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Sunday, 1 December, 2002, 14:30 GMT
Are Liverpool right to ditch Dudek?
Jerzy Dudek lets the ball roll under him to be duly drilled home by Man Utd's Forlan
Gerard Houllier says he will drop under-fire keeper Jerzy Dudek following the Pole's mistakes against Man Utd.

Has Dudek been treated harshly for his howler?


Jerzy Dudek joined Liverpool in September 2001 and had an impressive first season at Anfield.

But a recent bad run of form has seen him concede three goals to both Basle and Fulham; and his United disaster has prompted Gerard Houllier to ring the changes.

Dudek allowed a header back from team-mate Jamie Carragher to slip under his legs, leaving Diego Forlan to pounce for a simple finish.

England under-21 goalkeeper Chris Kirkland steps into his boots, having impressed with a string of superb saves in Liverpool's 3-1 win over Southampton.

Are Liverpool right to drop Dudek?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.


I agree that Dudek does not carry sole responsibility, but he is the goalie and must command the defence. Schmeichel demonstrated this to the full, even blaming his defence when it was his fault.

Dudek needs a break and will hopefully come back stronger. It will also enable us to see Kirkland - who knows, maybe he will be even better than Dudek can be?
Mark, England

I am a true Liverpool supporter and believe that Houllier's decision to give Kirkland his chance is the correct one. When confidence is as low as Dudek's must be, it's best to give him a break from the team to help re-build it - especially with such an exciting talent waiting in the wings.

Also I believe that Liverpool are also paying the price for not investing in a top class winger over the summer - I can only pray they do so during January.
Michael, Belfast, N.Ireland

As a Feyenoord and Liverpool fan, I've seen enough Dudek-games to have a good impression of him. He has made his mistakes, yes, but I have to agree that it's pretty easy to blame it all on him, and not the whole Reds squad, who are playing below par.


What will Houllier do when Kirkland makes a mistake?
Arnold Dijkgat, Netherlands

Having that said, until this moment Jerzy hasn't reminded the Dutch at all of the self-assured goalie he was when he played for Feyenoord.

It took him a good season to get used to the Dutch league, and he made some horrible errors in the CL, but then found his form and was the best goalie we ever saw.

Without a doubt he is better than Cudicini ( a clown with one million angels on his crossbar). GH: stand by him!
Jesse, Holland

What will Houllier do when Kirkland makes a mistake?
Arnold Dijkgat, Netherlands

Surely Dudek needs time to clear his head after the last few mistakes, and Kirkland always been impessive. He deserves his chance and he did cost more, after all.
Hemal, England

Dudek is not to blame for Liverpool's problems. It is to do with Houllier and his appaling negative, defensive tactics. It should be him that's gone. At best we would have only drawn those games because we seem to have a problem playing football.

Liverpool have become painful to watch and have become a cure for insomnia. They are by far the worst team to watch in the whole world.
Jeshen, UK

Did those people who say that Westerveld only made one mistake actually watch Liverpool matches during his time at the club? Sander was a great shot stopper, with fantastic reflexes, but his command of the box was very poor and he made several costly mistakes.

The defence, on the whole, since Jerzy took over, has looked more secure than for years, as he is a different class of keeper to Sander. The guy can do everything. Yes he has made mistakes, but then so did Banks, Shilton, Zoff and Schmeichel.


As a Charlton supporter, I would love to have a keeper like Dudek in my team
Alex Hatch, England

The amount of football fans which have no idea about goalkeeping staggers me. Did these people calling out for Westerveld watch Liverpool in the FA Cup Final or UEFA Cup Final in 2001? Not the most commanding or reassuring displays from Sander! And clearly they weren't at matches when there were more chants of 'dodgy keeper' than I've ever heard at a game. All keepers make mistakes, it's how they come back from them that makes the good ones great. Jerzy and Cudicini are the best in the league bar none.
Jamie, England

I am a true Liverpool supporter and I hope that my opinion is valued. Dudek is a good player but there are times when one has to step aside and let the better players take part. Kirkland is a far better keeper than Dudek. Dudek has made too many mistakes and this is not acceptable at this level of professional football.

