Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Monday August 30 2010
The start of this season has been full of talk about our 'excellent` crop of young goalkeepers, Ben Hamer, Alex McCarthy and Mikkel Andersen. With the latter two signing new contracts, and Hamer still acting as understudy to Adam Federici, there has been talk of cashing in on our Aussie number one and giving one of these a shot in goal to raise some much needed cash, and avoid selling the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson.
After the defeat to Nottingham Forest and Federici`s error that gifted Robert Earnshaw an equaliser, those calls became even louder but the past few days has backed up exactly why we must keep hold of Federici..
Firstly there was Ben Hamer`s awful display against Northampton in the Carling Cup, which began with him dropping a simple cross, twice, to allow the visitors a simple equaliser before flapping his way through the rest of the game. That was supposed to be his chance to prove his credentials as a future Reading number 1, he did exactly the opposite.
Then onto this weekend, and a chance to see if either of the other two young stoppers are proving their worth out on loan. Well that is not going to plan either, Alex McCarthy conceded another three goals as Brentford lost at home and that is on the back of an error on his debut that gifted Walsall a simple goal.
Surely Mikkel Andersen is doing better? Well not really! He conceded four at home to Southampton, for Bristol Rovers, and capped a bad start to his second spell at the Memorial Stadium. He won the clubs young player of the year last season, but is not looking as confident this season.
Now I am not writing these young keepers off at all, but for now it is clear to me that we must do everything in our power to keep hold of Federici. If people think he is an asset we could afford to sell then they are very wrong, and that was proven at Leicester on Saturday. He may have cost us two points last weekend but he won two, and possibly three, this time out with a remarkable save from Lloyd Dyer, not long before Matt Mills grabbed the winner.
The Australian keeper has more than earned his status at one of the clubs best players and those who criticise him should remember than the grass is not always greener. With so many young players in this team, the last thing we need is a young goalkeeper with all the pressure on his shoulders. Federici is big enough to handle the stick that comes his way when he makes the occasional, and it is very occasional, error but I don`t think any of these kids could do so in the same way.
Date:Monday August 30 2010
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