Vicario is a freak of nature...

Scientists can’t explain Spurs’ spring-loaded magician who’s made goalkeeping sexy again

A revolution has taken place at Tottenham, with Ange Postecoglou saving them from the doldrums of Conte sufferball and reigniting the flame with dry humour and attacking football galore.

They’ve been far from perfect, but compared to last season’s struggles, Big Ange-ball has been a desperately needed breath of fresh air for both Spurs and the Premier League, with the Lilywhites now one of the division’s most entertaining sides.

It feels wrong to call the Australian anything other than Big Ange which is testament to his strong yet endearing personality. But that doesn’t mean he’s not been able to make difficult decisions.

Dealt with a hand that saw Harry Kane ripped from beneath him, Postecoglou has worked wonders to get Spurs firing and turn them into a club that feels so scarily serious to the point where we’re convinced we’ve slipped into an alternate reality.

If you can look beyond the friendly facade and all the ‘mates’, though, it’s come through quietly ruthless decision making – which Hugo Lloris knows all too well about.

After a decade between the sticks as the club’s number one and captain, Lloris was given the cold shoulder by our favourite Aussie export since Neighbours, which felt like a bold decision despite being necessary.

In came Guglielmo Vicario from Empoli to replace him, tasked with bettering a decade’s worth of work from the very off in order to justify Big Ange’s big call.

A relatively unknown quality to most Premier League fans, sticking Vicario in as number one off the back of a 14th-placed finish with Empoli in 2022-23 sounded like complete football hipster nightmare fuel.

And it was, but it’s paid off massively. To the point where Lloris has been handing out towels and cleaning boots until now, where he finally looks set to leave for a stint in MLS with LAFC.

The handsome Frenchman has secured a move to Hollywood to retire with the stars, but we’re not bothered about that unfortunately, as Vicario has rocked out world with a first half of the season that has embodied Spurs’ revival.

Having put together a catalogue of awe-inspiring saves and leaps that you’d only expect to see in a WWE Money in the Bank match, the 27-year-old Italian has quietly become the best stopper in the league and – crucially – made goalkeeping sexy again.

Brighton probably left the pitch after their 4-2 win over Spurs wondering how they didn’t rack up a cricket score. The answer is your indie son’s favourite goalkeeper.

In true Big Ange fashion – mate. Come on.

Finding a hidden gem is one thing, but finding a complete scientific anomaly is another extreme entirely.

We’re still scratching our heads at exactly how Vicario has managed to scramble himself back to his feet to paw away what looked like an open net for Danny Welbeck.

It’s saves like that which make you feel a bit sorry for 37-year-old Lloris. How are you meant to compete with a spring-loaded freak who’s using the pitch as a trampoline to spring up and produce saves that wouldn’t look out of place in Area 51? Ridiculous reflexes.

Spurs haven’t been without their faults under Postecoglou, but Vicario and the goalkeeper situation is undoubtedly an area he’s got spot on.

Along with alien-like reactions and athleticism that would make prime Jeff Hardy look useless is a passing and press resistance that could send us vintage shirt collecting football hipsters into overdrive.

Five league clean sheets doesn’t do the Italian justice, who is tasked with consistently mopping up for one of the most gung-ho defences in the game.

Ousting Lloris after 11 years of service is one thing, but to do it in such a superhuman fashion is otherworldly. Vicario is the perfect kind of freak.

By Mitch Wilks

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