouts have somehow kept them out of the drop zone.
The game against Chelsea will remembered by most fans; it was by far the best performance by a goalie to single-handedly deny the opposing team from scoring.
He would be an ideal signing for Spurs; at 28, he’s peaking at the right age and has the experience to handle big games having played in a final twice.
Birmingham wouldn't want to sell their prized asset but, if they do get relegated, Foster would be too much of a jewel to be playing in the second tier of English football.