Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bourne's Season Review Part One : Goalkeepers

Despite a nervy end to the season, Torino finally achieved their aim of avoiding relegation, and will be playing Serie A football next season. In order to review the current campaign, we invited Toro fan Peter Bourne to assess how each member of the squad has fared. Enjoy. 

Part One : Goalkeepers

Ferdinando Coppola, 1 appearance (2 goals conceded), no vote
The 35-year old rejoined the club in January when Lys Gomis was loaned out to Ascoli. Providing cover for Jean-Francois Gillet, the former Milan man – said to be a key dressing room figure – had been Toro’s number 1 during the promotion season until injury ended his campaign. Given a token run-out in the final game at home to Catania.

Verdict: Unlikely to be retained. Toro should look at a younger reserve keeper for 2013-14

Jean-Francois Gillet, 37 appearances (53 goals conceded), vote 7
I was not oversold on his signing – mainly based on height, age, career trajectory and the Bari connection. Like most signings made at the request of Ventura, there was a certain logic. Gillet is good with his feet complementing Ventura’s insistence on building from the back. ‘Il Gatto di Liege’ is also perfectly suited to playing in a team likely to concede chances. Not something to underestimate. When Toro signed the much-lauded Christian Abbiati in 2006, he struggled playing behind a more porous defence. Gillet quickly won me over inspiring confidence in a defence among the league’s best during the first half of the season. A poor performance against Milan aside, his form was excellent. Until the spring. The spate of spectacular long-range goals Toro conceded in the run-in may be a coincidence although my sensation is teams targeted Gillet’s lack of height and sometimes questionable positional play. However, over the course of the season the man earmarked to be Belgium’s third keeper at the 2014 World Cup was one of the Granata’s best performers.

Verdict: Gillet’s future at Toro depends on a few factors. If Ventura stays, Gillet will. A cloud is still hanging over him as the next round of the betting scandal verdicts – related to his time at Bari - are expected early in the summer. Money is probably better spent improving other parts of the side. One more season as number 1.

Lys Gomis, 0 appearances, no vote
Gomis has long been earmarked as the Torino goalkeeper of the future having come through all levels of the club’s youth system. Last summer the club showed confidence in the 23-year old confirming him as Gillet’s understudy despite a temptation to go for more experience. Gomis – born in nearby Cuneo but of Senagalese origin – is a prodigious talent but has less than 30 first team appearances under his belt, a combination of unfruitful loan moves and some character issues. In January, Gomis was given the chance of first team football in Serie B at Ascoli. Having broken into the team injuries disrupted his momentum, although he performed admirably in the final weeks of the season despite the Marche team’s subsequent relegation. He is the oldest of three goalkeeping brothers all on Toro’s books.

Verdict: Not ready yet to become a regular Serie A starter. My temptation would be to give Gomis another first-team season in Serie B. All being well, he could be Toro’s number 1 come the summer 2014, providing he shows consistency and maturity.

Overall Verdict: Gillet again first choice in 2013-14, a young reserve keeper capable of putting him under more pressure required

Peter is the author of the outstanding Torino book 'Passion in the Piazza' which is available on Amazon, and you can follow him on Twitter here.

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