A win away at Newcastle is no mean feat, and after Tottenham’s hard-earned 2-1 victory Saturday lunchtime all associated with the Club were keen to recognise the performance put in at St James’ Park. A Man of the Match poll posted on the Club’s official Twitter account, welcoming fans to cast their vote, singled out four players for further merit: Eric Dier, Davinson Sánchez, Dele Alli and eventual winner Jan Vertonghen. No arguments there, right? More perplexing than attempting to master a Dele Alli celebration was the exclusion of the skipper from this vote. For who put the “hard-earned” into hard-earned win if not Hugo Lloris? Without the captain’s efforts — from stifling Kenedy when the sprightly Brazilian was one-on-one to later palming away a Pérez drive as the home side rallied in the second-half— three points could’ve easily evaporated into one or, dare I say it, none. This omission of Lloris is an indicator of the widespread quandary involving the men between the sticks — and it’s an indignity not suffered in solitary by Spurs. However, with a 17-year-old transfer record surpassed twice in one window — courtesy of Alisson Becker and Kepa Arrizabalaga’s movements — it is a problem that is about to be addressed; clubs are finally revising the (monetary and positional) value of a great goalkeeper. The pioneering Brian Clough was said to have recognised the significance of a top-class goalkeeper to a trophy-chasing side but, in 1977, he was in the minority. When the Nottingham Forest boss wanted to break the club transfer record to buy Peter Shilton, not everyone saw £250,000 as a smart investment. (It only took 41 years for the Luddites to catch-on, Cloughie!) The neglecting of a goalkeeper’s importance is a topic that has troubled Tottenham — or, on a more pertinent level, its fans — for longer than necessary. This under-appreciation though hasn’t presented itself in an inability to acquire a goalkeeper of suitable calibre, but the inability to accept that the (number) one we possess is a true specialist in his department. It’s a reluctance that has only augmented as seasons pass. Once considered a world-class performer destined — and deserving of a departure — for sunnier Spanish climes following exceptional showings from 2012-14, Lloris’s critics now claim the player is no longer perpetuating the standard required; the player now a liability costing his Club more points than he earns. Opposing opinions are what make this game an engrossing one, but the latter viewpoint has now reached saturation; to the point where even when the shot-stopper is on top-form his input is unfairly disregarded — the Club’s post-match poll on Saturday being a perfect example of this. I know I’m not alone when I assert the inconvenient truth that Hugo Lloris is, at the behest of using a hackneyed term, world-class. Disparagers will hastily point to mistakes made in recent memory: Marcos Alonso’s tame strike at Wembley, the failure to gather Victor Moses’s cross before Morata headed in; and, unforgettably, that glaring error in the World Cup final. But what we can agree on is: world-class goalkeepers do make mistakes. One need only watch David de Gea — the best in the business — mimicry Loris Karius when playing for Spain this summer. Back in north London the popular song from the terraces chimes “we don’t care what the other teams say”, but to gauge opposition opinion regarding their own goalkeepers in recent years would provide an education: many fans of the Premier League’s top dogs — United aside — have vocally craved an upgrade in the keeper department; whisper it quietly, but numerous Chelsea fans were happy to see the back of Courtois this summer. And it’s over this period that — apart from de Gea (again!) — Hugo Lloris has proved himself the most consistent goalkeeper in a league that is consistently tough for goalkeepers. Aside from ability, maybe the real reason why Lloris is harshly belittled and chastised by some of the home crowd is because of his unassuming personality; some seeing an unnatural, aloof leader not worthy of the armband. But remember, this is a professional who has been deemed the standout choice to lead both his club and country; the latter to great effect this summer. On this subject of leadership, it was in a recent interview that Eric Dier said of his captain: “His style is a quiet style, but silence is sometimes deadly.” If Lloris is able to pick up where he left off last Saturday, the next lot of silence will only be that of his critics.