Sunday, 25 May 2014

What Do I Know?

Good morning to you all.

So there was no news.

Then there was some news.

Some big, juicy, very significant news.

The signing of Heurelho Gomes, whos contract at Spurs expires shortly, on a 1 year deal (with option of a further year), came as quite a shock, to be honest.

My initial thoughts were, that the bloke hasn't played for an age and he is well known for making high profile mistakes. Given that both Watford keepers, Almunia and Bond, had gifted the opposition several goals between them, the season past, I'll be honest, the news on Gomes had me worried and a little angry, for a few hours yesterday morning.

As I digested the information, I took to twitter to vent my frustration. It was clear that there were many feeling as I did but there were also many, very happy and positive about the acquisition and there were also many Spurs fans arguing that Watford were acquiring the services of a very good goalkeeper.

Now I'm not a tunnel vision merchant. I am willing to listen and to research in order to understand the information that is being presented to me. Therefore, leaving aside the issue of reliability, what do I now know about Heurelho da Silva Gomes?

The 6ft 3" tall, 33 year old Brazilian International (11 Caps) won four consecutive Dutch League titles in his time with PSV Eindhoven (2004 - 2008), playing most of the games in each of his four seasons there.

He helped PSV to a Champions League Semi Final in his first season (they had never been past the last 16 in 14 previous attempts) and was a real favourite with the Eindhoven crowd throughout his time there.

A sensational shot stopper with excellent distribution, particularly with his throws, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 and had his best season in England in 2009/2010 but he has played next to no football at Spurs since the end of the 2010/2011 season (although he did play nine games on loan at Hoffenheim in Germany, at tail end of the 2012/2013 season).

I have watched the obligatory 'Best of' You Tube video (I refused to watch the 'Worst of') and there is no doubt that the man is a fantastic athlete, capable of truly exceptional, dare I say 'world class'? saves.

At 33 years of age, he has stated that the vision of where Watford are heading (Premier League), is what prompted him to step down a division and I don't doubt that there were other suitors.

It is not incomprehensible, given his age (by no means past it for a keeper), if the Vicarage Road faithful get behind this man from the off, his most consistent form could yet be ahead of him.

In short, Watford are getting an experienced international goalkeeper who has lived in England for the past six years, who can speak English, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch fluently, for an outlay of £0 in the transfer market.

Couple this with the imminent arrival of Lloyd Dyer (£0) from Leicester and there are encouraging signs that last summer's 'Throw enough at it and hope something sticks' transfer policy has been abandoned, in favour of signing decent players who are familiar with the English game and should take little time to settle.

What Gomes' arrival will mean in terms of the other keepers (Almunia, Bondy and Woods) from last season, will soon come to light but I think there is little doubt that Gomes has come in to be Number 1.

Personally, I would not be disappointed with Almunia or Woods (or both) getting 1 year extensions to play back up to Gomes with Bond getting a full year's playing experience out on loan.

Ultimately, my hope is that  Gomes comes with hunger to play, desire to prove himself and with an understanding that he must give it his all.

24 hours have now passed since I heard the news.

Disappointment has now turned to optimism.

He has a clean slate.

Good luck and welcome, Heurelho.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend, folks.

Tweet @hoganwatford


  1. Underwhelming signing but better than what we have and we need to give the bloke a chance. Once all signings are made it will be good to assess the whole package.

  2. "Underwhelming signing"? Some Watford fans need a reality check. Three years ago we were signing Dean Yeates. Now we have signed a player from the premier league with caps for brazil and it's apparently not good enough?

    1. I think some people are worried and understandably so. Having witnessed a number of really bad keeper errors from Watford, this season just gone, the signing of a player with a reputation for error, who has played next to no football in the past three years, to address that situation, rightly raises questions. Myself, having had 24 hours to digest the fact, I am looking at the positives. The man has a clean slate and my support, simply because he is the chosen custodian.

  3. Fair point Paul but worried and underwhelmed are not the same thing.

    Underwhelmed suggests we should be signing better players which is crazy for a club of our stature. Too many have become spoilt and demanding very quickly. What exactly do people expect?

    Worries though are natural and probably wise after last summers signungs.

    1. I agree with that, Dave. Good points and really very nice of you to take the time to comment on here.

      I too have been worried by a number of fans adopting a 'divine right' attitude. That is why I check myself constantly, as it's an easy trap to fall into.

      I try and spin things positively, not because it makes it true but because I believe positivity from the fans resonates onto the pitch.

      I'm sure Ed would be best placed to explain his 'Underwhelming' comment but to be honest, in the heat of the moment, it is a word I may have used myself.

      Having been hoping for a Speroni or a Kuszczak (realistic targets and proven Championship players), I was perhaps initially underwhelmed with news of Spurs error prone forgotten man.

      A few deep breaths and a bit of google and I've got myself a 33 years old Brazilian International with 4 consecutive Dutch League Titles to his name, who is a legend at PSV to this day and who, to many Spurs fans, is a top draw keeper who was unfortunately vilified after a few errors during a rocky patch in his career. A keeper who is hungry to prove his critics wrong and who is one of the best shot stoppers and distributors of the football around. That's better than what I was hoping for!!

      I'm pretty happy about this signing. It's brilliant that Watford can attract persons with his sort of CV and am really looking forward to a couple more coming in, to supplement what I think is a very talented squad.


  4. I don't want to come across as demanding or spoilt. I was a little disappointed at first because, as Paul said, we were signing an error prone keeper but I like the positive spin and think Gomes will prove to be an upgrade on what we already have and I am certainly willing to the bloke a chance.

    I do agree that it is great that we are attracting players of this calibre.

    Thanks for the perspective

    1. Thanks for the comments, Ed. It's always good to have differing points of view as creates debate.

      Even better when we are all singing from the same hymn sheet though, as all genuine fans want the best for their club.

      As Dave said, worry is understandable. Sometimes, worry manifests itself in different ways. I know it does for me.

      So I take the time to work it through.

      Cheers again for reading and taking the time to comment.