He is the reason why Liverpool are slipping down the Premiership and he should be called out of the Liverpool squad until his form returns.
Darren Astley, Wales

I as a Charlton supporter would love to have a keeper like Dudek in my team. Last year he was easily in the top three keepers in the Premiership, so Liverpool supporters should leave him alone and let him be the great keeper that he is!
Alex Hatch, England

I think Dudek is the victim of a very poor Liverpool side. Having said that, his errors are clumsy and need to be addressed but the outfield team need to re-think their attitude and start digging in. Its unacceptable to have such high quality players available and still finish short with little result.

When a player is playing badly you drop him...it's only when his attitude changes at training and gameday that you place him back in the side. Apart from Didi Hamann, Liverpool have got nothing out of the midfield all season...very poor for such a talented bunch of players!
Clint Kononen, Australia

The only one who has to go at Liverpool is the coach, Mr Houllier. Liverpool have great players, especially up front, but they play horribly defensively. They completely rely on one good moment by Owen, which he didn't have at all against Man Utd. Houllier, or any coach in general, should always back his keeper and give him the confidence a goalkeeper needs.

Remember what happened with Westerveld, he won five trophies in two years and had to go for no obvious reasons. Now he is the goalkeeper for the Spanish league leaders, so he can play I guess.
Willem, The Netherlands

Whilst I agree its time to give Kirkland his chance, lets not make Dudek the scapegoat. Something is misfiring badly with the team at the moment, nobody is playing well.

A long hard look needs to be taken at the squad's attitude, and at the competence of the coaching staff. This needs to be corrected immediately otherwise we are going to slide down the table at alarming speed.
Anthony, UK


A few clangers shouldn't lose a quality keeper his place
Matt, England

Someone made the point of United not dropping Bartez, Bartez has been the worst keeper in the Premeirship for three years (by far!). Personally I think Dudek and Kirkland are the two best keepers in the Premiership. It would be harsh to Dudek, but I would like to see Kirkland in to help England!
Russ, Zaire

Dudek is a liability and must be replaced by Kirkland. If only we still had Westerveld who we won five trophies with.
Jonathan Reid, Scotland

Look how many errors Barthez makes on a regular basis, but retains his position. One, or even a few clangers shouldn't lose a quality keeper his place. Where's the support from the club he needs to recover his form?
Matt, England

I rate Dudek as easily one of the best keepers in the Premiership, and he should keep the number one spot. I think he should be rested for a few games, and then returned, which would be good for both him and Chris. There's too much pressure on him at the moment.
Anto, Dublin, Ireland

I think Dudek should be "rested" for a couple of games. Kirkland has been in impressive form not only in reserve games, but also in England U-21. Give him a go, it will only make him a better keeper, England need one.
David, UK

I was at the match and firstly, Westerveld made more than one error. Dudek made a terrible mistake and then they scored again when his confidence was low.


I don't think a very good goalkeeper such as Dudek can turn into a bad one overnight
Kaush Patel, UK

The first goal was an individual mistake, the second should be shared by the team. Now that we have Henchoz back I think we should stick with Jerzy and see him through this. This'll all get forgotten in no time. Kirkland will get his chance.
Ryan, UK

He should have given way after the last game. He's in a bad run of form, which happens, and we have England's number one on the sidelines. Oh, by the way Si, Dudek let the first goal through his legs after good work from Jamie, I don't call that anything other than a keeper's error.
Chris, England

Jerzy has got to go. Gerrard Houllier should act now and give Chris Kirkland a chance - before it's too late!!
Dave Gudgeon, Australia

I don't think a very good goalkeeper such as Dudek can turn into a bad one overnight. I personally feel that the goalkeeping coach (Corrigan) should be axed.

I believe he is responsible for making a number of very good goalkeepers into nervous wrecks. Remember James, Freidel, Westerveld, and now Dudek.

All goalkeepers of the highest quality, but their time at Liverpool slowly destroyed their confidence and reputation. But looking at each keeper now, at their new clubs under different coaches, they are ranked as one of the best keepers in their respective leagues.


It's time for Kirkland to step up and show what he can do
Gavin, USA

Axe Corrigan now before he turn another promising keeper (Chris Kirkland) into a laughing stock, which will be a disaster not only for Liverpool but for England too.
Kaush Patel, UK

Dudek is still one of the best keepers in the world, a few mistakes don't make him a bad goalkeeper. Perhaps he just needs resting, after all, he has played practically non-stop for Liverpool as well as going to the World Cup in the summer.
James Butler, UK

Liverpool got rid of Westerveld in similar circumstances, after he made half the mistakes Dudek has. It's time for Kirkland to step up and show what he can do.
Gavin, USA

I'm a bit sceptical about this one. Dudek is undoubtedly one of the best keepers in Europe. But regarding comments made earlier about poor performance involving the back four, though this may be the case, you cannot simply write off Dudek's howlers as being a fault of theirs.

