Often Partisan

Keep, Sell or Release – Goalkeepers

With the end of the season nearing and with so many players out of contract I thought it would be a good idea to go through the squad and analyse who I think we should keep, who we can get away with selling and who needs to be released. This is the first of five installments of that analysis.

Jack Butland

The obvious problem to the above question is that unfortunately Jack isn’t our player any more, and we’re at the whim of Stoke City as to whether we will be allowed to loan him again next season – if indeed Jack wants to come back. Throw in the added complication that Stoke could potentially be in the same division as us next year, and the question seems almost academic.

However, it’s not like most of this isn’t going to be hypothetical anyway; I’m making assumptions based on what I know with regards to finances etc so there is a large element of conjecture. Assuming that Blues are given the opportunity to re-loan Butland next year, then my personal opinion would be to take it up. He’s not the complete player yet but given the precarious financial circumstances the club finds itself in I think that it would be difficult to attract another keeper who is of the same class as Butland – not to mention the fact that with Butland we know what we are getting. It’s a Keep.

Colin Doyle

One has to feel sorry for Doyle. He’s been kept out of the first choice position as keeper at Blues over the last four years by four different internationally capped keepers – three of whom have played for England. I think his nose (or certainly that of his wife, Becky) was put of joint by the signing of Boaz Myhill last season and I wonder how he’s felt being understudy to a teenager this term.

Doyle is out of contract at the end of the season, and at a turning point in his career. He’s 28 in June and in his career he’s only made 47 league appearances. He needs first team football, nothing else, for his own sake. With that in mind, I think Blues have a decision to make also – if they can get Butland back in then Doyle should be allowed to look for another club for a first team slot. If they can’t, then do they give Doyle the number one shirt and bring in backup to compete with Townsend? Sadly, either way I think we should let Doyle move on because I think he’s reached the end of his time with us. Release.

Nick Townsend

Young keeper Nick Townsend capped his rise from u18 keeper to third choice Blues stopper with a professional deal for the new campaign and a loan move to Conference North side Oxford City where he has been slotted straight into the team. A keeper in the mould of Ian Bennett with good reflexes and a great shot stopping ability, Townsend stood out the first time I saw him (against Huddersfield Town u21s at the start of the season).

With a pro deal the question is will Townsend be number 2 or number 3 keeper next season; I suspect it will be number 3 as I don’t think he’s quite ready for the Championship. However, it’s good to see him warm up with the other keepers before a match and I don’t think it will be too long before he’s pushing harder to be in the first team squad. Keep.

Tomorrow’s piece will look at the defenders.

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36 Responses to “Keep, Sell or Release – Goalkeepers”

  • RUPERT says:

    Sorry just cant see this hype regarding butland? He is a good shotstopper but I feel his ability at crosses and kicking is terrible. OK the lad is young but we need experience here and he is probably no better than half the championship keepers. I also think he has made our defence a collective nervose wreck at times. Too much hype im afraid!! Let him go to Stoke where I feaR his career will go downhill.

    BTW how high is the standard at the development squad at Blues ? I ask as I know a lad who is joining next season and is hoping to progress into the u21 squad.

    • chas says:

      After weatching the Man Cty and Chelsea Goalies yesterday , I would think that kicking out no longer seesm to be a matter of great importance..:-) And as for the Man City Goalies dives, hilarious..

  • Reebs says:

    I’d personally like to see butland go, no doubt he will be a fantastic keeper one day, he does make some fantastic reflex saves now and again, but I find his indecisiveness, especially with aerial balls worrying. He’s also made many mistakes (hull city away for example) which have cost us points. I would like to see Doyle given the first team chance he truly deserves although I feel he may move on. Townsend, I have seen him and he does look good, but he could just be an artur krysiak, or Adam ledgzins, those who a built up to be so great, but just miss the cut on the first team. I’d like to see us bring some experience in either loan or free, a second choice gk from the premier league, someone like jan Mucha (contract may be a bit high) radek cerny, fabianski, mannone….

  • Bcfc1955 says:

    It is a shame because of the lads loyalty but I don’t think Doyle is good enough

    I would love to see Myhill back here next season

  • Evesham Blue says:

    We cant keep Butland he is not our player. Academic really. No guarantees we could loan him back anyways next year. Thats a RELEASE as he is sold already. Doyle if he had any sense would go. He probably should have gone last year instead of signing a new contract. What assurances can we give him he will be first choice?

  • Rosalino says:

    I’d stick with Doyle, loyal servant who deserves a chance, name a longer sufferer? . Butland will be no1 at Stoke as Begovic is on his way.

  • mark says:

    I will be amazed if stoke loan back butland FOR NEXT SEASON Dan…unless clark got his eye on another goalkeeper for 1st choice.. Doyle for me would be suitable replacement for this divison…..and giving credit where it due Nick could rise to 2nd choice.. Glad Clark loaned him to oxford this is great for his experience. butland release… We must move on……

  • Marky mark says:

    Great blog, looking forward to all the instalments.

