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Player Review  12/13 - Paulo Gazzaniga
Player Review 12/13 - Paulo Gazzaniga
Saturday, 25th May 2013 12:55

In the second in the series we look at Paolo Gazzaniga and his contribution to a first season back in the Premier League.

When 20 year old Paulo Gazzaniga arrived at St Mary's in July 2012, there weren't many Saints supporters who assumed that he had been sigend as anything else than one for the future, most also thought that Saints would sign an experienced keeper and that Paolo would be at best challenging Kelvin Davis for a place on the bench.

A look at Gazza's career stats confirmed that view, at Gillingham he had only broken into the side in January and had only 19(1) games behind him in league football, there could be no confusion here, this was a goalkeeper signed for his potential, who would gain experience and perhaps in a year or two would challenge for the top spot.

This didnt prove to be the case though, Saints failed to sign the top knotch keeper the fans expected and then after Kelvin Davis and the ramshackle defence had conceded six at Arsenal, Gazzaniga found himself suddenly thrown into a bottom of the table clash at home to Aston Villa with only that half season at Gillingham under his belt plus a Carling Cup tie at Stevenage to his name.

He was oustanding in that game and played his part in the 4-1 win, he kept his place for a couple of more games and then after the signing of Boruc found himself back to where he should have been.

But if he thought his baptism of fire was over he was wrong, Boruc was clearly not ready and he found himself back in the side for another six game spell, the truth is he didnt disgace himself, yes he made one howler, but in the main coped admirably behind a defence that just wasnt set out to defend at times and was prone to lapses in concentration.

Gazza had his critics, but they didnt take into account his inexperience, of his 9 appearances, 3 were wins, 3 were draws and 3 defeats, he conceded only 12 goals in those games which at a ratio of 1.33 per game is better than the season average of 1.58 overall, in terms of points again his appearances saw an average of 1.33 per game earned compared to the season average of only 1.08.

Perhaps this should tell some people something about Gazzaniga, he came into a side in turmoil without the experience that was really needed, he played a part in getting vital points in games when it was really needed, now he will hopefully further his education and gain the experience that he needs, Paulo Gazzaniga has what it takes to make himself first team goalkeeper at this club in the future, fans shouldnt judge him on one howler, they should judge him on what he does in the future and be grateful that he stood strong at a crucial time of the season.

Overall I would say 7/10 for Gazza, not a big part but a vital one all the same,

Photo: Action Images

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thedelldays added 13:28 - May 25

never ever would I agree with that

stmichael added 15:36 - May 25
7/10 and 1 howler!!
That's comedy.
You do have your favourites Nicholas!

slynch added 15:47 - May 25
It seems then that statistically Gazza's the best goalkeeper, then, looking at at in points per game and goals per game. With your handle on the best data perhaps you could do a points per game analysis of each player - that might show a few things?

SaintNick added 17:35 - May 25
I cant win can I, if I dare to suggest our defence isn't the best in the world im accused of being negative, if I give a positive review about a young keeper who has played only 9 games for saints plus 19 in his entire career, then Im slagged off for having favourites, give the kid a chance, he did a difficult job and was thrown in when he was far from ready.

Look at Boruc, atrocious first two games, dodgy third and from then on he was a rock.

I would say some people need to look at themselves before they accuse me of having favourites or being negative

saintoake12 added 17:38 - May 25
I would agree, great shot stopper, risky at corners 7/10 is fair.

ExiledSupporter added 20:03 - May 25
Nick, seems a well balanced review and fair judgement. I think I might have given Gazza 6/10 and Davis 5/10, but nothing in your comments to quibble with.

It is inevitable that some percentage of your correspondents seem to live on a different planet and rarely let the facts disturb the expression of their prejudices.

Toussaint added 00:36 - May 26
Gazza is a very talented keeper and seeing he`s the only player that can even understand the manager, i think he will eventually be the #1 and performed admirably given his in-experience

patred added 05:38 - May 26
We bought into the future with Gazziniga, and it looks rosy. Afterall he was only a replacement for Bart.
The goalkeeping situation other than that was criminally ignored until it hurt us.
Gazza deserves our praise rather than the nick picking critism from some of our fans.

LennyJam added 09:47 - May 26
its not about winning it about being unbiased.
]Gazza literally threw the ball in the net a fair few times.

yes, we did pick up points with him in goal. but rarely did he keep us in a game (like boruc). One save against Demba Ba at home to newcastle, the rest was bog stadard.

their were a few howlers really and the instability spread across the back 4

he was also in goal in our easiest run of games

SaintNick added 09:39 - May 27
Im not quite sure he threw anything in the net, as for easiest run of games, he was in goal for the home game against Villa a relegation six pointer coming straight after a walloping at Arsenal, also similar situations away to QPR and home to Newcastle, they are the type of games that keep you up.

Again I didn't suggest here that Gazzaniga was anything other than a raw kid who was thrown into a difficult situation before he was ready, I certainly didn't claim he was brilliant or should have been our first choice for the rest of the season, the saddest thing is that some people seem to want to destroy him, probably the same people who wanted to destroy Boruc at one time.

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