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Heurelho Gomes: Mr. Octopus, Mr. Clown, or Mr. In-Between?

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Heurelho Gomes is currently Tottenham Hotspur’s No 1 goalkeeper, but as of late, Gomes has been dodging more shots than usual. Some from our fans, some from the press (of course), and a few of his teammates. Gomes is a footballer who polarises opinion amongst all who watch him.

Gomes is 6'3" tall and he uses his whole frame to good effect. He has strong reflexes and is often keen to start rapid counter attacks with his impressive long throws. Gomes can throw a ball as far as some goal keepers can kick it, imagine that. His throwing distribution is unique. His long throws have launched many a counter attack for us.

On the downside, Gomes is becoming increasingly susceptible to little niggles, knocks and strains. He is regularly seen sporting a gum shield and he’s also known to grimace, this as a result of his physical style of goalkeeping. Are Gomes’ knocks due to his style of gung ho goalkeeping? Perhaps. I do think that his think last and act first style of goalkeeping has got us into trouble this season (Nanigate and the Ramires penalty at WHL). That said, in such a critical position as goalkeeper, you live and die by your decision making.

Perhaps the defining aspect of Gomes' game is that he’ll save the shots you’ll think are certain goals (his incredible save from Fabregas’ shot at the Emirates this season) and concede goals where you saw no danger at all (Drogba’s goal against us at WHL this season).

What would bringing in a new goalkeeper achieve? All our defenders know what they're getting with Gomes in goal, he comes for crosses and is more than happy to take out his team mates if need be (Vedran Corluka would testify to that). The role of a goalkeeper is a specialised position and thus assessing Gomes’ position within the team could hinder rather than help him. We should only be bringing in a new goalkeeper if he’s an actual upgrade on Gomes. The likes of Manuel Neuer and Hugo Lloris have time on their side, but would either of them join us? The likes of Given are on the wrong side of 30 and would be short term options. Gomes is also only 29, in goalkeeping terms he is just about entering his peak years. Quality goalkeepers are few and far between.

I’ll say this: He’s the best keeper we’ve had since Erik Thorsvedt. Paul Robinson, Ian Walker and Neil Sullivan all had their moments, but I think Gomes is a class above in comparison. Gomes is a fine shot stopper and if more errors are to come (they will) then so be it. Here here to Heurelho!.