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Trusting Ter Stegen's boot compared to Zidane failing BBC

Absurd gifts, not inevitable misfortunes

Ter Stegen had the courage to stand in front of the press ahead of everyone else and apologies for his mistake. Well done. But it would have been better had the fourth goal - the one he was asking forgiveness for - not happened in the first place nor, for that matter, the first which was also rather ugly. Listening to him, his coach, and assorted others who endorse the opinion that the perfect goalkeeper is one who doesn't stop playing the ball with feet no matter what happens one would think that those type of goals are just the inevitable football misfortunes that occur from time to time. But this is not true: they were absurd gifts from Ter Stegen.

Barcelona's Ter Stegen faces the media after blunder.

Barcelona's Golden Calf

It's great if the goalkeeper is good with his feet and can start off the play. It's one of the legacies of Cruyff (who used Busquets father) and Guardiola's Barça consecrated this formula. But in some elements of Barcelonismo it has become a Golden Calf. So much so that even a new-comer like Ter Stegen is allowed to take risks in his area that, for example, Piqué or Sergio Busquets - much more talented footballers - would not take and, in the worst case, they'd still have a goalkeeper behind them. In ten years Valdés gifted two goals like these. Ter Stegen has given more in hardly any time.

Even a talented player like Piqué would not take risks in the box.

Sensible or misguided trust

One thing is to have a sensible idea and another is superstition. This Sunday we have had two examples of this. On one hand, the determination, poorly executed in the area, of Ter Stegen playing the ball with fatal recklessness. On the other, Zidane surrendering to an attack, the BBC, that when all three of them are firing the benefits (almost) outweigh any defensive disinterest. But when out of the three only one is there (Bale), another is poor (Benzema) and the third (Cristiano) has barely arrived, to entrust them is like trusting in the insecure boot of Ter Stegen. In conclusion: Atlético top the table.

Atletico Madrid's Griezmann, Torres and co sit top after questionable decisions from the big two.