2019/20 Season Review _ The Goalkeepers
Tuesday, 28th Jul 2020 08:47
It was a tale of two keepers for Saints in the season just ended, but next season it is far from certain who will be number one and whether Fraser Forster will make a comeback.
Angus Gunn started the season for Saints and played the first 10 Premier League games, in truth he did little wrong and as a young keeper learning his trade was exposed to a defence that was an accident waiting to happen.
Initially Saints and started the season fairly well with 7 points from the first 5 games, but the issues in defence were there for all to see from the very first game.
I am not saying that his performances were perfect, but he has what it takes and these days goalkeepers don't mature till far later than outfield players so time is on his side in that respect.
The debacle against Leicester was the last game for Gunn in the League, but he could hardly be blamed for the defeat in what was an embarrassing display by those in front of him, Ralph Hasenhuttl wisely pulled him out of the firing line for his own good, his three subsequent appearances in the FA Cup saw him looking a little more confident and there is hope that he could become a first choice Saints keeper at some point, comparisons can be drawn with Tim Flowers who was in and out of the side in his first three seasons and didn't truly become the undisputed number 1 till that fourth season.
In came Alex McCarthy for the final 28 League games and he has done a reasonable job, but you always feel he has a mistake in him each game, sometimes they get punished sometimes they don't.
I think McCarthy has suffered from the fact that he has rarely been a number One keeper at any club he has played for including Saints and he has always been in and out of the side, meaning he has not built up that concentration needed to stay alert for 38 games a season and 90 plus minutes each game.
He is adequate but there are just far too many mistakes that have cost us goals & points, two many flaps at crosses and shots spilled, maybe as many as half a dozen have resulted in goals and that is far too many in the Premier League, maybe I'm judging him harshly, but my litmus test is would he or indeed any of our players get in another premier League side, I think at the moment in the case of both McCarthy & Gunn the answer would be no and that should tell us something if we aspire to a top 10 finish again.
Fraser Forster's future is uncertain, he is caught in the wages trap, he is on just too much money to leave the club on a permanent deal, last season at Celtic he was outstanding and they are keen to sign him but cannot afford to do so.
My feeling is that the club are toying with the idea of keeping Forster and loaning out one of the other two, even which one is still undecided but probably Gunn for experience and then let the two remaining keepers fight it out for the number one spot.
Forster isn't a bad keeper, neither are Gunn or McCarthy but they have all suffered over the past few years with a shaky defence in front of them, if that is dealt with at least all three are capable of being number 1.
So to recap.
Gunn- Plenty of promise but needs experience
McCarthy - Suffering from being back up most of his career, lacks the concentration to be number one
Forster - Proven keeper but needs a solid partnership in front of him, could play a part next season.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
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