Ralph Hasenhuttl Reveals Strange Goalkeeper Rotation Strategy
Sunday, 2nd May 2021 09:27
Alex McCarthy was one of the stars of the draw with Leicester City on Friday night, but it seems he will not be in the Southampton goal for the trip to Liverpool on Saturday night with manager Ralph Hasenhuttl revealing that he will impose a rotation strategy till the end of the season.
Some said that Ralph Hasenhuttl hadn't got a plan B as Saints struggled through an awful New Year run of defeats, but with players returning from injury he has shown he is willing to change things and that he is now planning for next season.
Eyebrows were raised a couple of weeks ago when Alex McCarthy returned to the Saints goal for the visit to Tottenham Hotspur, Fraser Forster had been playing well since returning to the side and had done nothing wrong in the FA Cup semi final defeat to Leicester City at Wembley.
But it seems that McCarthy's return to the team is only fleeting as Ralph has revealed that Forster will return at Anfield on Saturday to face Liverpool, but his tenure in goal will be just as fleeting as his rivals, he will play two games and McCarthy will then return for the nest two.
The Austrian manager had this to say after the Leicester game:
"It was a great performance," said a happy Hasenhuttl, impressed with both McCarthy's footwork and his reflex saves against Leicester.
"I want to give both keepers a chance to play, each 'keeper will get two games so Fraser Forster will play the next two games, because I want to give him a chance to play.
"He did well today, Alex. I think they both deserve to play,"
"They've both been important and they've both shown that they can be good goalkeepers for us."
With relegation worries now all but banished, Hasenhuttl has to look towards next season and decide whether he has the answer to his goalkeeping problems at the club or if he has to look elsewhere in the summer.
He is therefore giving both the chance to push each other and make their case to be the number 1.
As a temporary test for the keepers this is fine, but you would hope that it is not something that would be carried into next season , goalkeepers more than any other position have to have continuity and form partnerships with their defenders, both McCarthy & Forster have different strengths and weaknesses, defenders need to know what the keeper behind them will do in any given situation and don't want the complications in the heat of the moment of having to remember whether this is the keeper who will come or stay on his line in a situation, a split second can cost goals.
Photo: Action Images
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