Albion fans have already received vivid examples of Ben Roberts’ work as goalkeeping coach this season.
From Robert Sanchez, of course, who kept three clean sheets in his first four games of the Premier League season.
His shut-outs included a couple of fabulous late saves to headball away in the 2-0 win at West Ham.
He protected a famous win at Old Trafford by blocking against Marcus Rashford.
But Roberts’ work was also showcased by Nick Pope as Newcastle drew 0-0 at the Amex in their first game of the season.
Pope was a protégé of Roberts at Charlton.
He put in a classy international performance to help Toon force a draw a couple of weeks ago.
Roberts is considered one of the best goalkeeping coaches in the country.
While he is now leaving as part of Graham Potter’s supporting cast, there is every reason to believe he has already been eyed by top clubs.
He went to Chelsea as part of the package in which they paid £22million to take Potter out of Albion.
If Potter was the brilliant single that made Chelsea buy the album, Roberts might become that side two track you love and wonder how you ever lived without.
Pope certainly has a very high regard for his former coach.
Speaking to Mail Online earlier this year, Roberts recalled a time when Pope was about to be unseated in a match at Charlton.
Roberts said: “I sat in the stands and radioed down to say, ‘What’s going on?’ “They said, ‘Uh, Ben, the manager is going to pick up Popey.’ I said: ‘Come on, you kill the kid, tell him if he does that, I’ll leave the stadium.’
“I checked the Trainline app on how to get back to London.
“It was hot at half-time but the manager was fine after that.
“He kept him and Popey went on and made five or six big saves.”
Roberts helped Albion win the promotion play-offs in 2004 after conceding a string of goals.
He made a big contribution on the training ground.
As goalkeeper coach and then until this week as head of a coaching team.
The progress Sanchez has made is his most obvious result of his work.
But there are others. Some of them.
David Stockdale made great strides under Roberts’ tutelage and spoke enthusiastically of him after games in the 2016/17 promotion season when he was selected for post-game media relations.
Stockdale praised Roberts after games including a win at Fulham and a draw at Brentford as he saved penalties.
Sanchez delivered an extremely powerful message to Albion fans and his former goalkeeping coach when Roberts joined Chelsea.
Under Roberts’ daily tutelage, he has progressed from academy to Prem regular and Spain international.
The Albion goalkeeper was among several players who sent heartfelt farewell and thank you messages to Potter and his colleagues via social media.
Sanchez wrote, “Things in life don’t always go our way, but now more than ever we need to stay focused and together as a team.
“I want to thank Ben, Graham, Bruno, Billy and Bjorn for everything you have done for me.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become who I am today and a special thank you to Ben for being there through the good and bad moments over the past seven years. I wish the five all the best.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/21254821.chelsea-bound-ben-roberts-looks-big-loss-brighton/?ref=rss Chelsea-tied Ben Roberts looks like a big loss for Brighton