Tottenham Hotspur had their fourth preseason game on Wednesday against Chelsea and it marked the debut of goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, so how did he do?
Whether or not Hugo Lloris sitting out with an ‘injury’ from Euro 2020 or for some other reason we will find out soon enough. Regardless, there is a new player on the team who is looking to play more than the 10 games back-up Joe Hart did last season. On loan from Atalanta with an option to buy, Pierluigi Gollini got his first taste of life at N17 against the European Champions. Here is a little look at the good and the bad from Gollini’s performance on Wednesday.
Gollini had a respectable debut
Pierluigi Gollini got his first minutes in a Tottenham uniform against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which is about as hostile a place as a Spurs player can debut. Gollini did concede the two goals but also had some good moments, let’s examine both.
Pluses from Gollini’s debut
To be frank I was excited about Gollini from his first touch of the ball on Wednesday. It was only about a minute into the match and there was a nice through ball between the Spurs defensive lines from the Chelsea midfield. Unfortunately for Tottenham, Eric Dier was not going to win that race but Gollini was already a step ahead.
About three to four feet outside of the penalty box Gollini met the ball and crushed it up-field past the center-circle well into Chelsea territory. Gollini’s awareness and assuredness coming off his line in that situation were really good to see.
Likewise, overall Gollini was solid with his shot-stopping. The Italian goalkeeper had seven saves and showed good resolve given the early onslaught from Chelsea. If Gollini likes action he has come to the right place and he was mostly up to that challenge Wednesday.
Minuses from Gollini’s debut
The fact that Gollini was mostly up to the challenge tells us a lot. That first goal was certainly one the keeper would like to have back. Yes, the defense should have done better closing out but no goalkeeper likes to get beaten at the near post as Gollini was on the first Hakim Ziyech goal.
The second goal was a deflection so it is likely Pier does not feel as bad about that one but no doubt he would like to have another shot at the first goal.
Coming to Tottenham and having watched a bit of tape on Gollini there was no doubt about his shot-blocking ability. However, highlight reels rarely do much for highlighting hands, so you end up with a lot more blocks than catches on tape. Wednesday, Gollini did put one ball back into possession on his save.
It was still early but Spurs were already down a goal and Gollini got low to stop a Timo Werner effort but did concede a rebound. Fortunately, no one was around and Gollini was the first to get on the ball and all was well.
It is one thing to have a rebound when making a save like the second-half effort against Tammy Abraham where Pier conceded a corner. However, any keeper worth their salt will not want to give up any rebounds on balls that hit their globes. Hopefully, with Gollini the rebounds are few and far between and he builds on what was a solid first outing for Spurs.