Often Partisan

The Goalkeeper Conundrum

Sky Sports this afternoon broke the news that they understood Colin Doyle is about to sign a new deal with Blues. Doyle, 27, has been with Blues since 2003 but has only made fifty-three appearances between the sticks in those ten years.

I didn’t think much about this deal until I saw a tweet by Tom Ross saying

I am sure Colin Doyle will be first choice next season-he has waited long enough

shortly after the news came from Sky. With Blues having agreed a contract for Darren Randolph yesterday, I have to say I can’t agree with Tom’s statement.

I do think it’s a good thing that Blues could ultimately have two keepers that they can call on to play in every game. Whilst I’ve not seen enough of Randolph to pass comment on how good he is but I would suspect that having made his international bow for the Republic of Ireland recently should give an indication that he’s at least half-decent; on the other hand I do think Doyle is good enough for this division at least based on what I’ve seen of him and I think given the chance he would do his utmost not to let the side down.

However, I can’t think that we have signed Randolph to be an understudy; he’s been number one keeper for the second best team in Scotland last season and I’m sure he hasn’t given up the lure of European football to warm the bench at St Andrews. Thus logic would hold that at best Doyle is going to be competition for the number one slot; more than likely he’s going to start off where he has been for the last few seasons – ie sat on the bench watching the team play.

I suppose the question that leads to is where Doyle’s ambition lies. One would think that as a 27-year-old he would want guaranteed first team football now; the number one jersey week in week out with a club rather than the occasional cup game and being cover for injuries. I thought last season he would make the move – Ipswich were allegedly interested in him but for whatever reason he signed on for another year at Stans. The question is does Colin think (or has he been told by Lee Clark) that he will be a serious challenger to be number one or is he merely content to continue sitting on the sidelines, knowing that he’s earning enough to keep his missus in a nice house and fancy clobber. I sincerely hope it’s the former.

For those who think pre-season might give the answer, I’d remind them that Jack Butland only played one pre-season game last year (Antwerp), in which made a horrendous error in what was a poor game – yet he played every league game. This year will be different – Butland didn’t play pre-season because of being with the GB Olympic squad and then the England Euro2012 team – but I don’t think one can necessarily guarantee that first team action in friendlies means anything.

However, in all this we must take a positive. Despite the bad stuff that is happening, Blues look to at least have sorted one position for the new season and we’re barely halfway through May. Clark is clearly working hard to get things right as soon as possible and we can only hope that the board back him as well as possible financially if Blues are to do well next season.

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46 Responses to “The Goalkeeper Conundrum”

  • Aj says:

    I think Randolph will be number 1, as you say, wouldnt have left the lure of European football for a bench role in the Championship… especially when he could have probably joined any number of Championship sides to be their number 1 keeper for next season.

    Doyle is a perfect understudy, and will be there to step in if need be.

    Cant complain at that, hopefully then Nick Townsend continues his development over the next year or two and can step up the next time Doyle’s contract runs down

  • bluenose08 says:

    Isnt colin doyle due a testimonial as its nice to see players being loyal to a club and colin has provided us with some great saves over the years my favourite being a penalty save at wolves.
    k.r.o.

    • roskoe says:

      I was thinking about testimonials the other day, what with Scholes and Becks retiring, and the lack of testimonials these days. I think players earn a decent enough wage during their careers nowadays so as not to warrant a big pay day testimonial. I think when players do have testimonials these days the gate receipts go to charity, rightly so in my opinion.

    • sam says:

      He’s also made some bloopers, i.e Maribour.
      I feel he’s generally done ok but at say £4,000 a week he’s had more than 2 million in wages so would not be offereing a testimonial. In fact these days they shouldn’t be offered at all.
      10 years season ticket and they still can’t sort out in/out entrance to bogs!

  • mark says:

    I agree dan Doyle is good enough for this division…. Maybe Doyle thinks he can come number one, l take my hat off to him if he does wish to fight for this place…like yourself unless it come from bcfc we wait and see……

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Doyle has played under 4 managers – Bruce, McLeish, Hughton and Clark – and none has been convinced about him as a permanent No.1. Surely he must know that there’s a good chance that he’ll be No.2 again next season?

