As the season has officially finished, the table has been decided, and all the dust has settled after the released list, we can now look at each of the positions, and see how the players have been over the course of the season. We start today, with the Goalkeepers. This won’t be too difficult, as there was only two.
First up, we will look at this seasons No1, Liam Roberts. Liam came under fire during the 18/19 season, and many felt he could be number 2 this season. However, the introduction of Maik Taylor has seen a growth in Roberts game. It has taken time, and you can tell that Robbo needed to get his confidence back after a disastrous campaign. The first half of the season, we saw a shaky Roberts, who did look shaky every now and then. You could tell there was a hangover from the 18/19 season. However, once he started to get his back into his groove, we saw a real quality keeper, who was making some fantastic saves. I look to the Salford game. He made two world class saves to hand us the three points. The Liam Roberts of the first half of the season probably wouldn’t have made those saves. Something changed in him, and we saw the Roberts that we all knew from a couple of seasons ago. Roberts kept a total of 10 clean sheets in his 32 league appearances, which in this league, is not a bad return at all. His season was much like the teams, he grew as it progressed, and we all hope he can continue that growth next season.
I am glad that he has re-found his form. He is a player that is a Saddler through and through, and the bond he has with fans, especially after wins, where Roberts cheers and celebrates with the fans, it is something we all love. He looks ready to hold that Number 1 Jersey, and stay as our keeper, and I feel, especially after seeing some of the other keepers in our league, that with Robbo in goal, we have one of the best keepers in the League.
Jack Rose barely featured since the last positional review that we did. However, in his only league game since October, Rose made a couple of good saves, and was unfortunate with both goals conceded, poor defending on the first, and a deflection on the second. I would like to have seen more from Rose, and we potentially might have if we had played the rest of the season. Clarke has hinted that we might be looking at those who were on loan, and I would like to see more of Rose. However, overall I feel we need a keeper that will really be pushing Roberts, and I am unsure if Rose was thought of as a someone good enough to be put in goal for a lengthier spell. If we do bring him back, great, he did show signs, and I think another season working with Maik Taylor would improve him, but if we don’t, I won’t be too disappointed.
Keep an eye out over the coming couple of weeks where I will be looking at all the other positions in the squad.