Error-prone goalkeepers certainly are remembered by fans for all the wrong seasons. A terrible mistake threatens to derail the career of even the most experienced and skilled goalie.
With Andre Onana’s unfortunate and costly UCL errors fresh in our memories, we’ve decided to look at some of the goalkeepers who made headlines in recent years for some unfortunate on-field incidents.
Loris Karius‘ story is one of tragedy and relative redemption. Famously, the German started for Liverpool in the Champions League final due to the injury of regular starter Alisson Becker. A concussion incurred early on in the game affected Karius’ decision-making, and his errors led to Real Madrid winning the UCL crown.
Karius struggled to keep his career on track with moves to Besiktas and Union Berlin, not delivering on initial promises. He has joined Newcastle for the 2022/23 season. And, even though he has yet to start a game, the player seems more content at the moment, having put the famous 2018 game in the past.
Andre Onana was one of the former Ajax Amsterdam players that Erik Ten Hag demanded that Manchester United transfer. The Cameroonian was deemed an upgrade over long-time goalie David de Gea because of his excellent distribution skills.
Onana’s first season at Old Trafford may well be remembered for the wrong reasons. At the moment, the goalie has the highest short-stopping rate in the entire Premier League at 78%, and he has improved United’s ability to distribute from the back. But a number of costly errors in the EPL and Champions League, most recently against Galatasaray, have added to another disappointing season from the Red Devils.
Hugo Lloris was an absolute hero for Tottenham supporters. However, his decline was slow and, unfortunately, without remedy. The World Cup champion’s errors increased during the 2022/23 season. It was during a match against Arsenal when Lloris‘ inability to stop Bukayo Saka’s cross led to a goal and, likely to Tottenham’s decision to part with one of the club’s legends.
As of now, the Frenchman is still in the Tottenham squad but has lost his starting position to Guglielmo Vicario. Ange Postecoglou doesn’t seem very anxious to give the former #1 a fresh start. A transfer may be on the cards soon enough.
Alisson Becker is one of the finest goalkeepers in the world. So, it feels rather unfair to name him on our list. However, going by the book, Alisson has been responsible for a number of opposition goals over the past twelve months. The most recent one came in a match against EPL rivals Manchester City, of all places. Yes, it is true that what Alisson gifts Jurgen Klopp’s side in terms of clean sheets and ball distribution generally outweighs the problems. But cutting out the errors might be a great help, too.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has one of the strangest and most interesting careers in professional football. Transferred by Chelsea in 2018 from Athletic Bilbao, Kepa was deemed to be the next great keeper in the Premier League. Performances oscillated, however, and Arrizabalaga’s time must be best remembered by an incident when he refused to be substituted by then-manager Maurizio Sarri, as well as by the awkward sharing of the starting position with fellow goalie Edouard Mendy. Oh, there were also a number of unforced errors that led many to question the Spaniard’s abilities.
But, in 2023, Kepa seemed to be falling upwards. Thibaut Courtois’ injury meant that Real Madrid needed a new goalkeeper fast, and the Spanish giants took to loaning Kepa. He has made ten appearances so far, losing some of his playing time to Andriy Lunin. Still, being employed by Chelsea and playing for Real Madrid is certainly not the worst career situation for Arrizabalaga.