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Which 'Goalie Brad' Do You Play At Wembley?

There have been a couple of interesting polls in our forum, the first before the Carling Cup semi finals and the other after them.

They centered on the goalkeeper issue for the Final.

Would you carry on with your faith in up and coming keeper Brad Guzan who has played in all the other rounds or go with the experience of Brad Friedel fielding your strongest side in this major final?

Seems some opinions changed over the course of the semi final appearances.

Friedel pointing

Before: Click Here
After second game: Click Here

Guzan grey top

Our latest front page poll asks the same, Brad senior or junior?!

Tough call, can't see Martin O'Neill dropping the player who has played all the way up to the final? Football isn't about sentiments though, it is about winning and so the big decision for the manager is whether to go with youth or experience?!

MON spoke about Guzan in the week saying:

'Do I still have faith in Guzan? I wouldn't want to be commenting in terms of the performance of players. I would kind of leave that to the side. But I do know that Brad Guzan, in my view, will be a real quality goalkeeper. It is always difficult for a player coming in and needing to perform when you haven't had a host of games behind you. That is difficult. But his performance in the Sunderland game was fantastic. It was a big reason why we got to the quarter-finals - and now we are in the final. But there is no point in you asking if he will play on Saturday.' (Which was the FA Cup game - he did play)

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 25 2010

Time: 12:25PM

Your Comments

I would hate to be the manager, just couldn't stand making these choices. Brad Guzan is certainly up and coming, great with penalties and helped us get to the final. But do you then turn to experience for this final, a chance to get into Europe remember? Personally I don't think the game is about sentiment but it has to be partly to do with loyalty? how would you feel if you were Brad Jnr and got dropped? I'd go experience though I think. Not sure though, just glad I will never have to make these decisions, the fence is a good place sometimes! If push came to shove, I want a win, to get a win you need your most experienced players on and to field the strongest side. Friedel has the edge on that but very much doubt MON will drop Guzan?
The Fear
I would hate to be the manager, just couldn't stand making these choices. Brad Guzan is certainly up and coming, great with penalties and helped us get to the final. But do you then turn to experience for this final, a chance to get into Europe remember? Personally I don't think the game is about sentiment but it has to be partly to do with loyalty? how would you feel if you were Brad Jnr and got dropped? I'd go experience though I think. Not sure though, just glad I will never have to make these decisions, the fence is a good place sometimes! If push came to shove, I want a win, to get a win you need your most experienced players on and to field the strongest side. Friedel has the edge on that but very much doubt MON will drop Guzan?
The Fear
really tough decision to make this is Guzan has looked a little nervous of late when given the chance but itd be a real kick in the teeth for the lad to be dropped for the final i personally hope we bring friedel in you cant put a price on experience !
Georgeyboy83
really tough decision to make this is Guzan has looked a little nervous of late when given the chance but itd be a real kick in the teeth for the lad to be dropped for the final i personally hope we bring friedel in you cant put a price on experience !
Georgeyboy83
I couldn't make a decision, however I think dropping guzan will give him a real punch in the balls. So i vote give him his shot.
avfcjoe66
I couldn't make a decision, however I think dropping guzan will give him a real punch in the balls. So i vote give him his shot.
avfcjoe66
I agree, gotta give Guzan his chance - without him i doubt we'd have got past sunderland, and despite his little wobble's of late, he has been a very steady player. I say - play him! He'll learn from his mistakes (and they aren't very major when you look at the likes of enkleman!)
Ericols_Son
I agree, gotta give Guzan his chance - without him i doubt we'd have got past sunderland, and despite his little wobble's of late, he has been a very steady player. I say - play him! He'll learn from his mistakes (and they aren't very major when you look at the likes of enkleman!)
Ericols_Son
I think we need Friedel for the final , if you make a mistake against one of the mancs you might as well kiss the trophy goodbye but if Guzan does play i know he will get full support from everybody .
Doug4ever
I think we need Friedel for the final , if you make a mistake against one of the mancs you might as well kiss the trophy goodbye but if Guzan does play i know he will get full support from everybody .
Doug4ever
You have to go with your strongest possible team and that means playing Friedel. No room for sentiment, it's a team game, and Guzan plays as part of a team, he has done his bit, and Friedel must surely do his in the final. he's top class. Guzan is on a learning curve, he aint top class yet.. so at a final, at wembley.. it seems a no brainer.. money and europe potentially with the prestige of winning a cup.. Friedel must be selected.
krisvilla
You have to go with your strongest possible team and that means playing Friedel. No room for sentiment, it's a team game, and Guzan plays as part of a team, he has done his bit, and Friedel must surely do his in the final. he's top class. Guzan is on a learning curve, he aint top class yet.. so at a final, at wembley.. it seems a no brainer.. money and europe potentially with the prestige of winning a cup.. Friedel must be selected.
krisvilla
Decision wise - this season has been the hardest yet for O'Neill, having to replace Barry and Laursen in the summer (he did a superb job in Downing and Dunne) and now he has to decide whether to pick the better keeper or the one who has helped get us to the final. I would pick Friedel but I think Guzan will play.
young_jonah
Decision wise - this season has been the hardest yet for O'Neill, having to replace Barry and Laursen in the summer (he did a superb job in Downing and Dunne) and now he has to decide whether to pick the better keeper or the one who has helped get us to the final. I would pick Friedel but I think Guzan will play.
young_jonah
Guzan is a decent shot-stopper, but looked very poor when dealing with crosses - downright terrified. Surely we have a goalkeeping coach to work with him on that. Football players are grown-ups who get paid more money in a week than I earn in a year. Play the best goalie in the final: Friedel. Who would Fergie (the most successful manager of the most successful team in recent years) play? Play the best goalie in the final: Friedel. Not sure what MON will do, though. I would be very very upset if a goalkeeping error cost us the cup - how would that affect the goalies confidence?
144wittonlane
Guzan is a decent shot-stopper, but looked very poor when dealing with crosses - downright terrified. Surely we have a goalkeeping coach to work with him on that. Football players are grown-ups who get paid more money in a week than I earn in a year. Play the best goalie in the final: Friedel. Who would Fergie (the most successful manager of the most successful team in recent years) play? Play the best goalie in the final: Friedel. Not sure what MON will do, though. I would be very very upset if a goalkeeping error cost us the cup - how would that affect the goalies confidence?
144wittonlane
it would affect the confidence. ala carson style.. where is he again? oh yes he's, giving snowmen a lift to work..
krisvilla
it would affect the confidence. ala carson style.. where is he again? oh yes he's, giving snowmen a lift to work..
krisvilla
I'll be very surprised if Guzan doesn't get the nod, and I can fully understand and appreciate just why St Mart would decide to stick with the younger of the two Brad's. However, not being a fan of Guzan, I'd much prefer to see Brad Snr get to play at Wembley Stadium, and indeed keep goal from here on in, for as long as his form merits. Guzan has faults in his goalkeeping that have not been eradicated since he arrived at Villa Park, his willingness and ability to come and take crosses cleanly for starters, and I personally dont believe that the prospects of the club landing trophies should be jeopardised in the name of providing experience for an understudy. If Guzan eventually proves to be good enough to become a future regular 'keeper here at Brummagem B6, then all well and good, but he should do so in his own time and on his own merits. Allowing him to play the occasional game to help keep him sweet and provide him with a small dose of experience, is not in my book, the way to go. Yes I know that Guzan is a decent enough shot stopper, yes I know that he singlehandily won us the game (we were awful that night, a shambles) at The Stadium Of Light in an earlier League Cup tie, but Brad Friedel is far and away the better of the two, and until that scenario changes, should in my opinion be our undisputed and regular last line of defence.
glensider
I'll be very surprised if Guzan doesn't get the nod, and I can fully understand and appreciate just why St Mart would decide to stick with the younger of the two Brad's. However, not being a fan of Guzan, I'd much prefer to see Brad Snr get to play at Wembley Stadium, and indeed keep goal from here on in, for as long as his form merits. Guzan has faults in his goalkeeping that have not been eradicated since he arrived at Villa Park, his willingness and ability to come and take crosses cleanly for starters, and I personally dont believe that the prospects of the club landing trophies should be jeopardised in the name of providing experience for an understudy. If Guzan eventually proves to be good enough to become a future regular 'keeper here at Brummagem B6, then all well and good, but he should do so in his own time and on his own merits. Allowing him to play the occasional game to help keep him sweet and provide him with a small dose of experience, is not in my book, the way to go. Yes I know that Guzan is a decent enough shot stopper, yes I know that he singlehandily won us the game (we were awful that night, a shambles) at The Stadium Of Light in an earlier League Cup tie, but Brad Friedel is far and away the better of the two, and until that scenario changes, should in my opinion be our undisputed and regular last line of defence.
glensider
the old saying 'Dance with who you brung' springs to mind.
goodb_2
the old saying 'Dance with who you brung' springs to mind.
goodb_2
I really don't get all this criticism of Guzan on crosses except that it's clearly the latest bandwagon to jump on. OK so he may not be the very best in that area of his game yet but I have 2 major points to make about this.

1. James was a nightmare on crosses and corners at the same stage of his career - it's a skill to judge the flight of the ball and it's one that can be learned but he can't lean it without experiencing it - he needs time on the pitch and as Friedel is 1st choice for the league he can only get this in the cups.

2. Friedel rarely comes for crosses so it's not a fair comparison, how can look bad at doing something if he never does it? OK so it means he won't miss and leave an open goal or spill the ball to an opposition striker but it also means that there is a greater chance of the ball getting to the opposition striker in the first place and therefore a greater chance of the striker getting a shot off. If you like that style of goal keeping (I prefer a more proactive keeper personally but each to their own) then I'd suggest that Guzan is your man, just give him instructions not to come for crosses as Guzan is up there with the best when it comes to shot stopping and reaction saves.
villan of the north
I really don't get all this criticism of Guzan on crosses except that it's clearly the latest bandwagon to jump on. OK so he may not be the very best in that area of his game yet but I have 2 major points to make about this.

1. James was a nightmare on crosses and corners at the same stage of his career - it's a skill to judge the flight of the ball and it's one that can be learned but he can't lean it without experiencing it - he needs time on the pitch and as Friedel is 1st choice for the league he can only get this in the cups.

2. Friedel rarely comes for crosses so it's not a fair comparison, how can look bad at doing something if he never does it? OK so it means he won't miss and leave an open goal or spill the ball to an opposition striker but it also means that there is a greater chance of the ball getting to the opposition striker in the first place and therefore a greater chance of the striker getting a shot off. If you like that style of goal keeping (I prefer a more proactive keeper personally but each to their own) then I'd suggest that Guzan is your man, just give him instructions not to come for crosses as Guzan is up there with the best when it comes to shot stopping and reaction saves.
villan of the north
If so, the old saying 'we lost the cup' springs to my mind. Every time there's a cross, there'll be at least me and Brad Guzan with our eyes closed praying to the gods of football. Of course, 100% support for whever plays on the day, but I won't be able to look!
144wittonlane
If so, the old saying 'we lost the cup' springs to my mind. Every time there's a cross, there'll be at least me and Brad Guzan with our eyes closed praying to the gods of football. Of course, 100% support for whever plays on the day, but I won't be able to look!
144wittonlane
certainly an interesting debate isn't it? Really split on it and don't envy MON his choice here
The Fear
This is really simple and their shouldn't even be a debate - Wembley is holds no place for sentement or 2nd place, you play your strongest 11, you know Citeh would/will !!!!
davidsands1982
certainly an interesting debate isn't it? Really split on it and don't envy MON his choice here
The Fear
This is really simple and their shouldn't even be a debate - Wembley is holds no place for sentement or 2nd place, you play your strongest 11, you know Citeh would/will !!!!
davidsands1982
Brad Friedel!!!! Are defence are much stronger with him! Please MON drop Guzan
Blitz
Brad Friedel!!!! Are defence are much stronger with him! Please MON drop Guzan
Blitz
Cant we give them 1/2 each - Friedel for the first half then Guzan on for second - covering us if we go to penalties - this management lark is easy over the internet !!!!
Mat777
Cant we give them 1/2 each - Friedel for the first half then Guzan on for second - covering us if we go to penalties - this management lark is easy over the internet !!!!
Mat777
I think it comes down to more than just sentiment. I believe it comes down to whether or not Martin O'Neill believes Guzan is going to be our long term keeper. If he does Guzan will play, if he doesn't then Big Brad will.
UpTheHolte
I think it comes down to more than just sentiment. I believe it comes down to whether or not Martin O'Neill believes Guzan is going to be our long term keeper. If he does Guzan will play, if he doesn't then Big Brad will.
UpTheHolte
Friedel has to play in the real world, we couldn't risk his cross-taking in the final. Friedel is the sensible choice, I think MON will play Guzan though, MON has this stubborness about him that could end up costing us this cup. Having said that, if it were to go to penalties, maybe we could sub Guzan in if we have spares?? (which we will becasue MON never uses his subs). Or perhaps once MON will see sense and just play Friedel!
FootyFans
Friedel has to play in the real world, we couldn't risk his cross-taking in the final. Friedel is the sensible choice, I think MON will play Guzan though, MON has this stubborness about him that could end up costing us this cup. Having said that, if it were to go to penalties, maybe we could sub Guzan in if we have spares?? (which we will becasue MON never uses his subs). Or perhaps once MON will see sense and just play Friedel!
FootyFans
This is a simple question of good management and playing the right team for the game. Guzan has bags of potential, but he is not ready, if he messes up and concedes a silly goal on 89 mins for us to lose by 1 goal it could ruin his career. Good management would say pick Friedel, but take the time to sit Guzan down and explain why. Look at Fergie, the best manager in the history of english football, he played the kids like Wellbeck, Gibson etc all through the rounds until they reached Citeh, he knew it was a massive game so picked his strongest side (not that it helped in the end - but that is a different point). Guzan's time will come, but it should not be on 28th Feb. (saying that if its a stalemate on 119mins in extra time bring him on!!!)
Longman
This is a simple question of good management and playing the right team for the game. Guzan has bags of potential, but he is not ready, if he messes up and concedes a silly goal on 89 mins for us to lose by 1 goal it could ruin his career. Good management would say pick Friedel, but take the time to sit Guzan down and explain why. Look at Fergie, the best manager in the history of english football, he played the kids like Wellbeck, Gibson etc all through the rounds until they reached Citeh, he knew it was a massive game so picked his strongest side (not that it helped in the end - but that is a different point). Guzan's time will come, but it should not be on 28th Feb. (saying that if its a stalemate on 119mins in extra time bring him on!!!)
Longman
Would Friedel even get a medal if he'd only played in the final? Young Brad for me, even if he is awful at commanding his area he deserves it and not giving him the chance might mess up the while dressing room
SchoolBoyError
Would Friedel even get a medal if he'd only played in the final? Young Brad for me, even if he is awful at commanding his area he deserves it and not giving him the chance might mess up the while dressing room
SchoolBoyError
i'd play Guzan, its up to the defence and the ref to protect him. they've got to get in between the keeper and the 2 strikers that they will inevitably put on him at corners. I'd also give him a couple of league matches before the final to see if he can overcome his problem.
bobbyfett
i'd play Guzan, its up to the defence and the ref to protect him. they've got to get in between the keeper and the 2 strikers that they will inevitably put on him at corners. I'd also give him a couple of league matches before the final to see if he can overcome his problem.
bobbyfett
Absolutely Brad Friedel would receive a medal should he play in the Final SchoolBoyError. Why wouldn't he? Its a winners or runners up medal that's handed out on the day, based on what has gone on in the previous ninety/one hundred and twenty minutes of football. Its not awarded for what has been achieved leading up to the big day.
glensider
Absolutely Brad Friedel would receive a medal should he play in the Final SchoolBoyError. Why wouldn't he? Its a winners or runners up medal that's handed out on the day, based on what has gone on in the previous ninety/one hundred and twenty minutes of football. Its not awarded for what has been achieved leading up to the big day.
glensider
Play Guzan first half...and then when we're 3 up bring on Brad senior....
MASON_PARKER
Play Guzan first half...and then when we're 3 up bring on Brad senior....
MASON_PARKER
I think it'll be Guzan, but personally I would pick Friedel.
Sheriff Kimbo
I think it'll be Guzan, but personally I would pick Friedel.
Sheriff Kimbo
ultimate decider, ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS.... best out of three... whoever wins goes in goal. To put a bit of a slant on it, they do it in their GK gloves... safe
krisvilla
ultimate decider, ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS.... best out of three... whoever wins goes in goal. To put a bit of a slant on it, they do it in their GK gloves... safe
krisvilla
