Vital Football

Latest Wigan Atletic News

ENGLAND`S NUMBER ONE!

ENGLAND`S NUMBER ONE!


At the end of a weekend where Kirkland made the brave and condoned suggestion that Titus Bramble should be drafted into the English national side for the squad`s friendly against Slovakia at the end of March, surely the one-cap wonder himself must feel extremely harshly done by if he is not stood between the sticks at Wembley, or at least on the padded benches beside Cappello. What more can the ex-Liverpool man do?

Every single corner or cross that comes within catching distance of Chris Kirkland, it inevitably ends in his clutches. No messing around, no theatric punches that Scott Carson is so fond of, no eccentric flapping in the wind which we are never too far away with James in the picture. He launches himself into the air, towards to the ball, and grasps it firmly and without a fuss. A seemingly simple though rare commodity amongst goalkeepers, especially consistently, especially when you are in possession of a British passport.

But does he have the ability to win a match for his team with his saves? Just a bit. The number of times that Kirkland sends himself sprawling through the air to pull off the most magnificent of saves is as hard to guess as a Benitez lineup. Forward men in this league must get as dejected with seeing him stab the ball away after their goal bound efforts as we are of hearing the words 'CARLOZ TEVEZ AFFAIR` booming from our television sets.

When he came to the fortress that is the JJB Stadium, I had seen the young keeper many times, and had a fruitful discussion with a goalkeeping coach I know at the time. We were united in our conviction that the only thing Kirkland could improve on sufficiently when fit, the only way he could advance to that next level, was to add that shot stopping capability to his artillery.

That dexterity that some keepers are just born with, to pull off a save from out of nowhere. A save as the striker is on his way to exultation with the crowd. That reflex stop that you just do not expect. He was always reliable, good in the air, composed, a decent enough shot stopper. But since joining Wigan he has added that knack of pulling off the saves that take him amongst an altogether different class of piers. That, in my opinion, has helped make him one of the best keepers in the world. A bold statement, but if you watch him, and watch as much football as I have over the last few years, there is little doubt that this assertion is true.

The only crack in his foundation, the fixation of the media when they hear the name 'Chris Kirkland`, is a not dissimilar to what crosses our minds when we hear the name, 'Ledley King`. The 'dodgy back` which has prevented some of the best teams, like Arsenal, from snatching him away from the JJB.

You can see him grimace every time he completes his swing for a goal kick, wince when he climbs to his feet after what has become a trademark match winning save. He is playing through the pain barrier, and doing a damn good job with 10 clean sheets this campaign, and just the odd absence. Many players would simply sidle over to the physio room with such a restraint. Many would spend their days relaxing under the touch of a club masseur, little regret as the club deposits thousands into their accounts each week. Kirkland however is different.

He has become one of the top keepers around in spite of his injury, rather than simply alleviating himself with assurances that he`s being held back from being one of the best by his many aches. A model professional, he works hard in the gym day after day. It is well known that he spends less time on the training ground than the rest of the team, and more time in the tedious surroundings of the gym and swimming pool, trying to build the strength or relive the pain in his back. Someone who has managed such a career threatening factor and rose like the milkiest of creams to one of the Premiership`s best.

Steve Bruce commented that 'If (Kirkland) didn't have the problem he has with his back, he'd be England's No 1.` Sorry, this should not be an issue for the England management. Kirkland is the best English keeper around right now and if we take Robert Green out of the equation who has shown recent weakness and James-esque eccentricity, Wigan are the highest in the Premier League with an English keeper; FACT, as Rafa would put it.

The admirable determination and resolve demonstrated by Chris in his attitude towards his injury, the way he has ridden the hurdle and has played all but one or two of Wigan`s games this season, are just further additions to a long list of reasons that he should be England number one, and not a feeble reasoning behind his repeated exclusion.

Such a quality professional and top class goalkeeper does not deserve to stand alongside Gavin McCann and Francis Jeffers as a one-cap wonder. As the England team enter the Wembley pitch against Slovakia on March 28th, John Terry will be leading the way with great pride. Without a doubt however, the man that walks in the arena right behind him, should be Wigan Athletic`s very own Chris Kirkland.


