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Saints Set To Agree Deal With Keeper
Wednesday, 26th Jun 2024 09:15

According to sources, as the saying goes, Southampton are about to agree a new contract with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, therefore putting an end to the speculation that he might join Liverpool.

This has been a strange season for Alex McCarthy, due to his inability to play tippy tappy football with his feet, he found himself 3rd choice keeper for most of the campaign and then when Gavin Bazunu suffered an injury in the warm up against Preston, found himself jumped into the team, despite that fact that he hadn't even been named on the bench.

On reflection this can be seen as a pivotal moment of the season, not because of his performances, in truth conceding 8 goals in the 3 games, after his surprise recall, including a 5-0 drubbing at Leicester this was not his or the teams finest moment.

But because it meant that Russell Martin had to adapt his possession football game and we could no longer play it to the maximum, this was no bad thing and after we had got those initial 3 games out of the way, we suddenly looked a team that was happy in playing the way it now was.

Right up to the moment of his return from exile, most had assumed that McCarthy would be leaving at the end of the season with his contract up and allegedly being one of the highest earners with Liverpool being touted as the most likely destination with back up keeper at Anfield Caoimhin Kelleher, himself linked with a move to St Mary's, likely to leave.

But now it seems that McCarthy might be staying teamtalk claiming that the keeper has been in talks with Saints about a new deal and that both parties are close to finalising the deal.

That is news that will stir up a mixed reaction amongst Southampton supporters, on one hand most would consider him a ok back up, but on the other, to be blunt, if we are intending to play what will be at best 3/4 of the season with McCarthy in goal and then bring back Gavin Bazunu near the end of the season, that with respect to both keepers does not look the ideal game plan.

It should be remembered that in his 8 seasons at the club McCarthy has managed just 129 regular season League games and has never gone a whole season as the undisputed number one, in comparison, Gavin Bazunu has played 73 games in just two seasons.

History shows us that during his career McCarthy has been able to put in some good periods of performances, but he seems to lack the concentration and application to be able to keep up those standards over an entire year.

On the plus side if McCarthy was to be considered the new number one for next season, then it would mean a virtual abandonment of the possession football game to the extend that Russell Martin played it until McCarthy's arrival back in the team with 5 games to go.

It was always going to be hard to implement anyway, we struggled to play it against Birmingham City away, so how we would fare against Manchester City is not worth thinking about, in that matter Leicester City showed us a glimpse into the future last season.

So yes sign up Alex McCarthy as back up, but if we are going to use him as first choice from the start of the season, we could well be in trouble, we need an experienced goalkeeper at the peak of his game, someone who can organise and is solid.

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redwight added 10:45 - Jun 26
I think this serves only to demonstrate that the club's belief in Bazunu for the long term is unshakeable, meaning that there was never any point in spending big on a 'keeper who would only be number one for a single season.
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Bowlercow added 11:40 - Jun 26
Depends on how long Bazunu is out for Could still buy a number 1 and sell Lumley Or even bring Lis home
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saintmark1976 added 13:27 - Jun 26
Mccarthy for all his perceived faults is a far better proper goalkeeper than Bazunu will ever be.

Agreed he struggled with tippy tappy but I’m convinced that Bazunu’s unfortunate injury leading to McCarthy taking his place, is the reason that we are playing in The Premiership next season.

Frankly, he deserves a new contract for his end of season contribution alone.
1

Monksway added 15:32 - Jun 26
Disappointed if true. Even forgetting his inability to play out from the back McCarthy is not a really good keeper when we are under the cosh! Money must be tight but a false economy for me.
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Jesus_02 added 16:13 - Jun 26
I'm not sure that some people watch the same game to be honest. Bazunu is an exceptional young goalkeeper. McCarthy on top form is mid at best.

Bazunu is better in all aspects, better positionally, better shot stopper and distribution wise he is streets ahead.

He has been asked to play a specific way by RM in order to get us out of The Championship.

Of course if we try to play that way against Man City we will suffer. However Man City are not going to come to St Marys, shut up shop and play for a point like 90% of Championship teams so im hoping that we play more like we did against Leeds.

We do need to strengthen in that department so I wouldn't welcome McCarthy staying on. Lumley wasn't trusted when the time came so he will need to be loaned out as well. The End of McCarthys contact should be an opportunity to find alternatives. He is 34 surely we can find someone that age that would welcome a final fling in the Prem
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AirFlorida added 09:19 - Jun 28
Bazunu is a terrible shot stopper, i can't believe some of the comments on here saying he's better than Mccarthy. Granted, Mccarthy has periods when he turns to shit (especially near post syndrome) and needs dropping to reset, but when we're talking about goal keeping basics, commanding the box, making saves from distance and giving the defence confidence (ie when he comes for a ball) you know he's less likely to flap than baz. He's head and shoulders over Baz.. Which is another point, baz is short for today's keepers (at just over 6 feet). Unless you have the extra ability to deal with being shorter (ie pickford) then you're going to spend games flapping and letting in long range efforts because you don't have that reach.

Oh yeah baz is good with his feet apparently- if that's your argument put him in midfield. Mccarthy forced a change of style in the POs and that is one of the key reasons we won the POs. His commanding of his box, those two massive punches to clear the ball out of the area under immense pressure is what he does better than baz. Do I want Mccarthy as our number one? NO! He dips in form during a season. We need a new keeper, an experienced one and I'd love us to spend big but FFP rules probably say no. So Mccarthy starts number one, with Lumley as back up we saw how baz performed last time out in the prem, so loan baz out when he's fit, sell him and try and recoup some money.
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underweststand added 09:45 - Jun 28
(read above)...seems to be split judgements on our goalies capabilities already.
Clearly age is not an issue for goalkeepers, as many can still get lucrative contracts when they are past 35, and McCarthy DAJFU in the play-off games and helped get us promotion.

In the present circumstances it's a common sense decision to keep him for another season ..(or two) ..until we can get a stable group of custodians to choose from.
Whether people see Bazunu as a promising young keeper with prospects, the real issue has to be - WHEN he will return and be the fit, agile keeper we need for the future. In the long term we need to sign "another Bazunu" capable of challenging for the role, and /or be good enough for the No.1 spot (if and when required).
I expect / hope to see a good young keeper with league experience on the books soon and see McCarthy start the season, continuing - as long as necessary - until we get it sorted.
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