Praise for Swansea's Gerhard Tremmel, but Michel Vorm still the No.1
MICHAEL Laudrup has saluted the rise of Gerhard Tremmel — but hinted that Michel Vorm will be recalled when he returns to fitness.
Vorm is expected to be back in contention in the next few weeks having been out with a torn groin muscle since the end of October.
But the Dutch international is not a shoo-in for an instant recall because of the form of Tremmel, who has proved himself an able Premier League goalkeeper during his first run of games in the Swansea side.
Signed by Brendan Rodgers after a trial spell, Tremmel made only one top-flight appearance last season, when Vorm missed out through sickness at Stoke City back in February.
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But after coming on when Vorm was injured at Manchester City, he has started Swansea's last six matches — and let nobody down.
"I am very happy with what Gerhard has been doing," Laudrup said.
"Being the second goalkeeper at a club is maybe the most difficult position in football, because you know that most of the time you are not going to play.
"Outfield players you can change around, you can give them some minutes.
"But a goalkeeper either plays or doesn't play, and at most clubs the first goalkeeper is fit and he plays.
"We have tried to give Gerhard some games in the cup, and because Michel got injured he has come into the team.
"He started off with some very difficult games, against Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, but he has got better and better every time he has played.
"His response has been very positive and he is growing in confidence all the time."
Swansea's form of late has meant Tremmel has not always had a lot of work to do.
But the German has dealt with what has been thrown at him with minimal fuss.
His distribution has been excellent — which is crucial at Swansea — and he has made a handful of smart saves, most notably in the goalless draw with Liverpool last weekend.
That was Tremmel's first Premier League clean sheet, but the former Energie Cottbus man has been unlucky not to claim at least one more.
"In the first couple of games he just needed to get used to playing again, but he was very secure at Newcastle and then again against Liverpool," Laudrup added.
"He has made some great saves and he has held on to shots, so I am happy for him and obviously for the team as well.
"When a team loses their goalkeeper it can be difficult, but Gerhard has done great for us."
But then so too has Vorm — and over a longer period.
The ex-Utrecht man's influence last season was reflected at the end-of-year awards bash, when he cleaned up.
And Vorm had continued his solid form under Laudrup until injury struck.
Laudrup, understandably, has not dismissed Tremmel's chances of keeping his place even when Vorm returns to the fold.
But he has suggested that it will be the latter stopper who gets the vote when both are available.
"I am of the opinion that if somebody proves himself over a long period of time, he still deserves to be No. 1 even after four or five games out," the Dane said.
"That goes for a keeper, a right-back, a left-back or whoever.
"It's difficult to say they are not playing after a little spell out, and I think Michel has shown here that he is No. 1.
"But having said that, you cannot stand still as a player.
"What Gerhard has done has put pressure on Michel, and that's good for the team."