Remarkable Replacements

Remarkable Replacements

The role of the second-choice goalkeeper can be one of isolation and they are only really called upon in the disastrous circumstance of an injury to their number one with a few incredible exceptions to the rule.

We were inspired by the story of Ajax’s Under-19s substitute goalkeeper saving three penalties in the UEFA Youth League, which has propelled Daan Reiziger into the limelight before he has even made a first team squad.

In this weeks’ Sparta Spotlight, we look at some memorable goalkeeper in-game changes. Memorable for very different reasons.


Tim Krul - NETHERLANDS v Costa Rica - World Cup Quarter Final 2014

Tim Krul

The Netherlands may have failed to qualify for the last two major tournaments, but the Nations League runners up were a formidable force on the world stage in the not-too-distant past, considered by many to be second only to Spain within Europe’s elite.

Costa Rica, who themselves were one of the outstanding teams of the 2014 in Brazil, held the Dutch for two hours of their Quarter Final, with the game goalless heading to a penalty shoot-out in Salvador.

Netherland’s boss Louis Van Gaal, who had already agreed to become Manchester United manager for the following season, took the unusual step of taking first choice Jasper Cillessen in favour of then Newcastle stopper, Tim Krul, much to the dismay of the Ajax man and the millions watching.

In one of the aforementioned exceptions to the rule, Krul was brought on in the last minute of extra time and the hero of Norwich’s penalty shoot-out against Spurs last week, again was able to gain a psychological advantage over the takers.

Krul was seen speaking to everyone of Costa Rica’s penalty takers and got the better of two of them, saving from Brian Ruiz and Michael Umana.

Van Gaal’s men would lose their semi-final to Argentina and failed to qualify for both Euro 2016 and the World Cup 2018, with Krul’s penalty-saving masterclass the last memorable for the Dutch at a major tournament and probably the most notable substitute display from a goalkeeper in recent years.


Jurgen Macho - SUNDERLAND v Arsenal - Premier League 2000

Jurgen Macho

Back in the early part of the twenty-first century, before Netflix was even a pipedream, Sunderland were a pretty smart Premier League side.

Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn were the Black Cat’s dynamic strike force and a solid back line underpinned by Denmark’s Thomas Sorensen had Sunderland a whisker away from a European place and a very respectable 7th place finish in 1999/00, their first season after promotion.

Peter Reid’s men again had European aspirations and their curtain-raiser at home to Arsenal in the 2000/01 season would only serve to bolster those hopes.

New second choice Jurgen Macho replaced Sorensen at the break after a first half injury to the Dane, and the Austrian was flung into the limelight far sooner than anyone would have hoped.

Macho did not look out of place in his first Premier League appearance and was able to keep an Arsenal side that included; Nwankwo Kanu, Freddie Ljungberg and Thierry Henry at bay. The latter forced an incredible save from Macho in the final minutes of the game. Sunderland went onto win the game 1-0.

The Austrian international went onto to play 22 times for the Wearsiders before moving onto Chelsea in 2003 to again play second fiddle to Carlo Cudicini.


Nicky Weaver - MANCHESTER CITY v Middlesbrough - Premier League 2005

David James Nicky Weaver

This particular incident is bizzare as it is synonymous with Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce’s tenure as Manchester City manager.

A clash with Middlesbrough on the final day of the Premier League season in 2004/2005, saw City battling for a place in the UEFA Cup with their opponents on a sunny Manchester afternoon, a game which they needed to win in order to qualify.

With the game at 1-1 in the closing minutes, Pearce still had one substitution still at his disposal. Target man Jon Macken could have been forgiven for thinking he was a shoo-in to make a cameo, but instead his maverick boss opted for Nicky Weaver.

Starting goalkeeper David James was not the one sacrificed, but midfielder Claudio Reyna the one to make way for the veteran ‘keeper Weaver.

James was handed an outfield shirt from the dugout, in a clearly orchestrated move, and the England man would become an auxiliary target man, to the utter bewilderment of pretty much everyone who witnessed.

City did in fact win a penalty in injury time, missed by Robbie Fowler, as they agonisingly missed out on Europe at the hands of a ‘Boro side who were managed and captained by future England managers (Steve McClaren & Gareth Southgate).

Nicky Weaver was largely untested as Middlesbrough looked to cling on to a valuable point, but this remains as probably the most famous goalkeeping substitution in Premier League history.


Leigh Bedwell - Preston North End v SWINDON TOWN - League One 2012

Wes Foderingham

From one bohemian manager to another and this time Paolo Di Canio’s decision to switch his first choice ‘keeper during a game.

Di Canio’s Swindon Town were flying high in League One, but after twenty minutes of their top of the table clash at Deepdale, the Italian saw fit to haul Wes Foderingham off the field with the Robin’s 2-0 down.

It probably wasn’t how teenager Leigh Bedwell envisaged his first team debut, perhaps feeling slightly uncomfortable as his mentor flung his boot at a water bottle when storming off the pitch.

Bedwell, perhaps scarred by the incident, would never play another game for Swindon as Preston ran out 4-1 winners.

The Italian, who had his fair share of outbursts as both a player and manager, proceeded to give his senior man a very public dressing down and Di Canio refused to entertain the idea of Foderingham featuring again until he apologised to his boss.

In his post-match interview Di Canio said: "He was one of the worst players I have ever seen. He's another player like the others, why can't we change the goalkeeper? Because the goalkeeper has a different coloured shirt?”

Foderingham apologised the next day and would remain at the County Ground until 2015 before moving to Rangers. Di Canio has been out of management since 2013, after being sacked by Sunderland following a player-led mutiny over his conduct.


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