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Liverpool and Manchester City are two top teams in the Premier League who are having a tough time with their goalkeepers.
Manchester City, who are third on the league points table, are ten points behind leaders Chelsea and Liverpool, who are fifth on the table, are thirteen points behind the Blues from London.
Former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is trying everything with his two goalkeepers, Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, to sort the problem at Liverpool.
However, the German has failed miserably in that task.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, dropped his beloved goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from his team’s Premier League starting eleven on the 1st of February for the first time since the Chilean made his debut in September.
Poor debut season
Claudio Bravo, who joined Manchester City from Barcelona for a hefty fee of £17 million, has had a very bad debut season in England so far.
The 33-year old has made some costly errors and has been pointed as the reason for his team’s failure on many occasions by the fans and the experts.
Pep Guardiola, who had managed Bravo when he was at Barcelona, is a big fan of the goalkeeper and kept his faith in him for long.
However, the former Bayern Munich manager was forced to drop the player from the starting line-up and assign the team’s deputy keeper Willy Cabellero the task of guarding the goal.
Bravo hasn’t made an appearance for Manchester City since the 21st of January.
So, is Pep right to drop Bravo or should he bring the former Real Sociedad player back into his line-up?
First of all, pointing out Bravo as the reason for the points dropped by Manchester City is a little harsh on the player.
Yes, the experienced goalkeeper has made some costly mistakes in the City goal, but that was not the only reason the team lost some valuable points.
Injuries to the likes of Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan and Vincent Kompany have troubled Pep a lot.
Even when he was fully fit, Aguero was not able to perform like he used to do in the previous seasons. The unstable defence is another huge minus point the team has.
Despite having a lot of weak points, Bravo was always named as the reason for his team’s bad run in the league.
He’s actually a top keeper
Many people have named Bravo as the worst goalkeeper in the league with the backing of some stats.
It may be true that stats don’t lie, but the Chilean is getting lot more criticism than he deserves. There is no doubt in the fact that he is a top goalkeeper.
Bravo was good for Real Sociedad, did a good job for Barcelona and he even helped Chile to win two Copa Americas in a row.
The player has had a very bad time at Manchester so far, but still there were some matches where he made crucial saves and proved that he is a great custodian.
Managing a goalkeeper is nothing like managing other outfield players.
The way a goalkeeper’s confidence and mentality works is different from the attackers, midfielders and even the defenders. So, the managers have to be careful while taking decisions about their goalkeepers.
Some experts say that goalkeepers will do their best only when there is proper competition for them.
This is true in many cases, but some goalkeepers won’t feel confident when there is a goalkeeper in his team who could be as good as him. This is how complicated dealing with goalkeepers is.
So, back to our topic. Has Pep made the right decision by dropping Claudio Bravo for Willy Cabellero?
Yes, the Spaniard has made a good decision by dropping the 33-year old goalkeeper.
Though he is an experienced goalkeeper, Bravo has found it difficult to adapt to the Premier League and also the criticism from the fans won’t do him any favours.
He needs some time out to work on his confidence. Once the player gets things right in his head, he will be ready to go back in goal.
However, Pep Guardiola has another big decision to make about Bravo.
The Manchester City manager has to choose the perfect time to bring back his number one.
If he brings Bravo back into the line-up a little too early or a little too late, then the chances are that player’s confidence will again drop.
Written by Dakir Thanveer
Follow Dakir on Twitter @ZakWriter
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