Often Partisan

The Rise of Boaz Myhill

With Birmingham City riding high in the Championship some of the standout players such as Curtis Davies, Chris Burke and Nathan Redmond have been given much deserved plaudits in the press. Today I wanted to take a look at another player who I think has done really well of late but hasn’t been given so much credit – Boaz Myhill.

I think Boaz had a tricky time of it when he came to the club. There was some ring-rustiness there and I remember the first time I saw him (the Everton friendly) thinking that he wasn’t anywhere near as good as we were used to. His positioning wasn’t great, his kicking was pretty average and whilst his shot-stopping was okay he started off with a tendency to get himself into trouble – the Watford away game being a case in point where he palmed a shot straight back into the box for Martin Taylor to score.

However, having got plenty of game time I’ve been impressed with Myhill’s improvement. I’m not sure if I buy into the theory that Dave Watson (the goalkeeping coach) has the midas touch, but he does seem to be good at improving our keepers’ game and I think he’s been good for Boaz. For instance, against Pompey I noticed that not only did Myhill get down extremely well to save from Joel Ward, but he pushed it to the side which gave Blues chance to clear and him chance to reset himself. It would have been easy for his body shape to have been “hard” and the ball to have bounced off Myhill into the mixer, but he kept it very soft and he deflected it wide instead.

The stats back up Myhill’s improvement, although a lot of that is also to do with how settled the defence is. In thirty-three games Boaz has played this season, he’s conceded 30 goals – less than one goal a game I think is excellent for a keeper over a season – and he’s kept 12 clean sheets. In his last ten games (all league), he’s only conceded five and kept five clean sheets. Admittedly, Blues are on a great run but I think it’s the sign of a good goalkeeper that they can keep their concentration levels up enough so that they are ready for any shot or break that might come out of the blue.

Blues did go through a spell early in the season when they couldn’t keep a clean sheet; we’re now at a point where Blues have gone eight hours plus in all competitions without conceding a goal in January. I think a mention should be given to Colin Doyle (7 starts plus one sub appearance, three conceded, five clean sheets plus no goals conceded from his sub appearance) also who has come in and done a job in European and Cup games – but there is no surprise to me that Doyle can’t get a game in the league for love nor money at the moment.

Should Blues go up at the end of the season then Ben Foster will return to the club (the first option deal in place with WBA is only valid if we remain in the Championship and they stay up in the Prem) and in all likelihood Boaz will go back to the baggies. That being said, I think if we do go up we’ll owe our Welsh-American keeper at least a few thank-yous.


14 Responses to “The Rise of Boaz Myhill”

  • Hernan Cortes says:

    I have to disagree with you Mayor, I really do think Dave Watson has the Midas touch! Even when he’s just out training them at the start of the game, doing the same monotonous exercises he seems to be coaching them, talking them through things etc. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes to a bigger club, unfortunately.

    Long may it continue, however! KRO.

  • jeff says:

    glad you,ve done this alm.the goalie deserves a thumbs up.yet another for the boo boys to pop at the seasons begining.as i said to you at the time the lad will be ample for this league .i,d say there are keepers in the prem that are no better than myhill.,maybe worse.we,re lucky to have him.great attitude as well.that save on tues night was very good for the reasons you have stated.im over the moon with his contribution

  • Blue Boy says:

    I think a major ingredient in Joe Hart, Ben Foster and Boaz Myhills success is down to Dave Watson. Im sure under him Butland will become just as good.

  • Very good points but it will be interesting to see if Birmingham are promoted this season whether or not Foster will return to the club. Who would you prefer to see in front of the net for the Blues? Also Doyle has been fantastic when called upon but I think he’s a very good backup keeper rather than a contender for regular premier league keeper.

  • hammy says:

    when he 1st played he was woefull….he let in a few stupid goals, and had quite a few mares…

    but now, what a keeper…..easily capable of holding down a place in most prem clubs….
    it woudnt surprise me if the baggies said “you keep foster, we’ll have myhill back, thanks very much”

    i absolutely love it when a player turns from bad to superb….(blues player that is)

    i’d rather keep myhill than have foster back to be honest….

    if you think about it, the defence is very settled, a consistant back 5, and not conceeding many goals at all….
    and, if we are back in the prem next season, a settled defence is defo the one thing we will need….cos there almost certainly wont be much money to spend….
    unless we have new owners ofcourse… ;)

  • AR says:

    Why do you not buy into the theory about Dave Watson? Joe Hart, Ben Foster & Boaz Myhill all improved from their first few games for us. Or are you being machiavellian & trying not to let the rest of the football world know.

    • Birdy says:

      It’s all about Dave Watson. Didn’t Fergie send one of his young ‘keepers down to Wast Hills earlier in the season to work with him? Probably wishes he’d sent de Gea. DW said no to the ginger last summer, hopefully he can resist the other inevitable calls for his services.

  • mickey07 says:

    When i went to derby i thought omg what have we got here in boaz??he just didnt look like hes got what it takes and coming out of the ground i thought dave watsons got his work cut out here,but give him time….i was over the moon when we kept watson at the club and he didnt jump off the sinking ship like everyone else was doing,hes so important too the club and our training set up mayor i think you might be doing him a little bit of diservice,as i dont agree with you, as he does have the midas touch…should the unthinkable happen and we do go up and boaz goes back to the baggies then they will have a much much better keeper on there hands.

  • bluenose08 says:

    I agree with everything thats been said about boaz but for one thing against portsmouth he kept kicking high balls to chris burke who likes to play football with his feet not his head ! I would much prefer he looked to play the ball short unless we have ziggy upfront. From what i have seen of foster this season they can keep him. I do hope colin doyle is given a testimonial as he has been a great servant to the club and has never let us down when called upon. k.r.o.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Doyle is out of contract in the summer and I think he’ll go. Depending on if we go up will decide if we have Foster or Myhill in goals next season. I’d agree with the other poster above I’d take Myhill and some money and WBA can have Foster.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Foster or Myhill? Let’s get promoted first!

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