Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Criticism for Valdes Is Unfair Says Boro Hero

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Criticism for Valdes Is Unfair Says Boro Hero

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM STEEL adam.steel@trinitymirror.com @ADAMSTEELGAZ adam steel adam

BORO goalkeeping legend Jim Platt believes Spanish shot-stopper Victor Valdes has received a lot of unwarranted criticism since moving to Teesside.

The former Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper has won a World Cup and European Championship and a string of Champions League and La Liga medals over the course of a silverware-laden career, but has been unable to keep a clean sheet in five Boro starts since arriving in the summer.

The 34-year-old was also involved in a bust-up with Adam Clayton as Aitor Karanka's side lost at home to Tottenham last month, and has yet to convince some Boro supporters that he is any better than last season's popular No1 Dimi Konstantopoulos.

But Platt, who played a key part in Jack Charlton's Division Two Championship-winning Boro side in the 1970s during a distinguished 12 years with for the club, believes Valdes has made a satisfactory start and needs time to adjust to the Premier League as promoted Boro acclimatise to the level change in the top flight.

"It's still early days for Valdes," said former Northern Ireland international Platt.

"I think he has been unfairly criticised - he seems to have been blamed for pretty much every goal that has gone in this season.

"He would probably say himself that he could have been better positioned for Shaqiri's free-kick in the opening day draw against Stoke.

"But there was nothing he could do for Lukaku's goal for instance when he got the faintest of touches on the ball at Everton.

"He had to wait and see what Lukaku was going to do before he reacted.

"Some fans will argue that Dimi should have been given a chance in the Premier League after a couple of good years in the Championship, but the manager has gone for experience and someone with a proven track record at the top level. …

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