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Max appreciation thread

Not once this season have I thought....

I wish we still had Stocko between the sticks (and I am a massive Stockdale fan)

Outfield players often take the plaudits, but Max deserves a special thread in my books. Immense for us this season. Has won us more points than we probably give him credit for with some sensational keeping.

I have full trust and faith in him.

I think the Bishop/Man U bullshit was a blessing in disguise 🙏



  • Well on the way to cult hero status.

  • Max's shot stopping, handling, command of his area and calmness with the ball at his feet is as good as any keeper we've had. If he could launch counter attacks as well as Stockdale could he'd be the complete keeper.

  • He's been absolutely fantastic ! I don't care if the odd kick goes astray

  • I’m going to dust off the old cliche….

    If he could kick as well as Stockdale he wouldn’t be at Wycombe.

    Mind you, if he keeps up this shot stopping ability and ’feel’ for tone management, he might even be at a premier league club.

  • The distance he gets on punches is incredible. On kicks as well but that’s a slightly different story. Max is amazing.

  • Just to mention we played the ball back to him to kick it long / find his man in the build up to one of the goals Tuesday night. Team mates seem to trust his kicking.

    l agree at no point this season since Max arrived have I thought missing Stoko.

  • I'm regularly impressed/ astounded by how often Max will catch and hold a cross or shot that most keepers would simply punch or parry. He's a serious physical presence too. Love him.

  • A penny for @glasshalfempty‘s thoughts?

    I agree, Max has been sensational.

  • I can confirm that as recently as the Sheff Weds game he was waxing lyrical about the big Pole in the goal.

    And rightly so, he's been an absolute revelation

  • Absolutely love the polecat. As I’ve said before, best keeper since Martin Taylor…and he has a bit of villainy in him too.

  • Like all good keepers slightly mad. Stocko in a wacky way. Max has more ruthless psycho about him. Love it.

  • edited January 2023

    Max has been quite a find and had he been here all season may well have won the Golden Glove.

    I think Dale better earn his pennies elsewhere.

  • He’s been rather good hasn’t he?

    I thought he was a downgrade on David Stockdale but if anything he’s been an upgrade. He’s been remarkably consistent and the way the ball sticks to his gloves gives confidence to both his team mates and supporters alike. We even saw on Tuesday that his distribution in improving. It illustrates how good our recruitment is.

  • He reminds me of Paul Hyde a lot - forceful, fearless, aggressive, intimidating. He combines that with mobility and fast reactions. He's a very impressive shot stopper and has decent positioning. I really do see why he's popular around these parts.

    But... Goalkeeper seems to be the position that's evolved the most over the last few years. When Pep arrived on these shores he almost reinvented the role. Now a keeper needs to be as capable with his feet as he is with his hands, coming out of the box and working as a sweeper, allowing the defence to push up the pitch. He needs the vision to dictate play and the distribution to get the ball out fast and accurately to players making a break.

    Perhaps we were spoilt with Stockdale who had all the latter skills, though I accept he lacked a few of the former (aggression in particular).

    If we were a team that played out from the back I could see Max being absolutely fine for us. He could just roll the ball out to Alfie, Taf, JJ or Obita and let them do the job of stroking it through the thirds. But given we rely so heavily on long balls to the target man and fast counter attacks, I really just don't see Max being the right keeper for us in the longer term, not unless he can improve distribution and be willing to come out of his box.

    Maybe he can do that and I just haven't seen enough. But I just don't think he's yet the complete goalkeeper that we had with Stockdale in a set-up where we surely need the skills that Max currently lacks.

  • I’m gonna keep badgering on about it but his long ball upfield for our second goal against Oxford was just sublime.

  • On the subject of goal-kicks, this is very interesting:

  • If we are at the point where we are relying on a goalkeeper to start attacks more than keep the ball out of the net, we need to have a look in the mirror.

    Seriously, how many attacks resulting in goals do you expect a goalie to make? Saving goals the other way is just as valuable, and Max has conceded just 4 goals in the past 10 league games. How is that not enough? Should he have 10 assists too?

    If we cannot fashion goals with the ten outfield players, that is not a problem to lay at the feet of the goalkeeper. Yes, in an ideal world he would have Stocko's distribution, but that is an absolute bonus for a #1, not anywhere near a prime directive.

  • edited January 2023

    Some of the points about Max's distribution are valid, but if it was as good as some people want it to be, he'd be playing in the Championship. Stocko was a unique case - but he could be a bit of a liability, otherwise he might still have been playing in the Championship.

    So, I guess it comes down to: would you rather a strong shot-stopper with sub-par (but seemingly improving) kicking; a sub-par shot-stopper with strong kicking; or someone around average in both aspects? I think the data would suggest the former benefits us the most.

  • edited January 2023

    By the way, if we want to get really technical, he's about average in the league for creativity among goalkeepers. It's a negligible amount, but no League One GK is setting the world alight there. Only two GKs in the top four divisions have created more than one big chance this season...

  • Wouldn’t you expect the Wycombe goalkeeper to be higher in those stats given the way we play?

  • Not really as it's rare a goal-kick directly leads to a chance. You could maybe look at how often a chance ultimately comes from a goal-kick via however many outfield players, but that's not the easiest thing to assess.

  • He had a very bad game kicking in to the wind the other week and has shanked a few elsewhere but also has his assist and completed passes, as others have pointed out it's not our only method of attack and others have decent long passing.

    Doing a cracking job of keeping the ball out of the net will do for me.

  • ‘Doing a cracking job of keeping the ball out of the net will do for me.’

    No further discussion needed, this says it all. There is no such thing as the perfect footballer, but if their good points outweigh the bad then they will enjoy a successful career.

  • I struggle to see how you've sustained a career in commentary if one view means no further discussion is needed. But so be it. The judge and jury has decided.

  • As I said at the start of this thread .. he keeps the ball out of the net, he's a great keeper, it's all they are meant to do !.... stop. Over. Thinking. It

  • edited January 2023

    It doesn't matter so much at our level and Max's kicking deficiencies have been blown massively out of proportion, but there's some serious oversimplification of the role of a modern goalkeeper going on here.

  • edited January 2023

    Spot on. If he always conceded four goals every ten matches like this past run, he can spend the rest of the game doing interpretive dances in a panda costume for all I care.

  • Well I’ve been doing the job for about 50 years so I must be doing something right. I struggle to see how you can watch Max every week and think he’s one of the worst goalkeepers in League One. As far as this thread is concerned, the judge and jury have indeed decided and you seem to be the only dissenting voice.

  • I often wonder if more opportunities can be created from goalkicks. Something out of the ordinary to baffle the opposition like put all your players down the touchline. Not sure what my example achieves but there has to be a tactic that works more in our favour than just lumping it down the pitch.

    Same with throw ins. I'm sure there is a stat whereby the majority of throw ins result in giving up possession.

  • Indeed he does (seem to be the only dissenting voice). Nature of the beast, I reckon. Seems to delight in identifying and giving voice (very articulately) to negative aspects of situations, reputations and perceived intentions.

    I suppose it’s good in a way to have someone to keep the optimists among us from getting too carried away !

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