December 6 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Hammers number one Jussi Jaaskelainen is still looking to the future at Upton Park
He may be the oldest starting keeper in the Premier League and he may be the longest serving foreign player in the league, but there is no end in sight to the magnificent career of West Ham’s Finnish goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The 38-year-old kept his fourth clean sheet of the season in the magnificent 3-0 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane and you can see the enthusiasm and dedication in his play.
“I want to play for as long as I can,” insisted Jaaskelainen, a veteran of over 500 games in the English game during his time with Bolton Wanderers and West Ham.
“I think there are a lot of little factors that come together to explain why I have played for so long.
“I have been very lucky to have had two good goalkeeping coaches. My first 13 years at Bolton was with Fred Barber and here I am spending a second season with Martyn Margetson and they are both top coaches.
“Then there are other factors like I really like to work with Big Sam and the way he has brought science into the game.
“When I came to him at Bolton we were a Championship side and he built the team up slowly and brought in people to make sure we were looking after ourselves and preparing ourselves properly for the match on a Saturday.”
Jaaskelainen certainly seems ready for every match with his performance at Southampton a stand-out display in a battling 0-0 draw.
But the Finn is realistic and knows that sometimes you can’t help but make errors as a keeper.
“Experience as a goalkeeper is important for me and the main aim is to be consistent,” he said.
“You know you are going to make three or four mistakes during a season – sometimes they go into the back of the net and sometimes they don’t.
“You just have to recover from that and keep focusing on the right things. As long as I work my hardest in training during the week, I know I will be ready for Saturday.”
With new back-up keeper Adrian waiting in the wings, Jaaskelainen knows he has to be on his toes and he is certainly looking after himself in order to do just that.
“The goalkeeping coach and the back-up staff are fantasic and look after me pretty well,” he said.
“They know my needs and give me one or two extra days off now and then when I need them.
“I want to play for as long as I can, but in the end I will look week-by-week and game-by-game and just see how it goes.
“My contract is until the end of the season and that is what my aim is at the moment.”
It looks like we might be seeing the flying Finn in goal for some time to come.
Arsenal have decisions to make on a host of first team players whose contracts are set to expire at the end of the season.