    Unless he’s been given some kind of assurance by Lee Clark (which I would doubt) it indicates a lack of ambition on the lad’s part. Imo of course. Surely he would want to be a No.1 somewhere before his career is over? :-s

    • prewarblue says:

      not a lack of ambition Staffs,,,,,if this report is correct,,,,,,we now know who rules in the Doyle household,,,,,he knows which side his bread is buttered,,,,,,family settled and his wife dont want to move away from her family,,,,,and again if its correct a 2 year deal as against a 1 year deal for the past 3 years,,,,,in my opinion he,s been offered this [ as against the 5 year deal waiting for Randolph to sign reportedly ] just in case Townsend does not continue his progress

  • Gav_bcfc says:

    Bruce once dropped Doyle from the bench at Derby
    for Richard Kingston while veteran Maik Taylor was in goal.
    It said a lot at the time but he’s stuck it out and to be fair
    has had some superb keepers to get past Hart, Foster etc.

  • Glyn rees says:

    Colin is a great under study but if he is number 1 then we are in trouble . Do you not remember that he cost us a play off final spot last season or do we have short memory.?

  • Marky mark says:

    Randolph was probably on a packet crisps and a mars bar in Scotland, even in our dire postion we could well have increased his wage by 10 fold

    • chas says:

      Would he be fit enough for Championship Football tho, if he eats 10 Mars bars and 10 Packets of crisps a week?
      If Doyle gets into the Team, the biggest hurdle he will have to overcome is the Idiots who go to the matches just to slag one of the Players off..And we have our fair share of them.

    • zxcv says:

      You can get a 10pk of crisps in asda for about £1.30 and 10 mars bars for about £3.60. Do you think Carson and Pannu would stretch to £4.90 you silly boy. You need to lower your expectations matey. lol.

  • Kaje says:

    As with many of the above comments, I’m skeptical that Doyle is good enough considering that under the past four managers he’s only managed a single Championship season – with those managers needing to bring in a first choice for the rest of the time.

    For me, Randolph simply must be first choice.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Randolph will start next season in the number 1 jersey,their can be little doubt about that.
    He was voted the best goalkeeper in the SPL by his fellow players in the end of season awards.
    This was particularly significant as Fraser Forster the Celtic ‘keeper has been in full England squads.
    Regarding Doyle he has had chances to cement his position as Blues’ No.1 and blown it.
    Nobody will forget his heroics at Molineux in April ’07 when his penalty save contributed hugely to Blues’ run to promotion.He started the next season as No.1,but a bad mistake in the first game against Chelsea and ordinary performances in the next 2 games meant he didn’t play another league game that season.
    His mistake for Blackpool’s second goal in the Play-Off second leg cost Blues’ a trip to Wembley.

  • prewarblue says:

    I am glad players are being signed,,,,,its just a pity that for a person who claims to have the best interests of the club at heart,,,,,cannot refrain from forgoing his monthly wallet filling to enable the club to sign one of the best full back Blues have had play for them in years

  • Tony says:

    Randolph no 1 Doyle backup,hes on a decent contract he likes the area as does his wife, When all is said and done football is a job, people work in order to live a nice lifestyle and hes got that.
    Personally I cant see anything wrong with that from his point of view.

  • Bluenpenguin76 says:

    I rate Doyle and fairplay to the guy for once again signing up and sticking with us. I think we are quite lucky in that we will have two keepers more than capable of holding their own in the championship. Personally I think Randolph will claim top spot Doyle has never had much joy and I think that Randolph won’t be turning down Everton and a chance of European football with Motherwell to warm the bench. Doyle will have to be happy with the odd superb cameo.

  • Gary R says:

    The board can back Clark by bringing in Caddis!

  • bluenoserob says:

    Maybe Doyle is happy to be number two , Another contract gives him another few years of good wages , maybe hes just got used to being in this position.

  • Northern Exile says:

    Can’t believe people are blaming Doyle for the defeat(s) against Blackpool.

    We didn’t make the playoff final that season because Blackpool were comfortably better over two legs. Doyle might not have been totally convincing but he’s hardly likely to have been match sharp for a last minute call-up. The other 10 players on the pitch certainly were and there were plenty of other mistakes over those 180 minutes that collectively cost us the tie.

    As for whether he’s good enough to be number 1… I’m not sure we’ve ever seen enough of him to be certain all these years! I would echo the comments above; considering he’s played under 4 managers and a decent turnover of goalkeepers – Taylor, Kingson, Hart, Foster, Myhill, Butland – and he still remains a benchwarmer, not having forced the manager to reconsider bringing in an established replacement for any of the above, suggests he’s probably not up to it for a side looking to finish in the top half or above.

