About Banks and Bonetti and the power of football moment
Their careers are inextricably linked to most witnesses, but only one of them could be relatively indifferent to it. They formed an almost unshakable goalie tandem across the best four-year cycle of the English national team and in the middle of the golden era of the British goalkeeper school, but only one of them regularly collected starts. Now, with a gap of about one year, both inseparable legends have moved to the football sky ...
Even recent history is not stingy on the memorable battles of sovereignty between the three poles. Francesco Toldo and Gianluigi Buffon fought one of the more balanced ones immediately after the 1998 World Cup. Lehmann's postponed resignation of Oliver Kahn will be remembered for a long time just for the domestic world championship. Depending on who you are asking, Iker Casillas has 'blocked' perhaps up to four quality goalkeepers during his career. And sometimes it comes together even in a less pronounced football landscape - if it weren't for Samir Handanović, Jan Oblak at the age of 27 could easily have had a double portion of national team starts.
It is only at this point that the much-discussed goalie rivalries take place in Germany and Brazil, but the concentration of quality that Albion was proud of in the 1960s and 1970s is hardly comparable.
Sir Alf Ramsey led the English national team in 1963-74 and had Gordon Banks at his disposal for most of that period, according to many of the most talented goalkeepers of his generation, so it was never an unenviable dilemma, but how many potentially different starts must have been drilled on the bench / tribune, the choir is frosty when thought of the later decades lined with mediocrity.
But judge for yourself: the first and last gold-plated Albion (Gordon Banks), the architect of the first Chelsea triumphs in both the FA Cup and the League Cup (Peter Bonetti), the last team of the last teams of Busby Manchester United and the first English winner of the European Champions Cup (Alex), made their debut under Ramsey. Stepney), holder of the club record in the number of net accounts (21) on the road to Everton's second post-war title (Gordon West), the central face of the phenomenal Clough Nottingham Forest from the late 70s (Peter Shilton) Clemence).
The last two named were at least born after the guns were silenced, and side by side they continued the era defined by one Gordon Banks. However, he himself managed to limit the aforementioned Bonetti-Stepney-West trio to only 11 starts. Collected together. Who knows, it was perhaps Banks' insurmountable shadow, and not just the officially declared "homesickness" that led Gordon West to turn down the invitation to the 1970 World Cup.
The same Mexican mundial, which forever framed the career and the whole legacy of Bonetti and Banks ...