Think it’s quite easy to suggest this now, but at the time we’d been hammered on the opening day and subsequently lost the second when Eastwood was hurt in the warmup. There was no way we could’ve gambled on Stevens if the coaching staff felt he wasn’t ready, and given the run of form and results that came over the first dozen games it could well have destroyed the kid.
The Shearer issue, though, was pretty shambolic. Really bad if he’s not even good enough to play football anymore yet was kept on as the number two. The fact we had to loan another keeper in, rather than our second choice goalie being able to play for ten games max, meant we had to sacrifice a final attacking signing that was planned and resulted in us having nothing up top for half a season bar a barely fit Jamie Mackie. For me that was a huge part in our terrible opening few months.
Hopefully Stevens turns out to be worthy of being a proper second choice, and capable of actually playing a few games if required in the future. I don’t care how much of a cracking lad old ‘Shagger’ may be - being a right old laugh can’t make up for depriving your team of a single fit striker for 20-odd games!
I think we should keep Eastwood in as much as we can and extend our good run. If Stevens plays a blinder today maybe one more game, and use Eastwood for the Luton game.
A good run now may be important for morale at the start of next season.
Stevens looks good as a back up
Only just found this thread - while I am always keen to give our young lads a chance, I do agree that the situation early in the season was maybe not the time to introduce stevens. As a one-off covering suspension (as is happening now) then maybe, and given some time in the Checkatrade then probably, but I can accept that he was not judged ready for an extended spell in a team making a bad start.
The question though, as others have said, is the logic of keeping Shearer, if he was unable to contribute any more than that.
I guess the gamble was that neither would be needed, and that Eastwood would be able to put in another near everpresent season (or at least first half until Stevens was ready).