Upon attending the England U19 game last night, I was in disbelief that for the second live football match I had seen in the UK, I saw a goalkeeper have to come off. Connor Ripley had just let in a goal to the Czech republic and in his efforts to save the well worked free kick he had pulled something in his side region.
He tried to carry on but found himself having to go down and request to get subbed. This took place with England having just conceded a corner leaving the new goalkeeper to strip off his tracksuit, put his gloves on, and run 2 thirds of the field before having to immediately have to deal with the corner.
Obviously, the tactic of any team would be to ensure the resulting corner put the new keeper under pressure and sure enough it did. I was very impressed how #1 Samual Johnstone managed to get to the ball and punch the ball away from immediate danger.
This got me thinking about the ability to mentally prepare if asked to come on as sub. The implications if this is not right could make or break you. From my own experience, I recall getting my chance in a game as the then first choice keeper hurt his hand and I stepped up. On the bigger stage, I wonder what effects it would have on Samuel’s career had he not been physically / mentally ready when that cross came in and the Czech republic then got the equalizing goal?