Like many trudging off the pitch, Angus Gunn looked a dejected figure after a 5-1 Euro 2024 thrashing by Germany.

Conceding five is chastening for a goalkeeper in any circumstance, never mind in the opening game of a European Championships with the world watching.

It must be a lonely position for the Norwich man to be in. While others in the team can make arguments about their part in what occurred, a keeper faces penetrating personal criticism. The buck ultimately stops with him in a way that's more pronounced in more unit-oriented areas.

And that was certainly the case with Gunn over the last few days as the Norwich man has fielded flak from all sides over his role in the first and the fifth goals conceded in Munich.

It's something former Aberdeen keeper and Sunderland and Osterland coach David Preece, a vocal and popular presence on social media about the precise art of goalkeeping punditry, feels has been overblown after drilling into the detail of Gunn's showing.

"The thing that stops me from criticising keepers in the position that Angus was in on Friday was the way that Scotland played," he said. "They conceded a lot of ground. The Germans were getting the balls in really advanced areas where a keeper won't get a lot of time to react to shots. The second goal is a good example because they get into an excellent position and from that range, pace is going to beat you every time. 

"That's the biggest problem for Angus, the Germans were shooting in central areas and that's what you don't want as a keeper. You want your defenders to push them, even slightly, to the side to cut that angle down for you because when they get central it opens up the goal and makes it so difficult for you. 

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"Angus has done almost everything right in the first goal. His positioning is good, he's deep in his goal, he's given himself a bit of time to get down to it. It's just that final action where he goes to deflect the ball. 

"It's difficult when balls are moving away from you. Because you're making a decision when the ball's been hit, it's almost like in baseball when the batters are waiting for the ball to come at them, they don't even see the ball. They make their decisions from the information they get before the ball is thrown by the pitcher. Sometimes as the ball is moving away from you the picture is changing even though you've already made your decision where to dive to and it can deceive you.

"It's not right in the corner. There's a bit of pace on the ball but you'd be expecting him to deflect the ball away from goal in that position. That first goal was so important because against Germany you need to rely on the keeper to make saves and keep you in the game. It's so early and that dictates the narrative around it. It's not a huge mistake but at the very top level these things are crucial."

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And while admitting Gunn made a small error for the first goal, Preece is less convinced about what occurred in the other moment that's caused negative comments, Emre Can's strike for the Germans' fifth. While it was irrelevant to the outcome, that Gunn once again reached the dipping shot with his fingers but couldn't keep it out only added to the debate over his display. And yet, Preece points out that the accuracy of the shot and the crammed nature of the penalty box made the 20-yarder technically difficult to keep out.

He said: "On the fifth goal, the only observation I'd make is that Grant Hanley had come out and shut down the right side of Angus' goal so it makes it a little more predictable where the shot is going. In that position you're not going early but you're assessing the situation. Can uses Scott McKenna and bends the ball around him which makes the finish easier.

"I wouldn't criticise too much. If he saves that people say it's a very good save. If it's a very good save then would it be an error to let the shot in? Because they were so deep from the start, it makes it so difficult then for a keeper because balls are coming through bodies and that was one of the things with that fifth goal too. Until it goes past McKenna you're not really getting much information. That first five or eight yards of a strike are where you get a lot of information. He doesn't get that because it's a central area and there are bodies in front of him. It doesn't help at all."

(Image: PA)

With just the relatively inexperienced Zander Clark and Liam Kelly as other keepers in the squad, it's very unlikely that Steve Clarke will make a goalkeeper change against Switzerland regardless, so Gunn looks set to retain his place.

Back in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen camp, Preece says goalkeeping coach Chris Woods will be focusing on the facts.

"Chris Woods doesn't need me to tell him what to do because he's vastly experienced," he said. "In my view, a lot of that situation is applying context and not allowing emotion to take over. Of course fans and media will be disappointed. The players and the staff will be too. But the most important thing is to draw out the emotion. 

"When you're analysing games, there's not a lot of stuff that needs drastically changed. You make it really factual about what's happened and ask if there is anything we could have done better.

"If you get emotional and feel like you need to make up for a mistake, you start making more errors. It's not like an outfield player where you can up your tempo to get a better performance. As a keeper, you have to let the game come to you and be prepared for when it does."

If Gunn is to produce the human wall performance Scotland need from him against Switzerland, then Clark and Kelly have a huge role to play. The camaraderie in the 'keepers union' is well known and the Hearts and Motherwell men will be key to ensuring there's no lasting mental scars from the game or aftermath.

"What you find is there's a real bond between goalkeepers," Preece said. "It's very rare to come across keepers who don't get behind each other. It's a very tight-knit support network. Other goalkeepers in the squad, it's part of their job to make sure the first pick is in the best frame of mind to be able to go and perform in the next game as well."