Can someone PLEASE tell Manuel Neuer he's not a bloody defender

Can someone PLEASE tell Manuel Neuer he's not a bloody defender

07/03/2015 at 18:39Updated

Manuel Neuer was rightly hailed as one of the greatest footballers in the world last year.

His superb performances at the World Cup kept Germany in the tournament at times - particularly when the rest of the team was failing, as in the last-16 match against Algeria - while his rock-solid form with Bayern Munich has helped them into an almost absurdly dominant position in the Bundesliga.

But he has one massive flaw: his whole "sweeper keeper" thing, which is threatening to run out of control.

But he doesn't. He's a goalkeeper, the last line of defence - and if he makes a mistake, he'll give away a goal.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

Sadly, Neuer seems not to be bothered by such concerns, instead deciding to believe his own hype. He's been trying out ever more outlandish interventions of late, so much so that fans are starting to worry that he'll do something stupid that costs his team dear before too long.

Exhibit one: the video at the top of this page from Saturday afternoon, in which you'll see that he half-missed a ball and very nearly gifted a goal to Hannover.

Exhibit two: the video below, of Neuer in action in the Middle East during the winter break in January:

Exhibit three: this daring, all-or-nothing clearance against Augsburg in December:

In all three cases, of course, Neuer got away with it. But that alone ought to make Pep Guardiola worried in case it breeds an attitude of infallibility - one which will surely only end when Neuer makes a mistake at a vital time.

The Bundesliga might be wrapped up already, but Bayern face very stiff competition if they're to regain their tag of European champions. It'd be a shame if they lost out on the chance to do so because of one man pushing his luck too far by making tackles that don't need to be made, purely to show off his skills doing a job that he doesn't have to do...

Toby Keel