There’s an old saying in American Football: ‘If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one.’
What this basically boils down to, is that if you have two players competing for the same position who are roughly equal ability and both have an equal chance of making the starting lineup, then you’re going to spend too long fixating over which one starts. This then leads you to share the job between them and not having an established number one.
Let’s bring that philosophy over to our type of football. You can get away with it to an extent when it comes to having two similar ability outfield players, we saw it with the infamous Lampard and Gerrard partnership for England. It may not be the best of ideas, but it’s possible to make it happen if you’re willing to force it.
The same though can’t be said of goalkeepers, that’s the one position on the pitch where there is, well only one position, you can’t have two of them on the pitch at the same time, that is unless FIFA brings in the spider goalie rule.
That’s the situation that Leeds United find themselves in, they have two players who are both fighting it out for the number one jersey in Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Kiko Casilla. Peacock-Farrell recently stated how he wanted to compete for the starting goalkeeper role and I applaud him for that, but this could be leading to a disaster for Leeds.
If they are both fighting for the starting goalkeeper job, then one of them is going to have to be back up and that doesn’t bode well for a goalkeeper’s confidence.
Look at what happened to Liverpool in 2017-18, when they shared the duties between Lorius Karius and Simon Mignolet, it eroded the confidence in both of them and that led to Karius making those horrendous mistakes in the Champions League final.
Which is why Marcelo Bielsa needs to make the hard decision this summer and sell off one of them. I personally think he should sell Casilla. Mainly because of his mistake in the play-off semi-final last year, his sell on value is better (which could help to fund other areas) and the fact Peacock-Farrell has a much better clean sheet rate than his Spanish counterpart, keeping ten last year as opposed to Casillas’ five.
Your backup goalkeeper can be one of two things. A veteran who is just happy to sit there and collect a paycheck whilst getting the odd cup game, like Willy Caballero at Chelsea. Or an up and comer who will learn from the number one and be ready to take his place eventually like Arijanet Muric at Manchester City.
Some might argue that Peacock-Farrell could be the young goalkeeper in this situation, given that he’s only 22, but after playing him so much last season, he’s beyond that point now.
He should be the starter going forward, and if you want to make the argument that Casilla should stay and be the veteran, then I could listen to that argument, but I think Leeds would be better off selling him so he can be a starter elsewhere than have him warming the bench and getting frustrated.