Jermaine Beckford and Rob Green slammed Illan Meslier for failing to stop Tomas Soucek from scoring for West Ham against Leeds United on Friday night.
Mateusz Klich put Leeds ahead from the penalty spot early on but David Moyes’ men got themselves back in the game from a Jarrod Bowen corner that was headed home by Soucek. Angelo Ogbonna sealed the 2-1 win for West Ham in the second half.
However, 20-year-old goalkeeper Meslier was slammed by fans for his inability to keep the header out as it was almost straight at him.
At half-time, ex-Leeds players Beckford and Green shared their disappointment over Meslier’s failure to save Soucek’s header.
“Soucek does everything right. He puts his hands on Stuart Dallas’ back, gets above him, gets a firm-enough header but I still think it’s pretty weak when it goes to Meslier. I think he should have stopped it but I’m not the expert goalkeeper,” said Beckford at half-time on Sky Sports Main Event.
Green responded by saying: “It’s tough on Meslier – maybe he’s showing a lack of experience.
“He’s getting drawn to the ball and the run of [Fabian] Balbuena. He’s still moving but the idea is to be set on the impact of the shot. He’s not, his feet are still moving.
“That’s where it’s a difficulty for the goalkeeper because his feet go from under him.”
Green not one to argue with
Although Green left Leeds on a bit of a sour note, he’s definitely someone who we’ll listen to what he’s discussing goalkeepers.
It was great that Sky Sports finally had a goalkeeper in their studio to analyse what happens in between the sticks because you always get some very biased opinions that show a real lack of knowledge from former outfield players.
Being a goalkeeper is very different to being a striker like Beckford and while he did criticise Meslier, at least he admitted Green will know better.
Green was capped 12 times by England and made well over 600 appearances in his career during stints at Leeds, West Ham, Norwich and QPR.
If he thinks that Meslier’s mishap was down to inexperience then we’ll take his word for that and although it kind of lets the Frenchman off the hook, it’s encouraging that he’s still not the finished article yet.
Green’s a good example of goalkeepers flourishing later in their career.
Meslier is the first-choice shot-stopper of a Premier League club at the age of 20.
There’s a lot more to come from him.
In other Leeds United news, Emma Jones silenced Robbie Savage as he was about to make a shock relegation claim about the Whites.