Date: 6th May 2021 at 8:54am
Written by:

I’ve been one of few who’ve not jumped on the Edouard Mendy train, and I want to stat on record I’m sorry for not giving him the respect he deserves.

I still wouldn’t say like some he’s world class and if the opportunity to upgrade presented its self then I think we should take it, but it’s not a priority.

I feel comfortable and relaxed with Mendy between the sticks and I guess after witnessing Kepa Arrizabalaga’s crisis of confidence, we should all be grateful for that.

Furthermore to that, Mendy is one of football’s great stories. From almost giving up football in 2014 and claiming unemployment benefits, to playing one of the most pivotal roles in Chelsea qualifying for the 2021 Champions League final.

It’s a story every football fan loves because there’s a part of every football fan that still wonders if it would be possible for them to pull on the shirt for the club they love.

Mendy has been far better protected as a goalkeeper under Thomas Tuchel than Kepa ever was under Frank Lampard. As a team we hardly give the opposition a sniff at goal, limiting them to only one or two shots on target, unless the opposition are managed by Big Sam.

The important difference however is that Mendy is saving that one shot.

Rio Ferdinand said it best on BT Sport last night, when he said Mendy’s worst attribute was using his feet, but you know he’ll make a save to pull you out of trouble, and as a defender that’s what you want from your goalkeeper.

This piece isn’t a Kepa vs Mendy battle, but the trust from those infront of him evaporated for Kepa, much like his wrists when facing a strong shot.

Mendy isn’t a “modern” goalkeeper. He’s old school. My job is to stop the opposition from scoring, not provide a 50 yard diagonal pass to break opposition lines and start an attack.

Tuchel and Chelsea might eventually look for a goalkeeper who can do that, but we’re just fine right about now.

I’d rather my goalkeeper pull off world class saves like the one against Fulham or from Karim Benzema last night, than make a good pass.

If Mendy’s between the sticks for another 3 seasons then I’m content with that.

He’s an excellent shot stopper, has command of his box and is starting to be much more vocal with his defence, as we saw when he lambasted them after tipping Benzema’s header over the bar.

He might not be the best all round goalkeeper in Europe or even in the Premier League, he’s made a few mistakes and no doubt he’ll make a few more, but I would happily bet money that when all’s said and done, Mendy’s earned us far more points than he costs us.

Kudos to Petr Cech and the scouting staff that found him and had the confidence to convince Marina to make a deal for him.

Edouard, I’m sorry I haven’t sung your praises enough since you joined. You give me peace of mind when an opposition takes a rare attack that 9.8 times out of 10 you’re going to save it.

After what you’ve been through to get to this, the biggest stage in football, you deserve to be lifting a trophy or two this summer.

And we’ll all be safe in the knowledge that those trophies are in safe hands.


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