Sunday, 25 May 2014
What Do I Know?
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.