Neuer edging ahead in German goalkeeping race

March 16, 2010

SOCCER-GERMANY/Germany have not had it easy when it comes to picking a starting goalkeeper for this year’s World Cup.

Robert Enke, who was first choice going into the last three World Cup qualifiers, committed suicide in November and it is still unclear who will stake a claim to being the long-term successor to Jens Lehmann.

Following Enke’s death, Schalke’s Manuel Neuer, Bayer Leverkusen’s Rene Adler and Tim Wiese from Werder Bremen have been in contention for the spot.

Loew recently crowned Adler as the man to beat but the keeper failed to repay the coach’s trust with an error-ridden performance in Germany’s 1-0 loss to Argentina earlier this month. Then came two consecutive Bundesliga matches where Adler, 25, was directly responsible for letting in goals. Suddenly his starting spot looks far from certain.

At 23, Neuer has had an outstanding season so far, helping drive Schalke 04 into title contention and often being the best man on the pitch.

Wiese has been less efficient in a mediocre season with Bremen and still looks the outsider in the race.

Any decision will be taken with the future in mind and there, it could well be that the younger Neuer has the edge, despite his lack of international experience. He may only have two caps but so does 28-year-old Wiese while Adler has only nine.

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