Vicario Guglielmo is far from the most high-profile goalkeeper in the Premier League but he is enjoying an excellent first season at Tottenham Hotspur and turned on the style on Saturday to ensure his team emerged with a 2-1 win over Everton.
He would have been pleased to warm his hands with three routine stops from tame Everton finishes in the first half as the visitors started their fightback after Richarlison and Son Heung-min’s early goals had Spurs 2-0 up.
In the second half though he really had to be at his best, particularly when spectacularly foiling Arnaut Danjuma moments after Andre Gomes had pulled it back to 2-1 after 82 minutes.
He also stood up strongly to the physical buffering that this muscular Everton side put every keeper through, and was a rare island of security on the ball as his defence routinely got themselves into difficulties playing out from the back.
“He has been strong pretty much from the first game,” Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou said. “Some games we haven’t needed a lot and today we did.
“The saves he made but also the way he dealt with corners was so strong – they put so much pressure on the goalkeeper.
“He’s a great shot-stopper and is dealing with a different back four in lots of games. He’s got a maturity which helps the team in those moments.”
The manager also said that he was not surprised by Richarlison’s turnaround as his goal made it four in three matches having scored two in his previous 39.
“He’s playing mate,” he said when asked to explain the turnaround. “He obviously missed a bit of football with his (groin) operation (in November) but he’s getting stronger every game. He wasn’t struggling before, he just wasn’t 100% and he was soldiering on. He just feels a bit freer now both mentally and physically.
“His general play has been really good but I know there’s more to come.”
Postecoglou said there was no major issue that forced the former Everton striker off during the second half, and that the Brazilian just had a sore back.
He was also impressed by the mutual respect shown between Richarlison and the 3,000 Everton fans. He applauded them as he left the pitch, and they, forever thankful for his goals that kept them up in 2022, did the same.
“These things happen in football,” he said. “I don’t think anyone would question his service for Everton and I think the fans appreciate that.”