Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been criticised for being “average” in dealing with the aerial battles of the Premier League by Chelsea goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon.
The attack on the French number one is likely to stir things up for the League Cup final at the start of next month when the Blues look to avenge their recent 5-3 thrashing against Spurs.
Lloris, 28, has built up a strong reputation for his agility in shot saving and swiftness in coming off his line and clearing danger since his switch to the North Londoners from Lyon in 2012.
But Lollichon does not believe Lloris is as good as Chelsea’s first and second choice stoppers Thibaut Courois and Petr Cech, with the coach arguing their physical stature allows them dominate the area in a way the Spurs ‘keeper does not do.
“There is now a campaign in the country to say he is very good,” Lollichon told Journal du Dimanche. “He is good on the line, but he is too average in the air.
“To play in France or the Champions League, he is great. But for England, he is lacking in coming for high balls.
“A goalkeeper that is good in England will be good everywhere but the opposite is not true. There aren’t many of them. [Manuel] Neuer, [Thibaut] Courtois, [David] De Gea, [Petr] Cech… Sirigu, I don’t see it.”
Despite his criticism, though, the Blues coach goes on to say that Lloris’ other qualities could make up for his apparent weakness in the air.
“He is a very good goalkeeper and I like his personality, he seems to bring people together, he thinks about things. That could compensate,” he added.
Despite the accusations, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says Lloris is one of the best stoppers in the world, with his bravery and athleticism compensating for his relative lack of height.