positioning, aerial balls, kicking … What Donnarumma must improve on, according to Lollichon

positioning, aerial balls, kicking ... What Donnarumma must improve on, according to Lollichon

Guest of After Foot this Thursday on RMC, Christophe Lollichon analyzed Gianluigi Donnarumma’s start to the season with PSG. The former Rennes and Chelsea goalkeeping coach doesn’t understand some habits that he says are hurting the Italian player’s performance and development.

Arriving free at Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 after a brilliant Euro with Italy, Gianluigi Donnarumma seems to have stagnated a bit since signing in France. After a transition season where Mauricio Pochettino advocated alternating with Keylor Navas, Christophe Galtier decided to install him as number one. But that has not yet allowed him to take a step to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world according to Christophe Lollichon.

“I was left with an extraordinary image of Donnarumma which dates back to Euro 2021 in the national team. I found that this goalkeeper had changed a lot because there had also been a change in the technical supervision of AC Milan. as a goalkeeper. I had found him extremely proactive, almost comfortable with his feet. He could even use his left foot. And he was a real boss behind his defense, estimated the former goalkeeping coach and by Petr Cech on Thursday in After Foot on RMC. And then there was the PSG episode with the famous competition with Navas where we didn’t know three days in advance who was going to play. That seems quite problematic to me, especially with the difference in style of the two goalkeepers. I think that weakened him. Now that he has the status of number one, I thought he was going to have a lot more confidence in his performances. And let’s recognize that he there’s always a little bit of hesitation.”

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“As if he was going to leave on a black track”

Despite the bad pass of Keylor Navas, whose departure could be recorded during the winter transfer window, Gianluigi Donnarumma has not managed to erase certain shortcomings in his game.

“I watched his last matches, especially since the restart, to see how it was. He still has habits that I find difficult to understand at home. And given his stature, I don’t understand that this goalkeeper does not play higher, again analyzed the coach who made the heyday of Rennes and Chelsea. In his habits, there is this kind of jump that he makes before intervening as against Lens. He does this what we call a plyometric preparation. It’s to have energy and an elastic response when you hit the ground. And then he puts his arms really far back as if he was going to leave on a black track. I admit that I find it hard to understand him but he worked like that in Italy.”

Christophe Lollichon then tried to decipher the aspects of his game to be corrected in order to continue to progress at PSG.

“He trains with an Italian coach (Gianluca Spinelli the goalkeeper coach at PSG and in the Italian team, editor’s note), the one who replaced me at Chelsea and who is a great guy. He is very formatted Italian and had changed his vision a little bit at Chelsea because we had talked a lot together. But Gianluigi Donnarumma kept things that sometimes make him lose fluidity in his interventions, chained the 59-year-old French technician. He there are small technical errors on aerial crosses with two touches of the hand. I find that sometimes to go to the ground he does not erase enough, he does not remove his leg quickly enough to go to the ground. It is enough random with him when he can take up a gigantic place. And then I also find that in the one-on-one, when you see guys like Mike Maignan, Brice Samba or Illan Meslier not giving the opponent a solution and these guys are huge. […] I don’t know what goal against Lens, Donnarumma is stable but he doesn’t screen his body enough to really hinder the opponent. Without throwing ourselves at their feet, we must not give the opponent a solution.”

Lollichon explains for Donnarumma is no good in the air

Beyond his failing footwork, perhaps more for lack of confidence than for lack of quality, ‘Gigio’ Donnarumma struggles to impose himself on aerial balls. Despite his large size (1.96m) and his wingspan, the 23-year-old transalpine international struggles to control his outings. Here again, Christophe Lollichon sees in this a desire not to take any risks (still linked to trust?) and a purely technical point to be corrected in training.

“The first thing on aerial balls is the starting position because it will guide the rest. Then you have to push and relax and then appreciate the trajectory. And then if you are low, you will limit your space of intervention and it makes sense, finally judged the French goalkeeper coach during his intervention on RMC. A boy like Thibaut Courtois, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, he puts himself too much in his comfort zone while “He could be much more interventionist in the aerial field. But Thibaut puts himself in his comfort zone so as not to take too many risks. I have the impression that Donnarumma is a little like that too. He goes there but… well… as I don’t work day to day with him, my assessment is limited. I find that there is sometimes a small problem in the assessment of trajectories. And that bothers me.”

Jean-Guy Lebreton with RMC