Dudek has a responsibility, and sadly at the moment he doesn't seem capable of fulfilling it. It's time to give Kirkland a run. Not only does the kid deserve it for both club and country's sake, but this would almost certainly shake Dudek up a bit and maybe open his eyes.
Rob Kozlowski, Bristol, England


Westerveld only made one mistake and was gone
David Gallagher, Bosnia

Given Dudek's previous month's performance, and with no recent indication that he was through his slump in play, Houllier should never have started him against United. Houllier should be taking the blame for this critical loss.
Jason Stanton, Canada

I do not think that Liverpool's problem is the goalkeeper. The problem lies in the back four, just like Arsenal's. The only difference is Arsenal are scoring the goals.

Henchoz and Hyypia are back together after a very long period where Hyypia played with Diao. Once Henchoz and Hyypia get going and keep the back four as a unit I think Dudek will keep his place in the team.

But if Dudek does make way for Kirkland I think England's keeping problem will be solved.
Si, UK

Dudek's poor form in the World Cup was the first sign, and now to essentially lose Liverpool nine points is too much - Westerveld only made one mistake and was gone.
David Gallagher, Bosnia

Chris Kirkland has the potential to be the next England keeper, surely it is time to give him a run in the team, Dudek's mistakes are costing us too often.
David Fisher, England

I don't think Dudek should give way. He is a very good keeper. The only reason he has made errors of late is because he has been left exposed by his back four. If they tightened up im sure his performances will improve.


The most exciting goalkeeping talent this country has produced since Gordon Banks
Simon Jones, England

After all, Barthez made awful mistakes against Depo last season which led to United's downfall in the Champions League, but Fergie never got rid of him like Liverpool did Westerveld, and now look at Barthez. He is back to fine form, which he showed as he saved Hamann's shot. So should we really call time on Dudek so soon?
Mohammed Basid, UK

I think the recent performances by Dudek answers this question better than I ever could, and it's about time to give the most exciting goalkeeping talent this country has produced since Gordon Banks a chance.
Simon Jones, England

Dudek has been a fine keeper for Liverpool but the sequence of blunders has gone too far now, and with such a fine keeper in reserve now must be the time for Chris Kirkland to get an extended run.
Alan Goodman, UK

Give the man a chance. A team is made out of 11 players, not just the one.
Gareth Roberts, Wales

Dudek has made too many costly errors lately. He must go and be replaced. This is no time for errors. L'pool are beginning to slip badly. Dudek, please wake up and get your confidence back.
Solomon Ezobi, Ghana

It's long overdue. Not only can Chris help Liverpool, but it would also enable him to lead England. Dudek is a great keeper, and all keepers go through bad spells from time to time. However, Liverpool need a change to shore up the leaky defence.
Tony, USA


Come on Mr Houllier, bring in Chris!
Neal Britto, Canada

It's now time for Kirkland to get a run, Dudek has made too many errors recently. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Westerveld made one shocker against Bolton and he was shown the door. Now come on Liverpool, this is really worrying.
Andrew Jones, England

Chris Kirkland has to start in Liverpool's next game. Jerzy Dudek last season had a good season, but at the moment his form has dropped and his confidence is on a low. Come on Mr Houllier, bring in Chris!
Neal Britto, Canada

Dudek is a very good goalkeeper, but he has made so many bad mistakes at the moment it is untrue. Kirkland should deffo come in, I can't see Houllier playing Dudek for the next few games. Dudek has probably cost us the league and a Champions League place with his mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes though, I still stand by him, last year he was amazing; he's just hit a bad spot. YNWA.
Paul, UK

Yes, Jerzy should give way. Otherwise Liverpool's defence will lack confidence in the next few games which are all must-wins if they are to keep pace with Arsenal.

Chrissy Kirkland has shown an excellent attitude in biding his time and putting in great performances every chance he has got. If now is not the time, when will it ever be?
Stuart Read, Korea

See also:

01 Dec 02 | Eng Prem
26 Nov 02 | Football
07 Nov 02 | Football
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