18 Aug 2012

Keegan insists: 'World Class' LFC star was 'poor' last season. Agree...?

Most objective Liverpool fans would probably concede that Pepe Reina didn't have the best season last year. The Spaniard's mistakes and half-hearted attitude at times led to a number of avoidable goals being scored, and this contributed to the club's awful 8th place finish. For some reason, Reina always seems to escape criticism from the club's ex-players, but Anfield legend Kevin Keegan is one of the few who actually tells the truth.

Discussing the Liverpool team in his column for ESPN yesterday, Keegan - who twice won the European Player of the year award during his football career - said:

"Pepe Reina had a poor season last year, [but] he is a world-class goalkeeper".

For me, there were three recurring problems with Reina's goalkeeping last season:

* Constantly being beaten at the near post.
* Half-hearted attempts at making saves.
* Negative, dissatisfied demeanour on the field.

A prime example of the above came in 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at Anfield; I still can't understand how Reina allowed Van Persie to score the winning goal.

* The through ball was in the air for a long time, and Reina had plenty of time to see the action unfold in front of him.

* Van Persie's intent was obvious - there was only one possible thing he could do, and that was shoot, and Reina - who had a great view of the action - should have anticipated this.

* Van Persie had about one foot of space to aim (!) for yet he still scored. Reina got nowhere near it, and his attempt at a save was half-hearted at best. Take a look at the goal below:

I don't think it's too harsh to suggest that Reina should've saved Van Persie's shot. Indeed, if he really 'world class' as Keegan asserts, then it should've been a routine save, no?

Quite a few goals were conceded in this manner over the season, but hopefully, those errors will not be repeated this season.

I personally disagree with Keegan's assertion that Reina is 'World Class'. A player cannot (IMO) be considered as such unless and until:

* He has excelled for his team - i.e. had a specific, measurable impact (SMI) - at all three levels of football (Domestic, European and World)

* He has dominated games and pushed his team to relative success at all three levels.

See also: World Class Football Ability: A New Definition

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Lol JK, so harsh... but I will admit, Reina needs to take it up a notch this season! He's got a killer defence in front of him, no more excuses!

  2. Enjoy the game Ynwa!

  3. I have been writing about Reina for a quite a while. I have always said that since Reina joined Liverpool his performance started to slip downward.  Look at his stat in EPL stat and EA and OPTA.  Why nobody has tried to pin point the problem at Reina? until now? Reina cost us a loss of many crucial games and disallowed us from being in top 4 a couple of times.
    I have been saying since Roy took over that Reina has to up his game alot and if he does not, Liverpool will never see the top 4 nor challenge for the premiere league title.

  4. No doubt it was his worst season in a LFC shirt.
    I thought he was not fully fit, but looking at him
    he seem to have got bulkier, i put this down to
    spending too much time on the weights,this for
    me slowed his reaction time down.The RVP
    goal backs this up.

  5. However half hearted it was, there's not a keeper in the world that would have saved that. Sure, he could have come out, but thats all he could have done. 

  6. I think he got the golden glove in 2009? so to say he's gone down since joining is a fallacy... 2006 he was great... Reina also has a knack of pulling off great penalty saves (Carling Cup last year)...

    So to put it accurately, he has some weaknesses in his game that he must work on, but his strengths are undeniable! Box presence... he owns the box, Agility, He makes himself big in one v one situations very very well, and perhaps his greatest strength is ball distribution - probably the best in the world which is perfect for LFC and our new/old style.
    I still believe Reina has the ability to get another golden glove for Liverpool...

    So while I accept the criticism of Reina... I do not accept blatant slating of a man who is still red and could have easily gone anywhere else but stayed faithful to the Kop.

    last note- just thought of this: you will notice most goals conceded by Reina come from an error in midfield- losing the ball etc.

  7. Reina had his worst season at Liverpool last year, besides the Van Persie goal at Anfield he made a bad error away at Fulham giving them an undeserved win and then allowing Ramires to beat him at his near post in the cup final which was really poor. If we stand any chance of a champions league spot, he along with Henderson, Downing, Carroll (if he stays) and the new signings have to perform at the best level they can.

