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  • Sorry, but Adam's constant criticism of Blackman is starting to look like an obsession, if not a vendetta, not just in his match reports but on Facebook too. Mention of his save was grudging in the extreme.

  • How do you feel Blackman has performed for us since the Spurs game? Better or worse than before, or at a similar level?

    I haven't seen many games since Spurs so I am intrigued to know what others think. The highlights suggest there have been an increased number of errors lately.

  • Probably slightly worse, but he's hardly the only one, so it's unfair to single him out time and again.

  • I've only seen the Crewe and Coventry games but he still looks better than our level to me. His clearances under pressure are a little bit of a question mark but his general distribution, ability to make difficult saves and height more than make up for it.

  • If we had Brown in goal we would've only conceded 10 goals this season

  • Blackman is having quite a wobble at the moment. His kicking has been terrible in the last few games and there has certainly been one or two other errors. He is a good keeper from what I have seen and his ability to claim crises has been hugely valuable. So hopefully just a blip.

  • I'm hoping it's just poor form (and you're right, he's hardly the only one), but it feels like the mistake against Spurs has really knocked him back. He doesn't seem as assured as earlier in the season.

  • The obsession with slagging off Blackman at every turn makes the rest of the report very unreliable to me. Maybe it's a hang up on the alleged salary he gets at Chelsea. Maybe it's because the writer supports another London team. Maybe it's something else.
    The point is I don't see the same level of poor play with my own eyes. Blackman isn't the finished article and has made a couple more mistakes recently than he did early in his loan. He's a young keeper with limited first team experience. It's going to happen isn't it?

  • Tuesday's goal is an odd one. At the time, I was right in line with the flight of the ball and it looked like Blackman was off his line, didn't move his feet and the ball went right over his head

    Because, I think, of where the ball ends up hitting the net, the TV replay looks a lot kinder. On balance, I think he should have done better. I definitely wouldn't describe it as "unstoppable" as I've seen it described elsewhere.

    He's fine well though I think. Good keeper and a good prospect. Worth noting that the whole back four looks a lot more jittery without Pierre. Plus, I would add, Michael Harriman's form dropping off the edge of a cliff. He is miles better than he is currently playing.

  • My issue with Blackman, is that Brown was injured in the first game of the season, returned and played very well away at Cheltenham, then was shipped out on loan. All while Blackman, in the last month especially, has been at fault for a whole raft of goals we've conceded.

  • Blackman is a good young keeper and the defence as a whole has wobbled in recent games. He stills looks confident to me and afetr all he hasn't given away any penalties. And you know what...sometimes those opposition teams we play against have players who are good at scoring goals.

  • If Blackman was anywhere near the finished article he wouldn't be here. Making mistakes is part of the learning process but Blackman's overall attributes more than make up for these occasional errors.

    We all have irrational opinions (except perhaps Dev!) and clearly the assessment of Blackman's ability is Adam's.

  • The drone army shouting "13 Grand a week Blackman!" every time he makes a slight error certainly doesn't help. We've had very limited opportunities to see how good Brown is, so I don't understand the clamour from the facebook group for his reinstation to the starting XI. Yes he had a good game at Cheltenham, Blackman has had many good games himself, most notably at Cambridge away.

    His physical presence and ability to claim most crosses flighted in towards the 6 yard box outweigh any shot-stopping weaknesses he may have. I wasn't there either on Tuesday but from the highlights available I don't think that goal can be blamed on Blackman.

  • What are these raft of goals he's supposedly at fault for as well?

    Colchester - 1 goal - good shot, not many keepers are saving that
    Carlisle - 2 goals - not at fault
    Crewe - 2 goals - first goal was hit very hard from close range, maybe saveable but other defenders certainly more to blame. Hardly a 'massive error'.
    Stevenage - 3 goals - Shouldn't have given it to Gape in that position, but crowd are always shouting to 'play it short'. Gape equally to blame. Other 2 goals Blackman not at fault.

    He hasn't lived up to some unreasonable expectations people have for a player on Chelsea's books, and I don't think he'll ever play in the Premiership, but we have a lot bigger issues than the goalkeeper's position at present.

  • Brown draws a salary which Cheltenham pay, Blackmans wages get paid by Chelsea, we get a v promising young keeper for free with wages freed up to pay to bring others into a tight budget squad. Net net this is a fine if imperfect deal for the club.

  • I think it's safe to say the drone army as a rule usually just want the player who isn't on the pitch...

  • You serious? Blsckman is a top GK who IMO will play for England 1 day. Anyone who thinks brown is anywhere near him is dillissional.

  • edited February 2017

    Clifty has written the following:-

    "George Elokobi...unleashed what may've been a cross or a shot, and assisted by the treacherous wind the ball flew into the back of the net, with Blackman unnecessarily off his line and poorly positioned."
    Seems about right to me. Blackman was too far off his line on this occasion.

