Explained: the euphoria of when a goalkeeper comes up for a corner

Ben Darvill

Modern football has no end of exciting situations, with a love of offensive play taking over the game as we know it. While the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continually take the headlines for their incredible feats of attacking ability, there is a situation that generates an equal amount of excitement, and rarely happens. 

This is of course when the goalkeeper decides to live out their fantasy of being an outfield player as they forge up the field in search of a goal. While it is not quite as outrageous as your mate that can run the length of the field with the goalkeeper on FIFA, it is still incredibly exciting.

This scenario in particular was brought to light recently as West Brom’s Ben Foster flew forward from his goal, as his side sought to find a goal in their eventual 1-0 loss to Liverpool.

While the situation of a goalkeeper running to the opposite end of the pitch is entertaining in of itself, it was made compelling television as Liverpool continually broke on West Brom, meaning they had a number of chances to score in an unguarded net.

There is something so helpless then, about a goalkeeper being left stranded at the opposite end of the pitch. But why do we as fans enjoy it so much?

Well, first of all, it shows that you don’t have to be the greatest footballer to become a professional player. Of course, Ben Foster is a very talented goalkeeper and he has been displaying this throughout the season with the Baggies. However, when he was left to chase the ball in Liverpool’s half, he made himself look very foolish:

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A goalkeeper going forward also portrays the fact that the manager has decided to throw everything at their opponents, and when it comes off, it is glorious:

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If the goalkeeper doesn’t score, then a frantic few moments ensue, with the defending team eager to punish the goalkeeper being so far form his box. It is sometimes met by a cool head taking the ball up the pitch, but it more likely forces a player to launch a speculative shot form his own box.

Irrespective of what happens, the goalkeeper is left to spring back towards his goal with his tail between his legs. What makes this situation even more exciting is when he is running against the ball itself. The most outrageous example of this was when Manchester City’s Joe Hart took it upon himself to do his best impression of Usain Bolt:

There are a number of reasons as to why fans find a goalkeeper going forward so exciting. There is the chance it will yield a goal, while it could also see the goalkeeper’s team concede. Who says you need a stunning 40-yard strike when you can see a goalkeeper score a scrappy, last-minute header?

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