Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Thursday February 9 2006
A safe pair of hands
With rumours circulating that Nicky Weaver might be on his way back over the Pennines to Sheffield Wednesday for a lengthy loan spell, it will no doubt stir up some debate about Cityís own goalkeeping situation, notably finding a long term successor to David James.
It was great to see Nicky recover from a series of bad injuries, but after four years of treatment and recovery, I think thereís always going to be questions about whether heíll be able to once again scale the heights he reached when he was just a kid, typified by the playoff penalty saves against Gillingham, and whether his body can take the punishment of a full premiership season. Incredibly, heís still only 26, so time is still on his side, but he does need to prove to Psycho and himself that he can stay fit and put in the performances, so perhaps another spell at Hillsborough is a good place to start.
If Nicky does go, it will make Cityís goalkeeping cover look rather lightweight. With respect to De Vlieger, heís not really a first choice Premiership keeper and that really just leaves young Schmeichel. Kasperís pedigree is undeniable, but itís tough for the lad to follow in the footsteps of his legendary father with all the endless comparisons thereís likely to be.
Kasperís recent performances in the reserves and on loan have been attracting a lot of praise and heís certainly got talent, but one potential problem may be that standing at just around six feet, heís not really in the mould of todayís big, tall keepers. I keep being told that size isnít everything, but when it comes to top-class modern goalkeepers, Iím sorry size is important Ė just look at the current Premier League Ė there arenít many exceptions.
Like some of Cityís other talented youngsters, heís not had a chance to prove himself at the top level yet and as a developing keeper, heís probably still some way off the first team. This could be a big problem for City if James gets injured or hits a patch of bad form and I think City should be thinking about signing another top class keeper to make sure weíve got some real strength in depth in that department. I was a bit surprised that a keeper didnít seem to figure in the recent transfer window as there are some quality keepers around who could be available.
So come on then, are we ok for keepers or not, and who do you think should succeed David James once he decides to hang up his gloves?
M.Shaw 8th Feb 2006
Date:Thursday February 9 2006
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