Opinion split as Atletico Madrid rotate keepers
Atletico Madrid coach Javier Aguirre has stirred up a debate over goalkeepers by refusing to name a first choice custodian at the Calderon, rotating Argentina’s Leo Franco with France’s Gregory Coupet.
The Mexican’s policy has prompted a flurry of differing opinions after Atletico were trounced 6-1 at Barcelona last weekend, with new recruit Coupet in nets.
The Frenchman has conceded nine goals in five league games. Leo Franco, who has mainly been used in Europe, has let in three in four Champions League matches and a league encounter.
Just over 65 percent of Atletico fans surveyed on Marca’s website called for Leo Franco to be given the job for the city derby against champions Real Madrid in nine days time, breaking Aguirre’s apparent system.
The two keepers have both said they are happy with the practice, which Aguirre successfully pursued at Osasuna as he led the modest side to their highest ever Primera Liga finish (fourth) in 2006.
Few eyebrows are raised when outfield players are rotated to keep them sharp, to maintain competition for places, or even for tactical reasons.
Are goalkeepers that different? Is it better to stick with a well-defined first choice, or is it a practical way forward for teams competing on numerous fronts?
PHOTO: Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Gregory Coupet during their Spanish First Division match against Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon, Sept. 28. REUTERS/Andrea Comas