Date:Friday May 29 2015
Our regular blogger, Adam Guest, interrupts his summer break to tell us how annoyed he is with things.
I said at the end of the last edition of the blog that it wouldn`t return until next season, but unfortunately I`ve got a real bee in my bonnet about our goalkeeping situation which I need to vent about.
Firstly, losing Richard O`Donnell. On the surface I can live with that; it`s disappointing because he was a very good goalkeeper at our level, but I do think a lot of his progress stemmed from the work he did with Neil Cutler and that gives me confidence that any goalkeeper working under him would significantly improve. I'd be far more upset if we lost Cutler himself. My issue was with the offer we made him.
A lucrative offer, the best we could possibly have offered, if you believe Dean Smith`s rhetoric. Actually, I don`t. This is the same manager who gave a 3 year contract to James Baxendale and offered a 4 year deal to Will Grigg. I genuinely don`t understand why we limited ourselves to a maximum of two years, when Richard surely deserved a better longer term offer than that. Smith said after the JPT first leg against Preston when questioned on the greatness of THAT save from Beckford`s header that he was harsh on goalkeepers as he expected them to make saves. By only offering two years, he`s probably made a RO`D for his own back and cost us a very good goalkeeper as a result.
Secondly, Ian McLoughlin. It surprises me sometimes the reasons certain players become popular with fans. Lee Beevers was idolised by a section of our support; but it was based on him having a mildly amusing surname rather than his complete lack of footballing ability. McLoughlin falls into a similar category, becoming popular for having a blank white strip across the back of his shirt where his name should have been. His brief spell with us was in the same season we also fielded David Grof, Karl Darlow, Aaron McCarey and Sam Johnstone between the posts, meaning he was comfortably the weakest of the loanees. Yet that issue with his shirt could see him welcomed back with open arms. Had he had 'McLoughlin` emblazoned across it he`d probably be remembered even less fondly than McCarey is. Surely, if we decide to recruit a new goalkeeper, we should be setting our sights higher.
Which brings me on to point 3. Do we need another goalkeeper at all? Craig MacGillivray was bought in last summer as a goalkeeper with huge potential, we even paid a fee for him. We`ve also offered a new contract to Liam Roberts, suggesting there must also be some potential there. Do we really need three goalkeepers? For the last couple of seasons we haven`t even needed two. If we bring in a new 'Number 1` then what is the point in keeping both of the other two? Does it mean MacGillivray`s fee was a waste last summer? He`s highly rated by the club so that wouldn`t appear to be the case. A keeper of similar quality then to challenge for the position perhaps? A nice idea, but it would mean paying wages to two keepers good enough to be first choice when you can only ever play one. On our budget it seems a waste. Put the confidence in MacGillivray to be number 1, let Roberts be the understudy and if it does go wrong dip in to the loan market. Surely that is better than paying a decent wage for an experienced keeper/paying a fee for a keeper who`s never going to play.
Fourthly, now I`m on my soap box, despite what Stefan Gamble said the other week we don`t need another right back. With Liam Kinsella, James O`Connor and, assuming he signs, James Chambers on the books that position seems adequately covered. Another one would be ridiculous considering we still only really have one recognised centre back in Paul Downing on the books. Opting to go into the season with four times as many right backs and three times as many goalkeepers than you have centre halves would be silly. It would be like going into the toilets at work and finding they had more hand dryers than urinals. You`d assume someone had got their maths wrong, and as a result it would never happen.
Two centre backs, a central midfielder and another striker; that`s all we need.
Simple really isn`t it.
Date:Friday May 29 2015
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