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The Worst Goalkeeper in The History of The UCL? MU Has Gathered All The World's Problems

The main disappointment of the current Champions League campaign is Manchester United. The English team has not been pleased with its sparkling European Cup performances in recent years. However, after a more convincing stretch towards the end of the previous English Premier League season, expectations were high for a strong performance in the group stage. They secured a place in the playoffs immediately after the draw, with only Bayern Munich seen as a real competitor. Galatasaray and Copenhagen were dismissed as unworthy opponents. However, this was a miscalculation, as after the 5th round, "Manchester United" had the lowest chance of progressing to the next stage. The team has only four points after five matches, while the Danish and Turkish teams have one point more each. The Germans had already secured their spot in the next round.

The situation in the Champions League would be much better if not for the actions of the Red Devils goalkeeper. Cameroonian Andre Onana has lost control over his performance, conceding goals in almost every match. In the recent game against Galatasaray, he made at least two glaring mistakes that led to conceded goals.

Opta, the statistical company, only attributed one mistake to the unfortunate Cameroonian in that game. However, Onana was still the worst goalkeeper in the tournament in terms of the number of significant errors. Since the 2018/19 season, Onana has committed seven blunders, at least three more than any other player in that period (four for Raphael Varane). This also represents the worst performance among goalkeepers, as Manuel Neuer and Jeronimo Rulli have committed three errors each in the last five years.

What is Onana's main problem? He has two. The first is technique. Andre Onana is an influential goalkeeper. Cameroonians are known for their physically strong players. Surprisingly, a goalkeeper with the prefix "top" emerged from Cameroon. However, while occasionally saving the day, the goalkeeper's non-standard jumping technique and behavior in various situations ultimately have more downsides than upsides.

Analysts at Ajax tried to address this issue. Onana does not straighten his back before jumping; instead, he crouches and spreads his legs more comprehensively than his shoulders. He also jumps too early. This tactic occasionally outsmarted forwards, but it often backfired. The strategy did not always work, and Moroccan Hakim Ziyech exposed Onana's vulnerability.

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Ziyech did nothing extraordinary in the match against Manchester United. He shot accurately, powerfully, and into the corner of the goal. Onana, on the other hand, positioned himself in the center of the goal in advance and tried to jump into the corner defended by the wall. This happened twice. Ziyech caught Onana with the same move twice. The issue is not that Ziyech invented something extraordinary; the Cameroonian lost control over himself.

Onana makes the same mistakes in the English Premier League, not only during opponents' free kicks. He tries to outsmart opponents in the game itself rather than relying on reaction. However, this season, he went too far. After several unsuccessful attempts, he lost the intuition that once allowed him to outsmart opponents. Even in the previous season, he could determine when it was appropriate to use such tactics. Still, now he is completely lost and psychologically broken. Escaping from this situation will be genuinely challenging for him.

Published by Patrick Jane