The Goalkeeper is an extremely important part of any successful team. They have to be very good with their feet, good distributors of the ball, shot stoppers, one on one specialists, cross handlers and great communicators. An equally important function of the modern goalkeeper is the ability to organize. There is more to this than you think. It is more than assigning players to a man/woman, instructing who to mark and how to mark (zone or man to man).
When defending free kicks, the Goalkeeper (GK) has to consider the following…does he need a wall? And if so, how many players? Some GKs think that if the wall is not lined up in the 18 yard box, then there is no need for one. The GK also has to decide where he wants the line held, so that he/she has working space available to him/her. Since the tendency of the line is to back up, he/she may have the players start a little higher.
There are also some questions the GK has to take into consideration. They are as follows:
- Who sets the wall?
- How many in the wall?
- Jumping wall or standing?
- What differences in set up with direct and indirect free kicks?
- Where is the bullet man positioned and what is his role?
- Man marking or zonal marking?
When defending corners, there are different considerations:
- What adjustments to make if the corner is an in-swinger or out-swinger?
- Is there a need for players on both posts?
- Which player goes where and why?
Even when the keeper’s team is taking a corner, he/she must still organize to protect against a counter attack.
The goalie also has to organize the group when defending the long throw-in. Some prefer that the front post attacker is fronted, so that they have a better option for mobility as there is less traffic.
I know I have a much better appreciation for the Goalkeeper. It truly is a specialized position. No great team is complete without one.