    Butland won’t be back next season in my opinion and I’m not to bothered to be honest, I think there is a number of decent keepers we should look at getting on loan.

    Doyle to won’t be at Blues next season unless he gets a cast iron guarantee on the no 1 shirt which I don’t believe he will get.

    LC will be shopping for goalies in the summer.

  • Tonytiler says:

    I was at Leicester on Friday. And I blame young butland for both goals. I totally agree with rupees that he’s a great shot stopper , and other parts of his game such as kicking and commanding the six yard box are poor. The lad has a huge kick and when he hasn’t got to think about making a save he is great. I have never seen him dive in the same direction when he’s had a penalty against him ( including team gb ). The first goal Friday the shot prior to the corner. He should have got his body behind the ball. It wasn’t raining at the time and I’m sure he pushes the ball around the post. So pundits can say what a great save it is. Then on both the corners he was static on the line. I really believe if we hadn’t been in the financial mess we are he would still be in the reserves or loaned out to a lower club.

  • Bob says:

    I think Colin Doyle will be ok certainly for the championship. He is much better at collecting crosses than Jack Butland and has served us well when called upon. My opinion is that Colin should get the No. 1 shirt for next season and Jack Butland should remain at Stoke, he still is very raw and like other commentors I think his decision making is suspect at times, he flaps at crosses and doesn’t fully command his area. KRO

  • Big Al says:

    I think Butland has been excellent this season. Some of the saves he’s made are world class. I also love the way he always celebrates when we score. Bizarrely many keepers seem to look indifferent.

  • blaneh says:

    I agree Big Al, I think Butland has had a good season, as much as I personally could of expected at the start of the campeign. He is a raw talent for sure, no goalkeeper has perfect decision making, aerial ability, reflex saves etc etc at 19 (he defiantly needs to improve his coming from crosses and kicking). Joe Hart for example, before he has that season with us, dropped several proverbials playing for Man City, Jack will be a top top keeper, and providing Stoke stay up, I would be more than happy to see him back next term. At the same time though, we need competition for his place in the team, as at the end of the day. all he would be is another loan signing and no long term fix.

  • Alex T says:

    your all going to look very stupid when he is the ‘stand out’ keeper in the country and you all said he was over-rated! Doh!

    • Kaje says:

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting he will NEVER be an outstanding goalkeeper – but people are saying that, at this present moment in time, he isn’t quite as good as people believe he is.

      Three or four more years of regular football, under a top quality goalkeeping coach, and he’ll likely be one of the top three or four English goalkeepers in the country (though there aren’t many of those to choose from) and fair play to him.

      But he’s not our concern anymore. We don’t have to show loyalty to him and have him back next season ‘just because’ if he’s going to be so inconsistent.

  • Tony says:

    Butland is in the mould of Bennet a good shot stopper, and yes some of his saves have been brilliant, however there is more to being a quality keeper than that.
    His reluctance to leave his line is worrying, he needs to come and make the ball his taking attackers and defenders with him if need be after all he is a big lad.
    It is to do with confidence and courage I fear he may lack the latter,TonyCotton was a good all round keeper I have my doubts about Butland.
    Myhill is never more than a number 2 he made some bad mistakes last year, as for Doyle hes very loyal and a good lad but not quite up to it, Townsend is not ready yet , he does look the part, hes mot as tall as I would like but I would keep him.
    So we need a number 1 for next season.

  • Ray says:

    Good article, agree with all reviews. I really feel for Colin, he likes it in Birmingham and has great time for the club and the fans, but ya he needs to play now at this stage. My own opinion, I don’t see Jack being loaned back next season, so it’s up to LC if he sticks with Colin or loans someone in. It’s a hard call.

  • prewarblue says:

    After seeing “Lucas” in action I have doubts about ANY keeper Clark may or may not bring in,,,,,Butland wont be back next season ,,,,,so Doyle should be no 1 [ whether he will or not depends on how he feels about his treatment in the past,,,,,if it was me ,I,d walk away ],,,,,Townsend to be no 2,,,,time is on his side to learn via the reserves or youth teams,,,,,,Butland was rushed into the spotlight before he was / is ready

    • Spud says:

      Let’s not be silly now, Lucas was brought in by Clark as a very cheap 3rd choice keeper. He played in one game (badly), but was never going to get a sniff in any proper fixtures (barring a keeper crisis).
      You can’t judge Clarks keeper signings on a 3rd choice back up!

