After losing his starting role in Tottenham's lineup to a 40-year-old American thanks to a variety of embarrassing and costly mistakes in last year's campaign, Heurelho Gomes could be on his way back into favor at White Hart Lane.
It's no secret that Gomes is an enviable shot-stopper in goal, but the problem tends to be his decision-making and susceptibility to allowing howlers that are sure to make every pundits' list of most entertaining bloopers. That tendency caused the Brazilian to fall out of favor and make way for Brad Friedel and Carlo Cudicini in 2011-12.
However, that could be about to change, thanks in part to a fantastic display in only his third start of the season on Thursday in Tottenham's Europa League clash against Rubin Kazan.
Gomes was a brick wall for Spurs as a less-than-desirable back line handed the visiting squad more than a few gift-wrapped opportunities to have a go at Gomes' goal. But time after time, the man in the number one jersey kept the ball out of the net to preserve a hugely significant clean sheet to take the lead in Group A.
The Brazilian's lack of playing time prior to the match reportedly left him upset with his standing within the Tottenham organization and Harry Redknapp was forced to admit that Gomes wished to leave Spurs in January during the winter transfer window.
Still, Harry continued to insist that, "I’ve not made him number three, that’s for sure."
But if Gomes wasn't the third choice goalkeeper at Tottenham, many fans were left pondering why he continued to get fewer minutes than Friedel and Cudicini. After Thursday night's performance, however, that might not be the case any longer.
"I was pleased for Gomes," Redknapp said after Gomes successfully kept the clean sheet. "He was great tonight. I would like to think that he still has a big future here."
Harry continued to show sympathy for Gomes' plight stating, "He wants to play more, obviously, and at the moment he is disappointed that Brad has come in." That just means that Gomes will have to compete with the American shot-stopper if he wants a featuring role with Tottenham.
Even if Gomes wishes to leave the club in January, I think he would be doing so with a great deal of admiration and understanding from Tottenham supporters. It doesn't sound as though Redknapp intends to try to stop him from seeking more minutes elsewhere.
The message that Harry is sending is much more simple than that. "Gomes is top class, when he is on his game he is a great keeper," Redknapp said. Surely, Gomes is more than welcome to stay if he wants to.
Many of us with fond memories of his time at the Lane—minus a few infuriating moments that we'd still like to ask him about if we ever get the chance—certainly hope that he does.
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