If not for a sequence of deathly fixtures in early February, there would’ve been very little to write in collating Willy Caballero’s seasonal profile.
Many thought Caballero’s destiny this season was to end up like buttocks made for the bench, yet his greatest moment has irrefutably been acknowledged as coming in to save the day.
Despite his healthy competition with Kepa, he couldn’t quite jump at a few opportunities to join the starting XI. He shared the boss’s anxiety on the goalkeeping department, and eventually he then took the litmus test to become Chelsea’s nine days wonder.
Although prior to his PL seasonal debut, Willy often featured in FA & EFL competitions. But those levels of play are incomparable to where the true talent lies, like gods among men: in the PL, every player out there fights to participate in the league tournament.
How Did 19/20 Pan Out For Willy?
Caballero featured/started in a total of nine games across all competitions, while clustering only one clean sheet. Hence, critics reviewed his production to be a poor spectacle, but two facts are worth observing:
1. The 2019/20 Chelsea defence is a fiasco, and
2. expert athletes are judged not only by their performance but also their off-field influence.
His actions trying to cover for a leaky squad in our transitional season makes the second fact apt to Caballero.
Through his leadership qualities and wealth of knowledge, he elevated the ethos of the group by being a model of himself. For example, he conspicuously critiqued Azpicueta’s leadership skill early in the season, hence towards mid-season the emendation in Dave’s captainship was as clear as crystal.
Additionally, the guiding presence he emits while on the training ground, along with the fire, passion and attitude that backs up his effort, are all worth endorsing. His emotive gesture every time he makes a save gives testament to my very positive impression and excitability of him.
For the 19/20 season that we have seen so far, Caballero has been nothing short of a breath of fresh air to the life of our team, irrespective of how critics may judge from a technical view.
Areas to Improve?
I’m sure no one is asking “how a 38-year-old footballer can improve?” haha!
Goalkeepers, unlike outfields, can play for a longer period without deescalating physical attributes necessarily dampening their abilities. Experience for a goalkeeper is most demanded compared to others on the pitch, as their hard work revolves around mental acumen in communicating, organising defenders and positioning between the sticks.
The melioration mostly comes with age rather than knowledge; it is the repetition of doing the same thing over and over for years that makes the brain register muscle memory and discharge it in times of reflex.
Caballero – if offered a new contract – could be even better than the previous season.
Edited by: Dan