    • Lee H says:

      Great point mate. I could easily blame Marlon King for missing some glorious chances against Blackpool

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    Randolph turned down Everton to play for BLUES “Shocked Smiley” !!

  • Swedish Bluenose says:

    Almajir’s comment was: “Is he merely content to continue sitting on the sidelines, knowing that he’s earning enough to keep his missus in a nice house and fancy clobber. I sincerely hope it’s the former.”
    My comment is that he is probably very happy with that and he has, as I’ve seen, a very tough wife…

  • bluenosed says:

    The statement just proves that Tom Ross talks garbage.

  • bluepete says:

    I was rather hoping that Butland would be coming back on loan to us next season, maybe for another year. But now that Randolph has signed, it rather seems that is not the case. Good luck to Randolph. His credentials seem OK and I’m sure Lee will have done his homework. I really hope that the club will pull out all the stops to sign Caddis. I’m sure he wants to stay with Blues and he has proved to be a worthy right back.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I note that the B,C,F,C. official website, say’s Young Higgings, [ right back ] has signed a pro contract.

  • Evesham blue says:

    Daily mail and BBC sport both saying Caddis deal fallen through and then Higgins signs up? Bit of a coincidence. Can’t even stump up enough money to pay a league 1 side the asking price.

    Remember that next season that Clark has been sold down the river by the board.

    • almajir says:

      Bearing in mind Higgins agreed his contract at least a month ago… yes, I think in this case you might be adding two and two and getting five…

      • Evesham blue says:

        I thought he signed today? He might have been offered a contract a month ago but bcfc just announced he signed it today. I am speculating but it wouldn’t surprise me if they had to get Higgins signed up as a priority as they have failed in a number of bids for Caddis.

        I am also speculating that another champ team will pay up the money for Caddis.

        • almajir says:

          He formally signed today, but it was agreed weeks ago. There was a bit in the paper out about it

  • Lee H says:

    Dan, although it’s exceptionally hard to say. With the games you have seen, do you think Ryan would be able to step up to the first team as easily as Mitch has?

    • almajir says:

      I don’t think he could do it week in week out, but he was one of the better players in the u21 games last year and I think he’s worthy of being in the first team squad

      • Dazzy Nicks says:

        Fingers crossed Will Packwood will be available again for the new season, rehab going well according to his twitter account. There’s also Mullins that can fill in at right back…mmm, get fit soon Will!! (My morning attempt at humour there.)

  • Tony says:

    Has any light been shed on the identity of the person allegedy masquerading as Paul on the tilton strugglers site making disparaging remarks about Dan?.

  • JohnBond says:

    I personally think Doyle is a good keeper and maybe would of done better than Butland last season, think its a shame how he’s only played 50 odd games in his 10 years but he obviously isn’t that bothered by it.. Then again I wouldn’t be playing a decent level of footy and getting paid grands each week, also like people have said we have had some good keepers in the past that have been more worthy of a first team place than Doyle, Ian Bennett i wonder if he’s still playing long live Ian..

  • Alfboy says:

    Some goalkeepers are happy to be understudies their entire careers. I imagine it’s something they accept might happen. Keepers are rarely injured and competing for 1 position, yet you need 2-3 of them. Look at Harper at Newcastle.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    What do you expect on 12,000 crowds?

  • darren says:

    I think all blues fans shd wake up and smell the coffee, no doyle is not good enough for this division and neither are blues with the resources we have on offer.

    Boycott the club and drive into admin – lets get some new ownership

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Maybe his wife is in the driving seat, but I read somewhere they have a special needs child? If so maybe relocating would not be a good ides

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    I doubt Randolph will have signed without being guaranteed no 1 for league games

  • Richard says:

    I thought Doyle was harshly treated while Taylor was with us, the defence clearly weren’t confident with Taylor behind them as they were never sure whether he would or wouldn’t come to collect crosses or come to meet balls behind. Doyle would have given them more security in that sense. Hughton probably made an assumption that we needed someone to be ahead of Doyle and signed Myhill and I didn’t think it was a loss after Myhill got injured given some of Doyle’s performances in the season, the Maribor incident was just one of those freak instances. Clark deciding that he needed a better keeper is probably more pertinent to his standard but if he and his family are settled in the area the only place he can get guaranteed first team football in the area without moving would be Coventry or Walsall and do they need a keeper, maybe Wolves if they lose players after relegation? Is it worth the loss in salary for such vanity? So I think there should be no issue with him accepting a role as reserve.


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