    "...as the half drew on the hosts clawed their way back into proceedings, Blackman saving smartly from Kurtis Guthrie."
    Again - absolutely correct. Good save. This comment doesn't sound particularly grudging in its tone.

    "Guthrie was denied again when Harriman headed off the line after Blackman came and got nowhere near a corner."
    This is an accurate account of what Blackman did. In the 'keeper's defence he may well have been deceived by the flight of the ball as the strong wind was a total bugger for the whole evening.

    I was at the game and I can only find fault with one aspect of his report. PCH was worth a "six", rather than a "five", in my view. His touch and control were not their best on the evening but his effort and work rate both commendable. Otherwise I'd say the report was spot on and I would agree that LukeO deserved "MOM". Well done Clifty and thanks for taking the trouble to write.

  • I did not find the report unduly harsh to be honest @MindlessDrugHoover ...just an honest assessment of what happened. If someone is willing to volunteer to write a match report (step back @bigred87 and @Wwfc2015_ ) I think we can allow them to call it as they see it even if we don't agree.

  • It's only because I enjoy reading Vital articles so much that I made a comment; I do think Adam has consistently been over-critical of Blackman over the past few months, both in match reports and on the Facebook page, when mistakes have been made across the team. I genuinely value his reports though, particularly from away games which I see fewer of these days due to work etc, and I've regularly thanked the Vital team on here for their excellent work.

  • Brown isn't in the same league as Blackman. Yes he makes mistakes but he's a young keeper. Will more than likely be on loan at a League 1 or above side next year.

  • edited February 2017

    Many thanks @Cyclops.
    Just to clarify my stance on Blackman, who admittedly I may've been over critical of.
    He has a lot of strength's, and will play at a higher level (somebody saying he'll play for England is absolutely hilarious mind you). He does generally command crosses well, but has come and missed/flapped at a fair few too. He has also made some world class saves, 2 at Cambridge stand out in particular.
    Scott Brown on the other hand has played nearly his whole career in League Two for a reason. And is unlikely to make some of the world class saves that Jamal has. However, he's a consistent, reliable, solid League 2 keeper.
    Blackman is almost making a howler a game in recent weeks, and they're costing us goals. The only game we've won since Spurs was very fortunate, as Carl Baker missed an open goal following another Blackman horror show. I don't believe Scott Brown would make these regular, and costly errors.
    He wasn't solely at fault for the Elokobi goal on Tuesday, however as @eric_plant interestingly also mentioned, people at the game think he was positioned poorly and the TV angle doesn't do it justice. On TV replays, it looks a wonder goal.
    Maybe it's time to cut back on my Blackman abuse, and yes he's young and learning etc. But his learning is affecting some of our results, in my opinion. My 'opinion' (and a lot of others now) being the key thing.

  • 'A howler a game'

    Not in recent games I've seen he hasn't. Got to be more to this abuse towards a talented young keeper. But maybe I'm in the minority now 'a lot of others' share a fairly extreme view.

  • David James and Bruce Grobellar made "howlers" on a fairly regular basis but that didn't make them poor goalkeepers. They more than made up for them by brilliant saves and cutting out crosses, free kicks and corners and generally controlling the box.

  • Isn't it hard to make comparisons when we have seen so little of Scott Brown. The only indisputable advantage that Jamal has is the extra height and, for that reason, his apparently greater readiness to come for crosses.
    I suppose we are committed to facilitating Jamal's development until the end of the season but I'd be perfectly relaxed about Scott Brown being our number one next season. In saying that, I am mindful of Adam's implication that he is a League 2 goalkeeper so I'd be interested to know whether he thinks we should sign someone else if we are promoted.

  • @clifty04
    I disagree with your comments regarding Blackman being a potential England keeper. He has the attributes and with development, has a real chance.

    People crucified David DeGea for making howlers at Man Utd when he first arrived. 190 games later he's one of the best in the world.

    Jamal Blackman has played 28 times in his professional career in the English leagues.

    Young keepers need development and will make mistakes along the way, yes he has made a few, but he has also been a big part of the drive on 3 competitions this season, made some world class saves and decisions along the way.

  • There's a massive difference between Jamal Blackman and David De Gea @fame_46.
    David De Gea was making these mistakes aged 21, at the biggest club in the country (at the time). Jamal is aged 23, making them at Wycombe Wanderers....

  • De Gea had already played 57 games in Spain before your frame of reference @clifty04.
    I'm not sure how different goalkeeper mistakes are graded depending on what level you play at. The ball is the same size and shape isn't it?

    I'm interested in how your opinion of Blackman is formed from the reported salary he's on and the parent club he plays for.

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