Post first published in May 2010 updated Jan 2017. Reina stayed at Liverpool until 2014 with the final year on loan to Napoli. Reina then moved to Bayern Munich for a year and finally ended up as Goalkeeper for Napoli where he still plays today.
Pepe Reina and idle transfer gossip
The big bald Spaniard has been in the press a lot this week. Having recently penned a new deal with Liverpool, goalkeeper Reina has now recently been linked to a move away from Anfield – perhaps down south to the Emirates. Yeah, I don’t believe that one either.
“A good keeper is worth 15 points a season…”
But Reina has rightly been attracting attention, with a strong season this year, indeed perhaps Liverpool’s outstanding player. They say that good goalkeepers are worth 10 to 15 points a season, and in Liverpool’s case they can therefore thank Reina for making the difference between a disappointing UEFA Cup place and a historically catastropic mid table finish they would otherwise have finished with.
It’s all in the feet
So, were you watching closely?
I wasn’t even looking out for it when I first noticed, but watching Reina you start to notice how many times he opts to use his feet to clear the ball, rather than the more customary use of the hands. There are a few really notable saves that see him standing up tall – and coming out of the situation well – with clearly absolutely no intention of going down to meet the ball with his body or his hands.
Blame David Seaman (again)
I have to admit I’m really undecided about these modern “no diving” keepers. Keepers like Reina and Carson in particular, following a model notably set down by David Seaman in the 1990s, have been exponents of facing one on one situations on their feet. Fans of this goalkeeping school of thought argue that many one on ones end with the ball going over the keeper’s head, and that standing up and narrowing the angle quickly is a statistically more effective method to use. A bit like keepers that stand up for penalties rather than guessing.
It’s not cricket!
The thing is, it’s just not cricket! I remember the good old days of Neville Southall, a diving and hands goalkeeper in every way – particularly in his more agile early years. That’s goalkeeping! Not this modern playing like a second sweeper style… The likes of Reina, and his new fangled goalkeeping methods, weird looking uhlsport goalkeeper gloves (what were they thinking?!) – it just didn’t used to be done like that!
Now I recognise this isn’t yet the most rational or compelling of arguments – some stats may well in time be needed. But it’s a theme I’m warming up. Watch this space!