Garth Crooks has suggested Hugo Lloris is not good enough for Tottenham Hotspur in his BBC Team of the Week column – despite the Frenchman saving a penalty against Arsenal.
With the score locked at 1-1 after Harry Kane had cancelled out Aaron Ramsey’s first-half strike, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had the chance to win the game in the dying moments.
But the Gabon international’s penalty was weak and Lloris got down smartly to his right to save the shot. Jan Vertonghen then made a crucial block on the follow up.
It was a crucial save by Lloris. Spurs have lost their last two matches, and a third successive defeat would have been appalling. But Crooks was still negative about Lloris, despite his inclusion in the TOTW.
“There is no doubt in my mind he can keep goal but not well enough for a top four club,” Crooks said. “That might sound a little incongruous for a France World Cup winner but standards are not what they used to be.
“His performance against Chelsea yet again emphasised my point that you can be a very good shot-stopper and not a world-class goalkeeper. This became abundantly clear against Arsenal.”
It has been a difficult season for France and Spurs captain Lloris. As Crooks mentions, the former Lyon star is more than adept at stopping shots but he has been guilty of a calamitous error here and there, too.
Now 32 years of age, and with 284 appearances in all competitions at Spurs, the £7.9million (Independent) signing back in 2012 has proved a bargain. But it was his fault for Kieran Trippier’s own goal at Chelsea.
Crooks is right. Lloris’s standards are dropping. If Spurs are to be a top-four club, and challenge for the title, they need a goalkeeper in his prime – not one who is fading into a shadow of his former self.