Monday night saw Nemanja Matic score a last-gasp screamer for Manchester United but for Crystal Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey, conceding goals of that quality has become an all too familiar occurrence.
Last night added to the list of sensational goals conceded by Wayne Hennessey, he's building up quite a collection. pic.twitter.com/lWxMMeXlUC
— E-Crystal Palace (@e_crystalpalace) March 6, 2018
Whilst I’m as hurt as much as anyone by the sight of the ball hitting the back of the Palace net, I feel compelled to draw everyone’s attention to the number of “Goal of the Season” contenders Wayne has let in over the last couple of years. He may come in for a lot of criticism from the Eagles’ faithful, a great deal of it fair but there’s next to nothing that could be done about any of the outstanding efforts featured in the video above.
With both Dele Alli and Matic’s goals coming at the death on the Selhurst Park turf it’s difficult not to feel a pang of sympathy for the Welsh number one who, by now, is sure to be wondering what he can do to stop the outrageous attempts flying past him with quite the same level of regularity.
Whilst I’m sure plenty of you remember this yourselves, Olivier Giroud and Andy Carroll’s wonder-strikes came in consecutive weeks last season, resulting in them going head-to-head in the “Goal of the Month” campaign, just to add to Hennessey’s misery. I’m the first to highlight any instances when Wayne should do better but in those two cases, you simply have to stand back and accept the quality on show.
There is a school of thought which suggests that Hennessey’s general performance level encourages players to take pops at goal from all sorts of weird and wonderful angles in the hope of getting lucky more often than not. It sounds harsh but it’s a theory I can certainly see some logic in.
Both goalscoring and goalkeeping have always been hugely impacted by the confidence of the respective players on each side; a fact which explains why Wayne often looks so tentative when given more than a split second to make up his mind when faced with an impending shot at goal.
From the attacker’s perspective, the mere knowledge of who it is standing between them and glory is enough to put a spring in their step, resulting, as we can see above, in a selection of mind-boggling worldies from all over the final third of the field.
Can anything be done to stop the trend? I’d love to have an answer.