Mens Team

Tim Vickery: 'Unique' Ederson has added so much to City

Tim Vickery: 'Unique' Ederson has added so much to City
Goalkeeper Ederson has played a big part in City's outstanding success over the past few seasons. Club journalist Neil Leigh spoke to South American football expert Tim Vickery to gauge his view on the Brazilian's impact.

Tim, many thanks for your time. What have you made of Ederson's influence at City since his arrival in the summer of 2017?

It was a high pressure signing and Ederson stepped in under pressure and he’s done a fantastic job.

I remember doing a piece on BBC 5 Live when he joined along with a former Premier League player – I won’t give his name away – and he laughed at me on air when I said Ederson would give City something else.

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Football is about action and reaction. Alright, City play out from the back but what happens if the opponent comes up and tries to press them?

Well, with Ederson, you have got a cannon there and the chance of going long and cutting out six or seven opponents with one pass from the goalkeeper.

This player laughed at me and said that isn’t what City do – well City can do that. He’s given them another constructive dimension.

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And he’s got an assist to his name – a goalkeeper – it's incredible. That versatility adds so much.

He’s big and brave and he’s done everything that could have been asked of him and more.

In many ways has Pep Guardiola been the perfect manager to help bring the very best out of Ederson?

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Absolutely. Pep Guardiola’s perception of football is very much of 11 midfielders and now he has found a midfielder who can play in goal!

It’s the perfect match. Claudio Bravo is very good at it too. I remember when Chile played England at Wembley a few years ago, when Roy Hodgson was in charge, and Roy said he had never seen a goalkeeper play so well with his feet as Bravo

But Ederson is a magnificent asset – he’s got that howitzer. He gives you accuracy and certainty over short distances and he also gives you accuracy and power over long distances as well.

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Ederson always appears so calm and assured whatever the occasion, not least with the ball at his feet – is that a trademark Brazilian trait?

It's something unique to him. It has nothing to do whatsoever with Brazilian goalkeepers.

The tendency in Brazil is for the defensive line to play very deep, almost on top of the keeper, and centre backs are the sheriffs of the penalty area.

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So, what there isn’t is an idea of the keeper taking responsibility as Ederson does so well for things that maybe are happening 20 or 30 metres outside the area.

I also think that he has also developed outside Brazil in Portugal really. Liverpool's Alisson too has added to his game since being in Europe.

It is just beginning to come into Brazilian football. There are one or two coaches now looking for their keeper to do that and play a higher line, but it is not a traditional part of Brazilian goalkeeping.

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Ederson, of course, has been one of the key factors in City’s recent success – has his impact and contribution resonated back home in Brazil?

Hugely. The Premier League is now massive over here. Liverpool and Manchester City are two absolute references.

Both sides have huge followings and what they are doing in England has a huge impact back in Brazil.

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How important do you think the impact of Ederson has been to City over the past few seasons has been?

It has been massive – as I say Ederson has helped lift the side up another level with what he brings with the ball and as a goalkeeper.

He has done an exceptional job for City – teams that give away cheap goals do not win serious silverware and I think now the message has got through that Brazil produces serious goalkeepers.

Before Tafarel you never thought of Brazil as producing top goalkeepers and now they have Ederson and Allison - two of the best in the world.

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Aside from the goalkeepers, there are obviously a number of other Brazilians such as City’s Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus thriving in the Premier League. As such, is there a heightened interest in the Premier League out in Brazil?

Yes, the penetration of the Premier League now is so big. When European football started to get more exposure over here it was largely about people following specific Brazilian players with European clubs.

That has changed and now people have a relationship with the club.

There are many Manchester City supporters over here, Liverpool fans, lots of Tottenham and Manchester United fans… all sorts and it’s no longer dependent on the presence of a Brazilian player.

They have built up a relationship with the club over time, meaning even if there are no locals to watch they are still involved in the process.

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