  8. Oh, come on!  Not a keeper in the world who could've saved it?  When Van Persie struck the ball, Reina could've touched the post with an outstretched arm. It's not like he was miles away from the ball.  He saw everything unfold, and wasn't quick enough to move one foot across the ground to make a save.  Look at the video: he seems to collapse onto his knees; all he had to do was *move* to the right and block off the space.  Hardly a difficult save.

  9. Yeah he didn't have the best of years but a bit much to place a significant proportion of last season's performance down to him. Considering that our defence last year was decent I don't think that a whole article based on one or two mistakes is constructive or proportional. The guys who really need to up their game are Henderson, Carroll and Downing. Even Adam, before he was moved into Lucas' position, was doing well with goals and assists last season. The three I mentioned above have most to prove.

  10. It was not the first time Reina was beaten at his near post, he constantly gets beaten at his near post. I think his shot stopping has become worse and i don't remember the last time he saved a penalty, he used to be quite good early on in his career in this department. Reina is a good goalkeeper and the way he commands the box and his distribution is just incredible but i think he definitely needs to work on his shot stopping.

  11. I think your a bit harsh Jaimie. It was his worst season, but he has pulled off some amazing saves even last season that are world class. The only reason he has not been able to show it on the world and european stage is because he is Spanish and has two other world class keepers to conpete with and he is never going to oust Casillas. He definitely beeds to raise his game, but on his day he is one of the best keepers there is. Hes in the top 3 in the league for sure. In fact, name 5 keepers that you would have ahead of him.

  12. I have noticed that too, he never seems to save a penalty. I was at the Cardiff game and im not sure he actually saved one there or if they all went wide/over.

  13. Maybe you're right, mate.  I probably am a little harsh. I'm not a fan of Reina's negative public comments from the past so that possibly colours my view. Yes, it's perhaps not his fault that Casillas is ahead of him for Spain, but if he was really that good, surely he'd provide greater competition for him?

    At this point, 5 keepers I would takeahead of Reina:

    * Vorm
    * Neuer
    * Handanovic* Krul
    * Buffon

  14. Another rare occasion when I have to agree slightly with Jaimie.  but there may have been some extenuating circumstances over the last couple of seasons, in that Cara has been getting slower, he was never fast but his decision making has slowed too.  Also we have had some very poor goal keeping coaches for a good few years.  You don't go from being the best penalty saver in the world to the worst for no reason.  Watching him last week he looked slow and lacking in confidence.

  15. Well Keegan was a world class player so I'd rather take his word over yours when he says Reina's world class. No disrespect to you, but since Keegan's been there and got the t-shirt, I really think he knows what it takes to be world class. Just my opinion...

    Oh and Jaimie where's that Suarez article you promised a while back? you were going to analyse whether he was world class according to your criteria... 

  16. Williams s.etete1:36 pm, August 18, 2012

    i am not in support of Rodgers using reina as his first choice keeper,i would have prefare that Rodgers could have drop reina to the bench and give other keeper a chance,i believe other keepers on the bench will do more than reina,for sure reina can not do any fine safe any more and if Rodgers rely on him ( Reina) then we will still see ourselves in wrong side.

  17. I don't expect people to take my opinion over Keegan's.  That's not why I posted article; whether people agree with me or not makes no difference.  
    I will get to the Suarez article when I have time.

  18. negativity is your forte. well done.

  19. been bangin this drum along with billy the cat reina should be sold the man is the most overated keeper i have ever come across .crosses and near post he is a nightmare

  20. a side footed volley!! not a keeper in the world !!!! whats it like in ur world .defo one flew over the cukoos nest !!!!!!

  21. also arsenal at home cl near post  chelsea away cl near post .wba at home last season the list goes on and on man city away .need i continue. the man is not good enough .and should be sold asap

  22. naw, Cech is still the most over-rated GK around. People still act like he's one of the very best GK's in the world, when in reality he's declined even further than Reina over the last few years.

    Reina really does need to buck his ideas up and start taking control of his box again though.

  23. he shud  have been sold this year.he is no lonegrcommited.imagine when rodgers was appointed  he said he wanted rafa instead.to hell with him.he thinks rafa is lfc