6 Oct 2012

'There's something wrong' - Grobbelaar reveals concerns about 'introverted' LFC star...

Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar believes that Pepe Reina could be suffering from some kind of psychological problem at Liverpool, and he's highlighted one particular aspect of the Spaniard's game that he feels needs immediate improvement.

In an interview earlier today, Grobbelaar - who won 13 major trophies at Liverpool, including 6 league titles - argued that Reina's lax command of his six yard box led to Sebastian Coates' own goal against Udinese. He observed:

"For the second goal, I have to criticise Pepe Reina.

"He's a great keeper but don't let the ball come into your six yard box - get out there and punch the ball away.

"The goalkeeper should control his box, even if that means clattering everyone in there".

When the cross in question came in, Reina stayed on his line and didn't come for the ball, which meant Coates had to make the header, and unluckily for him, it ended up in the back of the net.

Should Reina have come for the ball? I think so, but it's possible that he didn't have the confidence to risk it just in case he made another mistake. Grobbelaar also questioned why Reina was even in the team:

"Why didn't Rodgers play Jones? He played him in the first game; why not play him in the second game. He would not have let that ball come in".

It's a good point. Why dump Jones? He's never going to become a legitimate challenger for Reina unless and until he's given regular playing time at Anfield.

Reina made one outstanding save during the Udinese game but overall, his form has suffered over the last 12-18 months, and Grobbelaar is concerned. He noted:

"He [Reina] is starting to go into his shell, he's a little bit introvert, and he's not expressive enough. Eighteen months ago he was the best in the world, and you don't lose that unless there's something wrong".

The official Liverpool FC website ran a poll last season asking fans to vote on the club's greatest ever goalkeeper. Given the fact many modern fans are seemingly incapable of considering things objectively, or within the proper historical context, it came as no surprise that Pepe Reina was voted in at no 1, ahead of...Bruce Grobbelaar. Is Reina actually a more effective 'keeper though?

PEPE REINA vs. BRUCE GROBBELAAR: First 6 seasons comparison



* Grobbelaar achieved more clean sheets, though he did play 14% more games due to the higher number of league games per season during his tenure (42 vs. 38 for Reina)

* As a percentage of total games, Reina kept more clean sheets (48% of games) than Grobbelaar (46% of games)

* On average, Grobbelaar achieved more clean sheets per season than Reina.

* Grobbelaar conceded more goals over all, but he played more games, so that's inevitable.

* Overall, Grobbelaar fewer goals per game in his first 6 seasons than Reina.

* Reina went 11 games without conceding a goal in the 2005-6 season; the longest Grobbelaar went without conceding in his first 6 seasons is 6 games.

* Despite playing less games, Reina conceded 3 or more goals in a game more often than Grobbelaar.

Based on their first 6 seasons, I don't think it's fair to argue that Reina is a better keeper than Grobbelaar. Objectively, the results are fairly even, but Grobbelaar shades it for me because:

* He helped Liverpool win lots of trophies. A team can't win league titles without a top goalkeeper.

* He proved his worth in more high-stakes match environments (European Cups; League championships etc)

* He played 52 more games than Reina but conceded only 21 more goals overall.

I'll leave it up to you to decide...

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. All depends on the quality of team each of them had during the time. Also, GK should not be judged by 'how many goals conceded' as some goals are inevitable unless you are superman or something. In fact, they should be judged by how many goals they managed to save or should have saved which stats won't tell ya.

  2. I think this comparison is pointless. You could argue his clean sheets for liverpool were for team that finished between 8th and 2nd while grobbelaar did well in a much better team. Suppose it's like comparing stats of James at Liverpool and James at Portsmouth and saying James at Portsmouth is worse as he let in more goals but I'd suggest he was a better player in his later years....pointless argument.

  3. It's time Pepe must be replaced,makes too many mistakes.

  4. Bruce should never be spoken about in conjunction with LFC again. i remember andy cole's treble that day and bruce was getting paid to throw a match. he can F off for good.

