Spurs keeper Michel Vorm reflects on his heroics against Liverpool as team coach leaves him behind
Reserve goalkeepers can be easily forgotten - just ask Michel Vorm.
The Dutchman again proved to be an able deputy for the injured Hugo Lloris in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool, denying the visitors on a number of occasions before James Milner eventually broke the deadlock from the penalty spot shortly before the break.
But, as he discussed his performance with a group of reporters an hour after the game, Spurs’ team bus quietly set off behind him and rolled onto Tottenham High Road.
“The coach left without me?,” said Vorm, looking over his shoulder towards the end of his interview, before jovially heading out into the car park in search of a lift to the club’s training base in Enfield.
It was not going to take the shine off his day following his fine display. Vorm made an early reaction save from Philippe Coutinho and then showed his ability to perform as an effective sweeper-keeper, twice rushing from his line to deny Sadio Mane with well-timed sliding challenges that his outfield team-mates would have been proud of.
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“I think I made the most miles ever in a game!” said the Dutchman. “You practise to be ready for the balls behind. Obviously I don’t practise tackling but it can happen.
“Players like Mane, they’re so quick. He’s so quick and I’m quick. The only thing for me was I was thinking ‘I have to make a block tackle’ and it worked out well.
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“It was quite funny. You expect something because we know they can play that way, with the balls in behind - with their speed up front and us playing a high line - but we did very well. I want to see how much I ran because in my opinion I’ve never been this tired after a game.
“If you’re important for the team, that’s the best feeling. If you’re 2-0 down at half-time it’s a totally different situation. Like against Everton, when you come on and make an important save, that’s why you’re a goalkeeper. But as a team we have so much energy and that makes it a lot easier for me to play with them.
“When you’re 1-0 down in games like this you’re happy with the draw, I think. That’s the most important part because even if you play a good game but you lose, you have nothing to show [for it].”
There was some concern when Lloris left the field at Goodison Park on the opening day of the season with a hamstring injury, subsequently being ruled out for a month.
However, Vorm has only conceded once in his games against Everton, Crystal Palace and Liverpool since then - and that was Milner’s penalty on Saturday.
Nonetheless, the 32-year-old remains philosophical about his chances of keeping his place for the trip to Stoke after the international break, when Lloris should be fit to return.
“The thing is you know the situation beforehand,” said Vorm. “They know when Hugo is injured they have me behind him and I’m happy I can be important for the team.
“But I also know that Hugo has been very important for us throughout the last few seasons, and that’s something you don’t forget quickly as a manager - and he is the captain as well.
“For me the most important thing is just to see game after game, do the best I can and then we’ll see what happens.”
Tottenham are believed to be aiming to bring in Espanyol’s 21-year-old goalkeeper Paul Lopez before this week’s transfer deadline – but, if the deal is completed, Vorm does not expect it to affect his position: “No, to be honest,” he said. “For me, it’s no change.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs