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  • EXCLUSIVE: By Alessandro Schiavone

Watford, Ismaël (Exclusive): This is why I am picking Hamer ahead of Bachmann


Exclusive by Alessandro Schiavone at Vicarage Road

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


WATFORD- Valerien Ismaël has shed light into the goalkeeping situation at Watford, highlighting that his current predilection towards Ben Hamer at the expense of Daniel Bachmann is NOT final.


The Austrian was sent off during the 2-0 defeat at Leicester City on 25 November and hasn’t been seen since between the sticks with Hamer making the most of his opportunity.


As a player Ismaël was Oliver Kahn’s teammate at Bayern Munich when, in April of that year, Germany head coach Jürgen Klinsmann shocked a nation by announcing that Jens Lehmann would be his no.1 for the upcoming World Cup 2006.


So he knows a thing or two about the psyche of goalkeepers and their discomfort in a sporting ordeal like this one.


But while that one was irreversible, with Kahn never regaining his place in Germany’s goal, Bachmann can still hope of making the XI for the Hornets one day.


In an exclusive interview with Capital Football, Frenchman Ismaël said: “We can’t say that [the decision is final].


"Daniel took it very professionally and sportingly. We told him the reasons and now he’s got to remain concentrated and support Ben [Hamer] just as Ben had done with him for years.


"He’s got to keep working hard for when we need him.”


So how has it come to this? Bachmann’s red card has certainly played into his rival’s hands. But that’s not the only explanation as there are some things that cannot be explained. And it's hard to see Bachmann featuring much over the coming weeks.


Isamël, whose Hornets are on a two-game winless run, said before facing Preston North End tomorrow continued: “It’s a situation that has unfolded by accident.


"Dani picked up an injury in training which ruled him out of a game [the 5-0 trashing of Rotherham]. Ben played and when we analysed the match some things dawned on us.


"Then there was the accident when Dani was sent off [at the King Power Stadium] which paved the way for Ben to play with the team. And again, we got a certain gut feeling…


"Then as a manager you have the right to make the decision that you think suits the team best.


"The decision was made for the sake of the team based on our feeling following Ben’s performances.”


Ismaël's colleague Mikel Arteta explained that there’s no difference between outfield players and keepers when it comes to rotating the squad after he also ditched one goalkeeper for another with David Raya coming in for Aaron Ramsdale.


And the former West Brom and Barnsley manager sings from the same hymn sheet as his Spanish counterpart.


He said: “I understand very well what Mikel is saying because it’s always been my idea as well. Both keepers have different profiles but then it comes down to what the team need and the evolution of the team’s game. Everyone has to be focused on their game.


“Both keepers deserve to play and we want both to compete for the goalkeeping position.”

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