Pepe Reina plays the goalkeeper position like few others and the longtime Liverpool stopper is the model for Liverpool ‘keepers — present and future. The LFC goalkeepers’ coach believes Reina’s unique skill set perfectly fits the club’s philosophy, according to LiverpoolFC.tv.
“The way we play is with a high line with Pepe sweeping up,” John Achterberg said. “When balls get played into space, the goalkeeper can sweep up. That’s the way we work with every goalkeeper to try and create a goalkeeper for the first team.
“There aren’t too many who could play for Liverpool with the way we play. We expect him to be half a sweeper and there aren’t too many ‘keepers who could do that job.
Reina joined the Reds in 2005 and has been a mainstay in the team ever since. He is a three-time winner of the English Premier League’s “Golden Glove” award, which goes to the league’s top ‘keeper. He also set a club record for reaching the 50 clean sheet (shutout) mark in the fewest number (92) of games.
Liverpool’s style of play requires a goalkeeper that can move quickly off his goal line and intecept any through balls that get past the Reds’ line of defense. Reina fits the bill and Achterberg believes standardized training methods can help the club develop a similar player in the future.
“This is why we try to put the same training sessions through the whole of our system. It would be great if we could produce a goalkeeper who plays like Pepe.
“The first-team sessions are copied at every step down. We obviously change the speed but the rest, the movements and the way we train, is the same, because we’re trying to create a ‘Liverpool goalkeeper’ to suit the way we play.”
At 29-years old, Reina is entering the prime years for most goalkeepers. He has repeatedly said he wants to stay at the club for many more years so young Liverpool keepers will have a close-up view of one of the best goalkeepers in the country.
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