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In the End, No Surprise...

Written By Justin on Monday, July 12, 2010 | 5:45:00 PM

Few people will be surprised that Spain and iconic goalkeeper-captain Iker Casillas lifted the World Cup trophy. It was not a great tournament - the ball performed as badly as predicted, attendance was disappointing at many games, referee blunders marred a few critical matches - but the tournament did not lack for drama. Even the final, mostly a turgid affair, saw Arjen Robben twice bear down on Casillas, and twice fail to beat him.

Goalkeeper errors dominated the first week of the tournament, but from that point on, there were far more strong performances than weak ones. Enhancing their reputations were, in particular, Manuel Neuer of Germany, Maarten Stekelenburg of beaten finalists The Netherlands, Eduardo of Portugal, and (despite his poor showing in the 3rd place game) Fernando Muslera of Uruguay. Before the tournament began, I picked Hugo Lloris to shine, but given the overall disaster of the French campaign, it's perhaps not surprising that he never really showed his best form.

Now we take a deep breath and prepare for the domestic seasons to begin across Europe. There could be goalkeeper movement in the summer transfer window. Manchester City seem intent on keeping Joe Hart, which may mean Shay Given could be on his way our of Eastlands. Stekelenburg, for one, may find himself a target of Europe's biggest clubs. Rumors abound that Manuel Almunia is on his way out of Arsenal, and Mark Schwarzer is on his way in. We shall see.


Unknown said...

Did you happen to catch New Zealand's keeper Mark Paston? I was really impressed with him. And I'd never even heard of him before the tournament.

I'd be surprised if Given loses his #1 spot at Man City. I think he's the kind of know what you'll get, solid keeper that a team exploding with new players needs as an anchor.

I also thought Vincent Enyeama had some good saves.

Justin said...

Yes Chris I agree about Paston - should have mentioned him. Enyeama too - he single-handedly kept Messi from scoring a hat trick.

I think the problem with Given is that if Man City keep him as number one, they probably lose Joe Hart forever. Also, Mancini apparently doesn't like the fact that Shay doesn't come for crosses.