Why Sorensen is stuck on the bench for Melbourne City

Last season Thomas Sorensen was judged the A-League goalkeeper of the year. This season he is a victim of the rapid evolution of the game here.

Thomas Sorensen

Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen Source: Getty Images

Sorensen, a veteran of over 400 matches in the English Premier League, hasn't been able to get a game for Melbourne City since being sent off in round one - apart from half a game in round seven when Dean Bouzanis had to be replaced because of injury.

It clearly has nothing to do with Sorensen's shot-stopping ability. Even at the age of 40, that remains a strong facet of his game.

It has to be that Bouzanis better suits City's determination to play a very fast-paced game in transition when the opportunity presents itself.

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Bouzanis is excellent with the ball at his feet and his distribution to defenders relatively close to him is swift and accurate. But it is the quality of the balls that he sends down the field that really sets him apart.

He often puts the ball straight to fullbacks who have advanced to the area around the halfway line, immediately placing the defence under pressure and forcing opposition fullbacks to think twice about going forward in attack themselves in case they get caught out on turnovers.

Bouzanis has also shown he is capable of immediately finding Bruno Fornaroli, City's main man up front, or one of the wider City players in the front third with a tremendously accurate and quickly-delivered long ball.



He has perfected the low volley kick from the side of his body that sees the ball travel flat and fast rather than in a big arc.

Again, it is not that Sorensen doesn't have distribution skills. Of course he does. Bouzanis is just better in that area and it represents a huge part of what City want to do, either playing out short from the back or longer - but still accurately. And swiftly.

Sorensen, 40, spent the vast majority of his career playing in the EPL, where the long-ball clearance was king. You can teach an old dog new tricks, but generally not as well as a young dog will pick them up.

Australian-born Bouzanis, 26, is starting to realise the potential that saw him get a contract with Liverpool as a teenager.

He played several seasons in the lower leagues in England before returning to Australia with Western Sydney Wanderers and then switching to City midway through last season.



Sorensen, to his credit, has not spat the dummy in the wake of being benched, even though he would surely be aching to play.

From all reports he has continued to work hard at training and has remained a positive influence within the playing group.

He could be seen celebrating enthusiastically on the field alongside Bouzanis and the other City players after their recent win in the FFA Cup final.


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3 min read
Published 7 December 2016 at 11:13am
By Greg Prichard