JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 23: Heurelho Gomes of Tottenham in action during the 2011 Vodacom Challenge final match between Orlando Pirates and Tottenham Hotspur at Coca Cola Stadium on July 23, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
I know that I'm in the minority when I say that I'm a big fan of Heurelho Gomes and that I believe he is Tottenham Hotspur's best goalkeeper. Thus far, Spurs have played 4 games this season. Gomes has featured in one (the Europa League match against Hearts of Modlothian), in which he kept a clean sheet. To be fair, Carlo Cudicini started the second leg of the second leg of that tie and also kept a clean sheet.
Meanwhile, newly signed American goalkeeper Brad Friedel has featured in both of Tottenham's Premier League games. Spurs have lost both of those games by scores of 3-0 and 5-1. Those scorelines are by no means Friedel's fault and, if I'm being honest, for someone that's roughly the same age as Margaret Thatcher, Friedel has looked pretty good in goal. Sure we've played the two best teams in the league and we're all disappointed in the results, but I think it would be a mistake to blame Friedel for the results.
But where does that leave Gomes? Much has been made of the errors that Gomes has made during his time at Spurs. There was a time when many might have considered him to be one of the worst keepers in the Premiership. During the 2009-10 season though Gomes turned it all around and had an incredible season. At times he looked to be the opposite of what he had been in the past. Some even wondered if he might have a place among the elite keepers in the league.
Last season was somewhere in the middle for Gomes and yet he still managed to get a team that scored the same number of goals as Blackpool, who were relegated, to a fifth place finish and the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Is Gomes, who may be the best shot-stopper in the league, really going to be relegated to Europa League and Carling Cup duty?
At present, Spurs goalkeeping situation is one of the weakest among the top six. Perhaps only Arsenal have a more unsettled keeper, though Wojciech Szczesny looks like he will be quite good soon, and maybe Manchester United's David De Gea is still getting used to life in the Premier League, but the rest are still quite solid.
As I said above, I can't argue with Brad Friedel's play thus far, but I still feel that Gomes is our best option in goal and gives Spurs the best chance to finish high in the league. I suppose only time will tell how much rope manager Harry Redknapp is willing to give his keepers, but I hope it's not too much and that Harry's respect for Friedel's consecutive games streak doesn't overpower his judgement when it comes to selecting the team.