The merits of Elisha Scott

September 30, 1931
Players I admire – No. 4.
By The Judge

A few weeks ago I saw Liverpool play. As has been the case almost since the day when I first watched Liverpool play, Elisha Scott was in goal – and there is no reason why he should not be there for many years to come. I have seen all the great goalkeepers of recent times, and if I do not care to say that Scott is the greatest of all, at least I consider him one of the three best I have seen.

Not so long when I saw Liverpool, Scott was not in goal. There was another, reputed to be better than the Irishman; but Scott is back. I do not know exactly how long he has played for Liverpool, but today he is as ever.

Scott never exhibits tricks in goal. He catches balls that others would fist; he puts the ball over the bar for a corner when others would be spectacular in clearing. Scott never takes a chance, and if you study those goalkeepers who have gained fame you will find that it was because of this trait.

It would be easy to say Scott has anticipation, but telling why he has this gift is much more difficult. Personally, I think it is because he never takes his eye of the ball. I do not mean when it is likely to come to him: all goalkeepers must do that. But Scott, if you watch him when there is little chance of him having to save, is moving about in goal in accordance with the position of the ball. He knows that a freak shot will change an angle, so before the ball comes he is protecting the goal from that angle. You never catch him unready.

Perhaps the greatest test of a goalkeeper is his judgment in running out of goal. If Scott goes he gets the ball. You never see him losing a race and finding the ball going into an untenanted goal. You never see him prancing about the penalty spot when a corner kick has been taken. He leaves the backs to do their job and never interferes – but let an opponent get clean through and ten see Scott come out. He then comes quickly, and the forward has to be quick or the opening at which to shoot will be very narrow.

But one could go right through a goalkeeper’s task, discus it in detail, and have to admit with each detail, that that is the way Scott does his job.
(Source: Daily Mail: September 30, 1931)

Elisha Scott 1932

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