1. Federico Marchetti (Italy v Slovakia)
At the best of times the job of a goalkeeper can be long periods of idleness only for one crucial moment in the game when you’re expected to perform. The job of the substitute goalie is this notion taken to extreme lengths – often with players going months without game time. It’s extremely difficult, but these periods need to be spent in a state of constant attention. Stepping into the shoes of Gigi Buffon was never going to be easy, but Marchetti made an especially poor fist of it. Initially Marchetti was penciled in to make this list based solely on his spectator-esque display in defeat to New Zealand, but his woeful and sometimes bizarre performance against Slovakia catapults him to the top. He was slow, uncertain and technically deficient. It may have been a couple of unfortunate off days on the biggest stage of them all, but that will be of scant consolation to the Azzurri. No-one was expecting Marchetti to be a perfect replica of Buffon, but surely a Serie A regular should be capable of better.
2. Robert Green (England v USA)
Predictable but also apt. Green’s inability to hold on to a tame Clint Dempsey shot was the low-light of a bad night for the West Ham keeper. He was lucky to keep out a Jozy Altidore shot in the second half and in general inspired very little confidence in the players playing in front of him. A typical Robert Green performance really and although it’s easy to be wise after the event, the doubts he generated in the minds of the defenders in front of them didn’t help, especially bearing in mind they had plenty to worry about in their own peformances.
3. Fawzi Chaouchi (Algeria v Slovenia)
The only career where it’s more advisable to use your chest for a job your hands can do is stripper. Chaouchi attempted to stop a weak Robert Koren effort without using his hands and in doing so derailed Algeria’s World Cup campaign before it got up and running.
4. Myong Guk Ri (North Korea v Portugal)
It almost feels like bullying to pick on a goalkeeper that was afforded utterly no protection from a defence that couldn’t contain a Portugal side finally delivering on their promise, but even so the North Korean didn’t shower himself in glory for a few of the seven goals. Granted the game was beyond them when after the second goal, but a top class keeper should be expected to do better. He shouldn’t be overly chuffed with the part he played in Maicon’s wonder-goal for Brazil.
5. Richard Kingson (Ghana v Australia)
It’s admittedly harsh, but Kingson makes his way onto the list on the basis of a series of unconvincing performances, the most damaging being the game with Australia. The World Cup ball got a lot of criticism, but there was no excuse for his fumbling of a Mark Bresciano free-kick that allowed Holman to grab a goal for the Socceroos. It’s difficult to criticise any goalkeeper who gets the job done and ultimately keeps the ball out of the net, but Kingson’s technique is poor and the underlying suspicion is he got the job done on several occasions during the group stages by accident rather than design. Undoubtedly agile, he doesn’t command his area nearly well enough, his distribution is poor and his technique suspect. Ghana are a talented young side, but to reach their potential they may need to look for a more reassuring presence between the posts.