glensider; I wasn't sure if you had to play a minimum number of games like with a league medal.. obviously not :)
SchoolBoyError
glensider; I wasn't sure if you had to play a minimum number of games like with a league medal.. obviously not :)
SchoolBoyError
How can you Drop him when he has played the cup games, that just wouldn't be right.
Villa 4 Ever
How can you Drop him when he has played the cup games, that just wouldn't be right.
Villa 4 Ever
School boy error SchoolBoyError
Longman
School boy error SchoolBoyError
Longman
I agree with Krisvilla's first point. Its a team game, and Guzan has done his bit, but the best team in the final needs the best keeper in goal, and that is Friedel at the moment. Guzan's time will come, he has age on his side, but as a team player he should fully understand if Friedel gets the nod. We really need to play our best team to have a chance of winning the cup, which is more important than upseting someones feelings! We all agree that without Guzan at Sunderland we wouldnt be this far, that was his contribution, but now its over to Brad senior IMO. Having said that, I think there is a high chance that MON will pick Brad jnr., and if he does, we will all get behind him!
villa_de
I agree with Krisvilla's first point. Its a team game, and Guzan has done his bit, but the best team in the final needs the best keeper in goal, and that is Friedel at the moment. Guzan's time will come, he has age on his side, but as a team player he should fully understand if Friedel gets the nod. We really need to play our best team to have a chance of winning the cup, which is more important than upseting someones feelings! We all agree that without Guzan at Sunderland we wouldnt be this far, that was his contribution, but now its over to Brad senior IMO. Having said that, I think there is a high chance that MON will pick Brad jnr., and if he does, we will all get behind him!
villa_de
Play Friedel but give the Gooz some prem games as consolation . If Martin picks Guzan i hope he proves me wrong , plays well and covers himself in glory .. good luck to him either way .
Doug4ever
Play Friedel but give the Gooz some prem games as consolation . If Martin picks Guzan i hope he proves me wrong , plays well and covers himself in glory .. good luck to him either way .
Doug4ever
I dont think MON will worry about sentiment at all. Remember when Kevin Poole helped get Leicester all the way to the play off finals, he didn't put a glove wrong all season but in the final MON dropped him because the other keeper who i think was called Kalac or something, was a bit taller. Poole was obviously gutted. Guzan should be more than prepared to get dropped, although i do agree it would be nice to see him get his chance, if MON thinks Friedel will be a better choice then Guzan needs to understand the thinking behind that decision and respect that. But fair play to Guzan, he does look every bit the next Friedel and possibly more.
Thom85
I dont think MON will worry about sentiment at all. Remember when Kevin Poole helped get Leicester all the way to the play off finals, he didn't put a glove wrong all season but in the final MON dropped him because the other keeper who i think was called Kalac or something, was a bit taller. Poole was obviously gutted. Guzan should be more than prepared to get dropped, although i do agree it would be nice to see him get his chance, if MON thinks Friedel will be a better choice then Guzan needs to understand the thinking behind that decision and respect that. But fair play to Guzan, he does look every bit the next Friedel and possibly more.
Thom85
It has to be Guzan. It would shatter his confidence if he is dropped, and he got us there with his penalty saves. Neither Mancs are reknowned for pumping in long balls like Blackburn, but have capable long range shooters, and Little Brad is more than competent in that department. We have history in finals with rookie keepers (1982), yet were let down badly by an experienced one in 2000. Tough call, but we'll all be laughing if we win whoever is in goal.
Madirish
It has to be Guzan. It would shatter his confidence if he is dropped, and he got us there with his penalty saves. Neither Mancs are reknowned for pumping in long balls like Blackburn, but have capable long range shooters, and Little Brad is more than competent in that department. We have history in finals with rookie keepers (1982), yet were let down badly by an experienced one in 2000. Tough call, but we'll all be laughing if we win whoever is in goal.
Madirish
 

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