Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Devil's advocate: Bravo Ter Stegen!

"The beast", Bravo, achievements are "The beauty", Mats, doormats.

Based on The polls we didn't even need to do, Ter Stegen is officially FC Barcelona's main goalkeeper. He is the undisputed starter based on our ultimately relevant Popularity contest. Is it time to put this head aching, ridiculously continuous rant to bed? We say no. 

But it is not about that, they say. Yet, is it? 

For the past two seasons, combined, Bravo was the best goalkeeper in La liga. Scout the twitter archive feed for any game then and you will find one or two "Bravo, Bravo!" waves of praise for a save here or a block there.

Ter Stegen is the keeper any one who watched enough of him even before he joined FC Barcelona can tell, a keeper with great potentials capable of making a supernatural save here, then follow it by a mistake there - exactly what you expect with a young goalkeeper. 

Bravo is the main goalkeeper for one of the best national teams right now, a team that just celebrated another back to back copa. Ter Stegen is still competing for a second/third spot in his national team with other young keepers like him, a situation he rambled around since the time he played in the Bundesliga. 

I share the sentiments and the hopes for Mats to step up and become FC Barcelona's main goalkeeper for the coming decade, and I believe he has the "it" for that. But when it comes to deciding who was the better keeper the past two years and deserves to be the keeper to beat at the moment, is this seriously an argument?

We should be thinking about the future! 

Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes are possibly the most defining future of FC Barcelona. Yet, at no point anyone can argue that they should bench Rakitic and Iniesta. The proven starters start the present and the future develop, get advantage of the opportunities given and gradually prove being capable of being the box office mega star. Lets not forget the number of Bartras, Montoyas, and Bojans people ranted for to start ahead of starters for being the future. 

This is FC Barcelona, the monster of all monsters. What matters most is the future until the present screws up, then it's dooms day and to hell with "The future"!

 Come on, who is the better ball distributor? 

Fishing for just any argument, This is when you know the case is getting too desperate. Yes, and he has a more fashionable haircut, sexier jumps and a German accent that forces listeners to take his english more seriously in comparison to Bravo's mild english. 

There are different categories of attributes that define a goalkeeper quality. First category contains the essential attributes like shoot stopping, one on one, concentration, reflexes, handling, jumping, how prone to commit mistakes,... Whether you are scouting a keeper for FC Barcelona or AC Jam Burgers, that's where you look first.

The moment you find two keepers, almost, equally as good ticking such attributes, that's when you move to the premium attributes like ball distribution, long throws, leadership, etc... 

At the moment, Bravo played more games and made fewer mistakes than Ter Stegen. Bravo's overall level moved between very good and brilliant while Mats games proved a very promising talent pending to peak. 

We can dig through a fantasy tunnel at will, but on the pitch the first option at the beginning of next season should not worth an argument. 

Lucho is wrong! 

Here is the - supposedly- groundbreaking argument though: 

"Well, Ter Stegen is better, but Lucho didn't start him enough games to pick his form and prove so!" 

Then sack Lucho! Your issue is not with Bravo here. Its Lucho's (and a zillion assistant) lack of intelligence that failed them to see the obvious. Had he started Munir, no scratch that, Mats 15 games in a row, the Stegen would have passed the test and proved being world's best. 

Does that make more sense than giving the benefit of doubt for the managing staff that led the team to a CL, two liga, and some snacks in two seasons? 

The way we (should) roll! 

In the previous post, I made a small remark about goalkeepers rotation:

"Talking about rotation, this is where it can all start. Unlike outfield players there is no chance for positional manoeuvring with goalkeepers to ease up rotation tense. When one keeper plays, the other one doesn't. 

Struggling to balance this rotation up can spark the first complain, which is the only spark you need in the squad ashes."


If we decided to believe the Tabloids, and we shouldn't, both goalkeepers are taking the hard tricky path A.K.A. "Play me or sell me". Backing to any of them and the club will be digging the team's grave. FC Bacelona's response should be firm in a one minute meeting:

In this club we offer no guarantees. You earn your playing time in training and based on your performance. That's how the manager decides his selection. We believe in both of you or else you won't be here, but we base our success on quality players confident of competing for playing time. The rewards of being here you witnessed in the past two years. If any of you is not up for such arrangement, we understand. Get a club willing to pay your release clause and we wish you all the luck of the world. 

The end

You can always check latest rants on @FootballMood

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