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There aren't really any areas where he's showed a weakness...

Thanks again Zoric. This all sounds very encouraging so I'm really looking forward to reading how he does against Barcelona.

As you say, a visit to Camp Nou will provide a big, if rather different, test for Thibaut. We obviously wouldn't expect Barca to give him many opportunities to show off his aerial abilities but a few one-on-ones could be on the cards!

I hope that you will be able to keep the reports coming and, if you are able to, may I encourage you to comment on some other attributes that are an essential part of a goalkeeper's make up. For example: -

How is his distribution from hand?

How is his kicking from back passes, particularly with his weaker foot?

How well does he communicate with his defenders?

How well does he 'sweep up' when required?

How well does he come out to an attackers feet when needed and, if he does is he sensible about it or is he a penalty waiting to happen?

I appreciate that some of these may not yet have happened often enough to form a valid opinion about, if they've even happened at all but that's why I believe it takes much longer to evaluate a goalkeeper than a player in any other position.

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zoric   

Thanks again Zoric. This all sounds very encouraging so I'm really looking forward to reading how he does against Barcelona.

As you say, a visit to Camp Nou will provide a big, if rather different, test for Thibaut. We obviously wouldn't expect Barca to give him many opportunities to show off his aerial abilities but a few one-on-ones could be on the cards!

I hope that you will be able to keep the reports coming and, if you are able to, may I encourage you to comment on some other attributes that are an essential part of a goalkeeper's make up. For example: -

How is his distribution from hand?

How is his kicking from back passes, particularly with his weaker foot?

How well does he communicate with his defenders?

How well does he 'sweep up' when required?

How well does he come out to an attackers feet when needed and, if he does is he sensible about it or is he a penalty waiting to happen?

I appreciate that some of these may not yet have happened often enough to form a valid opinion about, if they've even happened at all but that's why I believe it takes much longer to evaluate a goalkeeper than a player in any other position.

Don't worry about it. The reports will keep coming through out the season as I read these forums quite often.

How is his distribution from hand?

Good. His accuracy on long throws are good, however, he's not yet as good as Joel in this aspect of the game. Probably a bit behind De Gea as well. He fits well into Atlético's new project because the team want the ball at their feet constantly, so counter attacking situations don't really happen as often as they did when Agüero-Forlán-Simão-Maxi played at the club. Courtois does throw the ball to his rapidly and always tries to start attacks if possible.

How is his kicking from back passes, particularly with his weaker foot?

Courtois is right-footed. He's very good with his right and this is something he showed best against Osasuna when they were trying to pressure Atlético high up the pitch so the team wouldn't be able to start the attacks from the back. Courtois was very composed which also helped the team keep the ball instead of him hoofing it. The secret? He started playing football as a central midfielder as a kid, was moved to left-back before he eventually became a goalkeeper.

How well does he communicate with his defenders?

believe it or not..but Courtois actually speaks a bit Spanish and even did a press conference in Spanish two weeks ago. He knows more than enough to communicate properly with his teammates and even throws in solid sentences for someone who's just started to learn the language. I do think he's learned a bit of the language while going to school in Belgium though. The general communication between him and the defenders is very good so far..but it has to be said, the communication has been good since Manzano took over. Defending is a collective thing.

How well does he 'sweep up' when required?

He's barely needed to do it yet as the team is holding the line and works well together. He's alert though and I would imagine that we'll see him do it against Barcelona because they like to play it behind the backline.

How well does he come out to an attackers feet when needed and, if he does is he sensible about it or is he a penalty waiting to happen?

There's only been one situation. This was last week when Atlético played Celtic. Samaras broke through the middle, Hooper drove it forward after Samaras had hit the ground from a tackle and passed it to Kayal on the right of him. Kayal played it back to Hooper who got it a bit behind him and had to take two extra touches in order to control the ball. Courtois stood on the line as long as Hooper took the first and second touch, then he came out of his line as Hooper arrived in the six yard box with the ball at his feet, threw himself at the ball and saved the attempt. Definitely sensible considering, although a player with better technical ability and a bit better timing when arriving without the ball at his feet would've probably managed to get control of that ball on the first touch (despite it being behind the back of Hooper) and scored most likely.

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Thanks for your contributions Zoric. Very helpful indeed!

Kakuta starts for Bolton tonight. Bolton have some absolutely shocking footballers, but Holden is back from injury now and he plays as well. NGog up front; let's hope he and Gaël can link up well.

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trad11   

Gael Kakuta to start on Boltons Carling cup premier!

and scored as well. hopefully this loan turns out to be like danny's :)

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