Emile Heskey believes Adrian has an unusual advantage as he struggles for form. The Spaniard could be in the Liverpool side for a few weeks.
Adrian will have more attention than he perhaps wants in the Merseyside derby on Saturday. The goalkeeper, in for the injured Alisson Becker, made a terrible error against Aston Villa last time out.
That error, combined with a few other questionable decisions, piles the pressure on Adrian. But he might have one thing going in his favour.
Ex-Liverpool and England striker Emile Heskey believes Adrian can bounce back. And the fact there aren’t any fans in the stadium can work to his advantage.
“First little drop of a ball and you’ve got a bit of a problem.”
“Adrian’s had a tough time with certain goals he’s let in and certain passes that have gone astray,” Heskey told Rousing The Kop. “So it’s going to be tough for him.
“But I think it’s a good time in the sense that there are no fans in the stadium to really get on his back. So he can possibly turn this around. One, he’ll need the backing of his manager. And two, especially, the players need to really galvanise him, get behind him and help him.
“It’s going to be tough. I know, as a player and looking into coaching, I’d be telling players ‘get onto him, make him drop a ball’. That first little nudge, first little drop of a ball, and you’ve got a bit of a problem. So he’ll really need the players getting around him to help that side of his game.”
Lack of support
It’s an interesting take and particularly relevant ahead of the derby. Make no mistake – the Goodison faithful would be right on Adrian’s back for 90 minutes.
Instead, the Spaniard can focus on his own game, without the added pressure from the crowd. So yes, in that respect, Adrian’s struggle comes at a decent enough time.
But Emile’s also right in how quickly this could turn. If Everton do get at him, they’ll fancy the goalkeeper to crumble – he’s human, after all, and there’s a lot of pressure on him. Especially in a derby as big as this one.
For more on Emile’s Merseyside derby preview, you can check out our Youtube channel here.