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Jamal Blackman

Now I've only seen three games so far this year, but I've consistently been very, very impressed by our young loanee keeper. He doesn't quite have the air of quiet confidence, authority and competence that Tom Heaton had, but it still seems to me he's got all the attributes to have a career at the highest level.

And yet there are tweets like this:

This is from someone who has almost certainly seen more games than me, so I guess chances are they are more likely to be right tan I am. But what they are saying is completely irreconcilable with my experience, and so distant from my views that it confounds me.

Has Blackman been a good signing so far? And (sorry Scott Brown, you've done nothing wrong) can we extend him for the rest of the season please.


  • @Chris was it an enjoyable game yesterday?

  • I've been impressed with Blackman. I agree with your comparison to Heaton but he was exceptional.
    Looks like the guy on Twitter is just an idiot who disagrees for the sake of it.

    I'm more than happy for Blackman to carry on at Wycombe for as long as he wants.

  • In short, yes.

    The first half was great and we deserved to go in in front. They couldn't handle Akinfenwa at all, he was winning most of his headers despite multiple markers and flicking them on into dangerous areas too. Paris and Hayes were excellent alongside him, benefiting from the space he provided drawing in their players. At one point a defender kicked the ball out for a throw in under no pressure because he was scared of Akinfenwa behind him.

    The second half was different, I think they changed their shape and we struggled to deal with it. There were a few periods where we couldn't seem to get on the ball, and they had plenty of crosses that they should have put away. If Bean or Weston had been fully fit I'm pretty sure we would have seen one of them come on. 1-1 was a fair result.

    Gape continued to impress. Rowe had a quiet game and couldnt seem to get involved, partly down to the role he was asked to play I suspect.

    The referee was awful (and I'm not one to usually criticise referees who do their best in an exceedingly tough job) giving many, many fouls against us for seemingly little contact. This resulted in Ainsworth charging on to the pitch after the final whistle and having to be held back by Akinfenwa. Ainsworth also encouraged the fans to continue chanting 'shit referee' at the end which was amusing but also probably unwise.

    Another downside was the negativity of some fans - shouting at Bloomfield in the first half that he does nothing, until he scored; criticising Harriman for his positioning at corners when presumably he's just doing what he's told, etc etc.

    The gamesmanship of Mansfield at an uncontested(ish) drop ball after an off-the-ball incident with Akinfenwa (no idea what happened) when they kicked the ball out for a throw in as close to our corner flag as possible was astounding, and struck me as far worse than any time-wasting or other antics that I've seen from Wycombe in recent times.

  • My take on Blackman is that he has great athleticism and can pull off stunning saves. He also looks like he wants to get the ball into play creatively as opposed to the standard lower league hoof to the crowd approach. Example yesterday a quick ball to JJ on his own on the left. What he doesn't seem to be is that interested in playing league 2 football beyond showing what he can do. This may just be his style and I certainly don't expect him to be kissing the badge but I think he expects to be playing at a higher level soon and is just waiting his turn whilst with us. So at times his head may not quite be in the game. And that's grist to the twitter drone mill.

  • I think he's a brilliant addition to the team, it's nice to have a keeper that knows when to come for corners and crosses and I don't think I've ever seen a Wycombe stopper with faster reactions - or a bigger reach. Combined, that's saved lots of goals others would surely have conceded.

    I'm not sure he's very good at communicating with the defenders or commanding his box though. I don't think I entirely agree with @Manboobs' analysis why, my take is that it's always going to be hard for a kid keeper to shout at experienced, domineering pros like Pierre and Stewart, I also imagine he's a bit embarrassed to have his £13k a week salary in the public domain - it can't be easy to bond with your team mates when you know they know you're earning at least 10 times more than them.

    I suspect that will also have a major bearing on whether we can keep him. Given Chelsea have given him to us for peanuts or for free, it depends on whether they think a full season in League Two will do him good or whether they want him tested higher up the pyramid for the second half.

    I do wonder if Blackman is also being stymied in his distribution by the way the team play. He's got an enormous kick on him which GA takes full advantage of but I suspect he would prefer to be rolling out the ball to the defence and showing off his ability there. I remember him doing that all first half at Luton and doing it really well, then after half time it was all long kicks to the opposition box. A shame if that's the case, he's exactly the keeper we need to play balls out of the defence.

  • Agree with aloysius above on his talent and you may be right about the reasons for the apparent slight disconnect between him and the rest of the team. Unless he tells us I guess we'll never know. Overall though I'm happy to have him - even dressed in that god awful strip.

  • A cursory glance through the tweets of that individual is enough to tell you they're hard of thinking.

  • This cracking save he made right at the end of the game wasn't included in the highlights.

  • I've noticed how, in contrast to many higher clubs, we don't congratulate each other after great stops/clearances, just getting on with it, hope any '£13k resentment' isn't a factor.

  • He seems a decent keeper to me, confident and his distribution is usually very good. A welcome addition.

  • Interesting though @perfidious_albion He certainly doesn't seem like 'one of the lads,' in that clip does he?

  • I can see why he is rated at Chelsea. Two things though. One is the step up from Development Squad bubble. His first handful of games although technically he looked fine his management of the area and crosses was not good. Secondly the £13k a week is not his fault of course not but it is f'ing madness. This has to cause issues with the squad and his discreet car can't help.
    I cannot see him getting the opportunity to pay first team football as Chelsea so he will be a Championship player I am guessing and a decent one.

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