Saving goals was only part of Andrew Redmayne’s job, with the Socceroos hero pulling out several ingenious tricks to win the psychological battle.
Newly minted Aussie cult hero Andrew Redmayne made headlines around the world with his goalkeeping eccentricities and GIF-worthy celebrations as his heroics saw Australia secure an unlikely berth at the FIFA World Cup.
The goalie was praised not just for his remarkable saves, but also his strategy and match awareness, which included hurling a water bottle into the crowd which had instructions to aid Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese marked on it.
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Now, a leading football psychologist has taken to Twitter to shed light on other meticulously planned psychological tricks applied by Redmayne to help his team over the line.
Erratic and unpredictable
Redmayne’s “Wiggly” dance moves have now gone viral, and even inspired a tribute from the skived troubadours themselves.
However, science proves that there’s some benefit to limbering up on the goal line as your opponent is lining up for a set shot.
“Research shows goalkeeper distraction behaviours are linked with 10% less goals for the penalty taker,” said Jordet.
“The key is to be erratic & unpredictable.”
Fear of the unknown
Redmayne was subbed on in the 120th minute of extra time in a huge gamble from coach Graham Arnold.
Redmayne knew he would be called upon in the event of a penalty shootout, but so secretive was the plan, so as not to allow Peru to prep for the possibility, that Socceroos captain and first choice keeper Mat Ryan were kept in the dark.
“This type of substitution is a power play that makes any opponent a bit wary about the goalkeeper coming on,” said Jordet.
In safe hands
Redmayne handing the ball to the next Australian striker wasn’t just to streamline the on-field admin; it was to help his teammates maintain a sliver of focus.
“After each shot, Redmayne handed the ball off to his own team’s penalty taker, to give him a friendly and familiar start to his pre-shot routine,” Jordet said.
“This technique was pioneered by England in the 2018 World Cup, and since used with success by Liverpool this season, among others.”
Play hard or go home
The Aussie goalie wasn’t afraid to ruffle the feathers of his Peruvian opponents.
“Against Alexander Callens, Redmayne first jovially offers to hand over the ball, then swiftly slips it away from him instead. The show of disrespect is clear and obvious,” notes Jordet.
It was an act that would earn him a 50 metre penalty in one code of football, but a World Cup ticket in another.
Goalkeeper and bodyguard
Redmayne also had the back of his teammates for any similar Peruvian tricks.
“After the ball hand-off, Redmayne acted as penalty taker bodyguard, by protecting his penalty takers from the Peru goalkeeper’s mind games,” wrote Jordet.
“This makes it easier for his penalty takers to focus on their own shot. First time I’ve seen a goalkeeper take this role in a shootout.”
Time is of the essence
If watching yet another World Cup qualifier penalty shootout wasn’t agony enough for fans, watching Redmayne run down the clock before facing up just about caused mass national cardiac arrest.
“For the final shot, Redmayne takes forever to get to the goal line, forcing the ref to delay his whistle & the penalty taker to wait 18 seconds after having placed the ball and walked back,” Jordet wrote.
“Our research shows 20% less goals after such long waits.”
Originally published as Socceroos hero Andrew Redmayne pulled out every trick in the book to gain an advantage over Peru