Andy Jackson




Vital Latics - Kirkland for England

The latest Latics Spey podcast is available for download from itunes or if you simply want to listen to it just click on the player below








[br]Powered by Podbean.com



It's easy to join us at Vital Latics to register , simply click the link and enjoy getting involved






For the very latest Premier League odds

Free £15 bet when you spend £5 on The New Football Pools




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday March 17 2009
Time: 2:44PM

Comments

0
Kirkland for England...but Bruce wont let him go due to the risk with his back
worbo
17/03/2009 14:48:00
0
Kirkland for England...but Bruce wont let him go due to the risk with his back
worbo
17/03/2009 14:48:00
0
which is exactly his problem!
merlin
17/03/2009 19:00:00
0
which is exactly his problem!
merlin
17/03/2009 19:00:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Bellew’s Threat to Haye

Recent Wigan Athletic Articles

Audio - Warren Joyce On QPR Defeat

Warren Joyce speaks following the disappointing defeat away at QPR:

Stats: Queens Park Rangers v Wigan Athletic

All the stats from Queens Park Rangers (2) vs (1) Wigan Athletic, Loftus Road, 21/02/1/ 7:45pm Att: 12,101

The Team Sheets - QPR v Wigan Athletic

The team sheets have been handed in at Loftus Road:

QPR v Latics - Big Game Preview

Another massive game for the Latics, QPR are a team that traditionally we don't do too well against, just two wins in 15 encounters, one of those coming in W12 though so we do have previous there even if it was a while ago.

A win tonight would lift us out of the bottom three and put us just three points behind Aston Villa in 17th, the incentive is there, we need to start taking opportunities are there won't be any more left.

It's likely that Warren Joyce will start with the same si

Archived Vital Latics Articles

Vital Latics articles from

Site Journalists

Barry Worthington
Editor email
Profile
Dan Farrimond (JWAW)
no email
Profile
Adam Convery
no email
Profile
Frank Ford
no email
Profile
Noel Wards Leg
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Man Of The Match v Preston
Suggested By: Billy Bunter
Matt Gilks39%
Callum Connolly1%
Jake Buxton3%
Dan Burn4%
Stephen Warnock2%
Shaun MacDonald21%
Max Power1%
Ryan Tunnicliffe20%
Sam Morsy6%
Will Grigg1%
Omar Bogle2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 32 22 3 7 69 37
2 Brighton 32 20 8 4 68 28
3 Huddersfield 32 20 4 8 64 8
4 Reading 33 18 6 9 60 5
5 Leeds Utd 33 18 4 11 58 11
6 Sheff Wed 33 17 7 9 58 10
7 Norwich 33 15 6 12 51 11
8 Fulham 31 13 10 8 49 15
9 Barnsley 33 14 7 12 49 4
10 Preston 33 13 10 10 49 4
11 Derby County 32 13 9 10 48 7
12 Cardiff 33 13 6 14 45 -2
13 Ipswich 33 10 11 12 41 -7
14 Brentford 32 11 7 14 40 0
15 Q.P.R. 33 11 7 15 40 -10
16 Birmingham 33 10 10 13 40 -14
17 Aston Villa 32 8 12 12 36 -8
18 Forest 33 10 6 17 36 -12
19 Wolves 31 9 8 14 35 -4
20 Burton 33 9 8 16 35 -13
21 Bristol City 31 9 5 17 32 -4
22 Wigan 33 7 9 17 30 -10
23 Blackburn 31 7 8 16 29 -13
24 Rotherham 33 4 5 24 17 -43
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Wigan Athletic Results (view all)

Wigan Athletic Fixtures (view all)

Feb 25 2017 3:00PM : Nottingham Forest (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 4 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 7 2017 7:45PM : Birmingham City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 11 2017 3:00PM : Bristol City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 18 2017 3:00PM : Aston Villa (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : Newcastle United (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Get a Grip!220
2.king_dezeeuw06170
3.Whittleblue169
4.Moonay147
5.truelatic4eva106
6.BrickLatic101
7.scotdave94
8.Oscarbon92
9.hindleymonwafc88
10.Noel Wards Leg80
Vital Football Comment