If there’s one universal truth about football fans, it’s that they have no idea what makes a good goalkeeper. I thought Richard Knight was a great goalkeeper until he was replaced and his career collapsed. Going back, I thought Steve Hardwick was a great goalkeeper, until Alan Judge replaced him.
I think Billy Turley is a great goalkeeper, and I’m sure he has weaknesses, though I struggle to put my finger on precisely what they are. Chris Wilder’s move to sign Ryan Clarke from Northwich is no cheap short-term understudy. He’s 27 and here for three years so Turley has a contender for his place.
Turley’s age, inevitably, is a factor, he’s probably one bad injury from retirement. As much as his ker-razy antics are loved by the fans, I can’t help thinking his eccentricity get the better of him, and his team mates, when the pressure's on. Whatever the reason, Clarke’s arrival is significant. Wilder may well be looking at this season as transitional for this goalkeepers. Is Turley’s Oxford career going to be over once his contract it up (which is probably at the end of next season).
It’s difficult to know which was the more significant signing, Clarke or Chapman. Everyone loves Chapman and the significance is in the way Thomas and Wilder have nailed the signing of another marketable player with little fuss. I just want to know who the sugar daddy is funding these transfer fees.
Chris Wilder does love a good double signing, so it’s not a surprise that another, Marcus Kelly, was announced alongside Clarke. I have no real opinion of Kelly, apart from the fact that Oxford fans love wingers. We even thought Courtney Pitt was the Messiah for nearly 12 whole minutes.
All good, then. Again. Apart from this unpleasant spat with the Conference organisers. There’s no capital in this. And will only serve to tighten any scrutiny over our season.