Roy Keane hails 'perfect' Sam Johnstone after West Brom goalkeepers claims England assist
Roy Keane hailed Sam Johnstone’s England assist against Andorra, but suggests that people should not go overboard with praise for the West Brom goalkeeper.
Johnstone, 28, won his third Three Lions cap for the senior team as they swept aside the European minnows in World Cup qualifying, winning 5-0 at the Estadio Nacional.
The West Brom goalkeeper kept a clean sheet for Gareth Southgate’s side, but it was his 86th-minute assist that left pundits purring.
He initiated a swift counter-attack after claiming an Andorra delivery into his box, launching a long throw ahead of Jack Grealish, and the £100million Manchester City man did the rest, earning Johnstone a direct hand in a goal.
“It’s a good execution, a good throw,” Roy Keane said on ITV punditry duties after the game. “Jack does the rest. [It’s a] Lovely goal, but the keeper will be pleased. Jack’s reaction when the keeper gets it, listen, he’s aware.
“[It’s a] Perfect throw, but having said that, listen, goalkeepers… that is part of their job now, distribution, obviously [usually] with their feet.”
Take what you get
That’s probably about as much praise as Johnstone can expect to receive from Keane.
The ex-Manchester United captain is famous for his dry punditry skills that sees him question why players in the modern game get so much praise for playing well.
Indeed, the phrase ‘but that’s his job’ is one that is particularly attributed to Keane, and his closing lines on Saturday night suggest he wasn’t jumping for joy, like some Albion and England fans might have been, when Johnstone claimed an assist.
But he was impressed enough to label his throw as “perfect”, and Johnstone can be pleased with a solid night’s work.
He was not particularly tested as England dominated a weak footballing nation, but he produced a superb stop to deny a goalbound Andorra effort in the second half, one which was deemed to be offside anyway.
In other West Brom news, an ESPN journalist lashed out this week over calls for this ‘horrendous’ player to be dropped.