      • prewarblue says:

        Spud He was not brought in as a 3rd choice keeper but as a “Goal Keeping COACH”,,,,,,he played 1 game I agree,,,,,,but I have seen the performances at “Fleetwood”,,,,not something I would recomend to young aspiring keepers

    • 55 years of suffering says:

      What in God’s name has Doyle done to suggest he should ever be our first-choice keeper? Remember when Bruce took a punt on him early season following promotion; remember last year’s play-off semi final.
      Being a loyal servant to the Club is just not enough.

  • 55 years of suffering says:

    Butland clearly divides opinion. To me he has massive potential & is the outstanding English keeper under 25.
    However, to suggest that Doyle could be his replacement is madness. Four managers (Bruce, McLeish, Hughton & Clarke) have each had a look & decided against him. They can’t all have been wrong!
    Let him go & sign two others.

    • skareggae72 says:

      Chris Hughton did prefer (an injured) Doyle ahead of Butland last season in the vital play off double v Blackpool,although it is likely this was a decision totally based on experience rather than overall quality,as Butland had still not played a game(if i remember rightly).

      Whatever happens with Jack i hope he doesn’t go down the arrogant road like Hart seems to have done(if the stories about his recent meal out are to be believed).

  • Tony says:

    OOOPS forgot about Lucas Prewar, maybe its better if a good goalkeeping coach can find a keeper Wouldnt trust Clark.

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    Butland at 20 years old is a remarkable young man & goalkeeper , & a credit the to BCFC academy.
    He will undoubtable go on to be an England squad regular in the coming years.
    However the Stoke die is now cast & both he & the club need to move on.

    Doyle would need to be No1 to stay & that is a big call for whoever the manager maybe.
    On balance I think I would prefer Myhill back.

  • Alan Watton says:

    Townsend will be number 2 to ? Blues will make massive changes in all positions.
    Out Butland Doyle, Carr, Murphy Davies Caldwell, Ibanez, Mullins, Morrison, Zigic, Ferguson, Lovenkranz,

    In ? a number of League 2 cast offs

  • Bcfc1955 says:

    It would be a major mistake to go into next season with Doyle as first choice even at this level I would be very surprised if Clarke did not sign a new keeper and I do not agree with the poster who said Myhill made lots of errors. After a tricky start he had a very good season, he would do for me

  • prewarblue says:

    I think Ian Bennett is still playing,,,,,,has all his coaching badges and would make a good keeper coach/ bench warmer to Doyle,,,,,after all he did teach Doyle ! [ I Think ! ],,,,,now player keeper coach at Huddersfield I think

  • jazzzy786 says:

    We need a new keeper. I don’t think Stoke will loan Butland to us again next season and Doyle isn’t good enough. I haven’t seen Townsend play so cant really comment on him.

  • RichardM says:

    I think Doyle is good enough at this level – he just needs s solid run of games – like he had back in 2007 / 08 when he looked a very good keeper. He was demonised after two poor performances against Sunderland and Cheslea on our return to the Prem – and since then has never really been given the chance and has been largely kicking his heels. Worth another shot in my opinion, can’t see Stoke giving us the OK for Butland and we don’t have the cash to splash on a new keeper.

  • Paulo says:

    We have nothing to lose really! Butland has been fast tracked to first team action with the help of Roy Hodgson, and team GB. Unbelievable to think this was his first season at the level of championship, and he hasn’t even done any premiership yet. That in itself has meant Doyle has had to sit on the bench.
    If JB wants premiership frontline action, then off he can go. However, it all depends on where Stoke end up really, but to whoever owns him, he is an ever growing asset financially. Doyle is an asset in different forms, mainly because of his loyalty and long standing with us. Although I should really say that he has a long fuse, as many would have gone. CD does need first team action and deserves it, and by looking at certain peoples ratio of saves to conceding …we should be looking at what we already have.

  • Jack says:

    Doyle would probly stay whatever because of the well known situation with his son! But I heard wallsall may be interested, that would be good for him as its not to far from there and he would be deffo good enough for L1

  • Poppa999 says:

    I think Butland will be playing against us next season ;-)

  • Kaje says:

    For me, Butland has been far too inconsistent following his sale for him to be a great candidate for a re-loan next season. Where once I felt we had been robbed by Stoke, I now wonder whether we have been the thieves in this situation – as he has a long, long way to go before he can be considered a Premiership class goalkeeper.

    I’d actually like us to move on from him now, and begin to develop our own talent again. Let Butland go back to Stoke, let us buy (if able) or sign a young goalkeeper who we can develop again, someone who is ours.

    Failing that, at least loan in someone a little more consistent. Having Myhill back – if available – isn’t an awful shout as I felt he was more than adequate last season – and certainly more consistent than Butland after he’d settled in!

    I’d rather Townsend was our number two next season, with A. N. Other infront of him.

  • Luke=blue says:

    Butland can go he don’t know what he’s doing and we need to keep Doyle only one I agree with is Townsend

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