  5. He's been poor for two seasons. This isn't a recent development and it's a big worry.. Seems to have lost his nerve. I'd begin to look for a long term replacement. The value of a good goalkeeper is undeniable. Such a pivotal position.

  6. I had him down for leaving in the Summer and was surprised that he stayed. Still think he will go in January as he remains playing like someone who has no real interest in the club anymore.

  7. bruce was prone to the odd blounder himself

  8. Sadly I don't think that Pepe's heart is in his work anymore. I am a great fan of his but something is missing. With all due respect to Brad Jones, but I don't think that he has the ability required to put Reina under pressure for his place. Pepe has been let down by various defenders over the last few games. Maybe a run of 2 or 3 blank sheets will restore his confidence. I hope so !

  9. jaimie there is no comparrison between grobbs and pepe stats mean nothing grobs played in a side that teams were afraid to attack and when they did they would come up against some of the finest defenders ever to grace the game imo they were both about equal althought i will never forget grobs wonder save against everton in the fa cup final

  10. They are two Liverpool goalkeepers so there is obviously a comparison. It doesn't matter what teams they played for or when; players from the same team are always compared. I'm not saying it's an absolute comparison; it's just a bit of fun.

  11. You forgetting some of the top saves he made in that game to keep them at 1-0? The goals came from our deffensive mistake in particular Glen Johnstone who has been the root problem of so many slip ups.

    Sorry Brad Jones is no comparison to Reina, what we need is a proper right back, the likes of Phillip Lahm. You also forgetting back then Brucie had a top class defence in front of him.

    So stop picking out the keeper all the time there are other 10 players on the team who make mistakes repeatedly too in a game.

  12. that will only happen if he can cut out the mistakes we would have got one against norwich but they scored from a reina mistake and then skrtel went on to make 1 aswell

  13. Jamie, sometimes your opinions irritate me of course the teams were different and stats don't determine how good a goal keeper is compared to another how about finding saves per game and what not I'm sure Reina will top this stat as he has more to do I'm matches.

  14. Also Brendan Rodgers says himself that the teams laziness. Reina is still a quality keeper, another thing is can we afford and attract a world class keeper as when Bruce was there and winning league titles, we need a good season to even get top 4

  15. Oh you numpty! Grow up, have a shave and get real! Reina needs to go? Get a grip! He has had a bad 18 months because there is a lot of change and turmoil going on in front of him. The CB partnerships are constantly changing and they are not as good as we've had in in the past. Reina is being more exposed than he was previously and this is denting his confidence. Repair the confidence as opposed to throwing a damned good keeper away. But then again, you probably have not a Scooby about man-management....

  16. We need another keeper to put pressure on him, that will wake him up.MARC ANDRE TER STEGEN or SIMON MIGNOLET would be my choice.
    If his form doesn't improve after the signing of another top quality keeper, then bench him.

  17. He also made a top class save in the match to save a goal. Other goals you couldn't really blame except this one.

  18. Grobellaar had some of the best players in the club's history in front of him. He was a shocking goalkeeper, only James has been worse in my lifetime (45 years) for us.
    We don't need another keeper to put pressure on. We need a decent back four and they and the goalkeeper should be trained, sorry "educated" as a unit, not separately. Get a solid back four, when they and the keeper trust each other, play them every single game.
    We aren't able to sign a top quality keeper, we'll be lucky to hold on to the ones we've got - players are not falling over each other to sign for us any more.
    WAKE UP!!!

  19. Not able to sign a player from BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH or SUNDERLAND? We had the joint 3rd best defence last year and REINA still made loads of silly errors.So the solid back 4 argument doesn't stand up.
    You don't need players falling over each other to sign for us.There are plenty of realistic targets, I just gave you 2 (STEGEN we've been linked with) that are showing better form than REINA with weaker players in front of them.

  20. both simular, and great on there day. but i think reina has wanted out for at least 2 years now, its obvious