Outstanding Joe Bursik shouldn’t be worried by Stoke City keeper competition


What an outstanding young goalkeeper Stoke City have got on their hands in Joe Bursik.

It’s great to see how he’s developing, how he is self-assured, very confident and dominates his back line. The distance between himself and the defence in terms of where the ball is on the field of play looks spot on.

He obviously has a voice and his teammates can hear him. He’s keeping players away from his space.

His footwork and positional play is good, his handling and decision making too. He’s got a good all-round game, I’ve been really impressed.

Adam Davies and Angus Gunn are back in training this week but I wouldn’t be worried if I was him. I’d say I was number one and intend on staying there. We’ve got three good goalkeepers who will all want to play a part in helping Stoke get back in the Premier League.

It might be ahead of schedule but if he’s had a chance to show his talents and he’s taken it.

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It was great to hear about to about the grandad who he is named after as well; a freedom fighter and political prisoner who showed incredible bravery in the Second World War and beyond. It looks like that’s where he’s getting his character.

My own dad Milovan was in the resistance back in former Yugoslavia. He ended up in a British camp in Italy, fighting in the hills and mountains with incredible courage in the name of freedom.

I’ve always known how brave he was and you carry it with you every second of every day. I couldn’t be any more proud, just like I’m sure Joe is with his grandad. Good luck to him. He’s got a big career ahead.

I’VE been looking at the Premier League table wondering about the fine lines that make such a difference in football.

Jurgen Klopp gets all the praise while Jose Mourinho is there to be shot at – yet the difference between their two sides is that one result when they met at Anfield before Christmas, when Roberto Firmino scored a 94th-minute winner.

It was a game that could have gone either way – and if it had, Spurs would be second, Liverpool sixth. I’m not forgetting that Klopp has a few years in hand working on his squad as well than Mourinho, who’s also reached a League Cup final.

The Manchester City have come from disappointing in mid-table to suddenly four points off the top with a game in hand thanks to seven wins in a row and six clean sheets.

They won 1-0 at Brighton in mid-week but Raheem Sterling missed a penalty, with Pep Guardiola saying Kevin de Bruyne was too exhausted to take it. In stoppage time!

With the table so tight, how much of a difference those two injury time moments might be when everything is decided. Fine lines indeed.





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