To read this content please select one of the options below:

Last man standing: goalkeeping – an art or a science?

Hamish McKenzie (Institute of Education in Healthcare and Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen Medical School, Aberdeen, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

Issue publication date: 5 March 2024




The current paper is a comment on goalkeepers in football. This paper aims to explore the skillset of the contemporary goalkeeper and whether these can be reliably measured. This paper advocates the recognition of the goalkeeper as the most important member of the football team.


This paper draws on the work of Bourdieu (1995) to examine the impact of calculative practice on the art of goalkeeping. This reveals the diffusion of calculations to goalkeeping but challenges whether these statistics are robust. This study used the Internet (Jeacle, 2021) to explore the multiple dimensions of this study.


The comment argues a case for the goalkeeper as the principal actor in the football team. From an accountability perspective, the impact of the goalkeeper can be profound, the more so because of rule changes. Whilst calculative practice has entered the world of the goalkeeper, the practice is questionable if contemporary metrics are not robust and more sophisticated performance indicators are required. Increasing transfer costs highlight the need for objective measures of goalkeeping performance.


This paper is novel in that the paper attempts to broaden the scope of accounting scholarship into a new domain of football in popular culture.



The author is grateful to Prof Irvine Lapsley for the advice on an early draft of this paper.


McKenzie, H. (2024), "Last man standing: goalkeeping – an art or a science?", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 686-689.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles