Monday, 6 May 2013

Allsop looks supreme as AFCB's No1 but who is No2?

Ryan Allsop or Rocky as he is affectionately know really has been one of AFCB's best signings in the last year. He seems utterly fearless and composed when under pressure and has made some outstanding saves since he has been in goal for the Cherries, especially the remarkable penalty save he made against Oldham. I have the feeling that he will be AFCB's first goalkeeper choice for some time to come barring injury.

The question that is harder to answer is, who is Eddie Howe's No 2 goalkeeper? It was a bit of a surprise to me that Darryl Flahavan was given a new one year contract at the start of May as he had not featured much in the last year with his shoulder operation and we had not heard much about his performances apart from the Hampshire Senior Cup. It seems that he did enough to impress Eddie Howe in training and he will certainly be competition for the goalkeepers' shirt. I felt that he was a good shot stopper but I don't think he is big enough to fill the goal and good strikers can take advantage of this no matter how agile he is.

Darryl will want to be first choice keeper but I don't think he is as good as Ryan and will more likely be battling out with Shwan Jalal for the subs bench next season. Shwan is either Mr Brilliant or Mr Sloppy in my book. He makes saves that he really shouldn't at times and then let's shots in that would seem bread and butter to a five year old - don't remind me of the first Portsmouth game last season. I don't know whether it's a concentration thing or something else, but he has shown that he can be an amazing keeper and it is frustrating when he makes simple errors. 

I get the feeling that the next season will be make or break for both Darryl and Shwan at AFCB. They have to push Ryan for that No1 shirt and while they will both be involved in training and perhaps the odd game in the cups, three into one just doesn't go. Darryl's age is also creeping up at 34 although goalkeepers are said to get better with age.

There is also the development squad keeper Benjamin Buchel but I don't think he will come into Howe's thinking unless we have several goalkeeping injuries. I understand Benjamin himself has been injured while playing for Dorchester.

The goalkeepers' position is the most crucial on the pitch in my book. I just wonder if Eddie Howe is happy with his keepers or will he accept offers for Jalal and seek another more experienced goalie this summer?

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