Mitchell / Stevens

#1
According to the stats Wimbledon had two shots on target, we concede 2. At Sunderland they only had one shot on target and scored.
Walsall scored two + hit bar, post etc, not sure Mitchell really made any significant saves, similar v Coventry & Accrington.
It is hard to say Mitchell has done anything wrong or is a poor goalie but he doesn't seem to be making any special saves which keeps us in the game. Quite often we can leave a game and say that save from Eastwood/Clarke etc kept us in the game and we have gone on to win.
I can't see that Stevens could have done any worse. If Stevens had played he would have gained valuable experience.
 

ZeroTheHero

Active member
#2
As you say, I'm not sure Mitchell has done that much wrong. The defence in front of him is ramshackle at times, and opposition players are being presented with fairly straightforward chances. I do agree though that it was an odd loan - if Shearer isn't good enough to play he shouldn't be at the club at all (we already have a GK coach), and Stevens signed a one year contract extension in March, which you would think showed the club had some confidence in him. If Stevens wasn't deemed to be up to the mark to be the reserve keeper then Shearer should have been let go and someone brought in who was. As mentioned in another thread, Mitchell's loan also gives us less room for manoeuvre in January (and by god, we will need it).
 
#3
As you say, I'm not sure Mitchell has done that much wrong. The defence in front of him is ramshackle at times, and opposition players are being presented with fairly straightforward chances. I do agree though that it was an odd loan - if Shearer isn't good enough to play he shouldn't be at the club at all (we already have a GK coach), and Stevens signed a one year contract extension in March, which you would think showed the club had some confidence in him. If Stevens wasn't deemed to be up to the mark to be the reserve keeper then Shearer should have been let go and someone brought in who was. As mentioned in another thread, Mitchell's loan also gives us less room for manoeuvre in January (and by god, we will need it).
Agree about the Shearer situation, it was madness. I think Mitchell's loan is up in January. So we'll have to be 'on the ball' to have another player ready to come in!
 

mooro

Active member
#4
As discussed on another thread Stevens has had very good reports wherever he has been over the last couple of seasons (incl Ox City and Tamworth on loan) and in our U23s this season too. Therefore this reluctance to use him when Eastwood got injured was quite a surprise to me and plenty others it seems - particularly if, as someone says above, he only signed an extension in March.

KR did mumble something about there being very big games coming up to throw a newbie into when the injury first happened, but as you say if Shearer couldnt have taken those and given Stevens a go in some of the others, then something is amiss. For all Mitchell's performances, which have been decent if not spectacular and certainly nowhere near as bad as many loan keepers we've seen in recent times, I still cannot stop thinking that his arrival was a waste of a loan, especially as KR also spoke of having to drop another loan deal in order to get him (cannot remember whether he specified a name/position).

Saying all that however, I find it interesting that despite being our leading young keeper for the last 2/3 seasons (since Crocombe left), Stevens has never been given a first team outing by any of our last three managers. although I think this did include Eastwood's ever-present season, which I frankly thought was a tad unnecessary/selfish when a youngster could have been blooded in the odd cup game or three...

Being a young keeper must be intensely frustrating, knowing that with only one position in the side, your prospects for getting senior game-time are extremely limited, so it must be a massive kick in the teeth to see someone brought in ahead of you like this, without even being given the opportunity to show what you can do on the big stage....

A situation to watch, not least to work out who the dissenting voice is among the coaching staff, but with Agboola finishing a loan about now, then worth seeing whether Manny is sent out again or put into U23 games ahead of Stevens. Either way, I suspect that JS will be out on loan in January if not before, but maybe this time with an eye to a permanent move....
 

unification

Active member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#5
Saying all that however, I find it interesting that despite being our leading young keeper for the last 2/3 seasons (since Crocombe left), Stevens has never been given a first team outing by any of our last three managers. although I think this did include Eastwood's ever-present season, which I frankly thought was a tad unnecessary/selfish when a youngster could have been blooded in the odd cup game or three...
That quite frankly sums it up. If none of our managers have been willing to give him a go, and a couple of those valued young players, doesn't that suggest he isn't ready?

This is an typical fans' response to a crisis - make a hero out of a youth teamer based on very little evidence.

How many of us have seen him play? 'Good reports' are one thing but seeing them play in the flesh and taking into account the level he's been playing at have got to be considered.

I did see Stevens play for Oxford City vs St Albans last year. My impression was one of a very good shot stopper, but a bit flappy at crosses. He made a rash error that ended up giving away a free kick that lead to St Albans' late equaliser. To me, he looked ok but League 1 ready? No chance.

That said, the goalkeeping situation this year has been utter B*****s. Losing Eastwood was obviously bad, but wasting a loan when we had Shearer and Stevens available has left a sour taste in the mouth.
 

ZeroTheHero

Active member
#6
This is an typical fans' response to a crisis - make a hero out of a youth teamer based on very little evidence.
Not sure that's really the case. The discussion is whether either Shearer and Stevens (one experienced, one a relative youngster just given a contract extension) could either singly or more likely between them have covered for Eastwood's absence rather than to have loaned in a not quite so young and but also very inexperienced (just 5 senior games for Luton) keeper. And if Shearer/Stevens are not capable of playing in the first team, why is the former employed at the club?
 

Foley

Well-known member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#7
Fair question re Shearer.
It is a big problem when a keeper is by far and away the Number 1 (Spurs seem to be having a problem with Lloris out).
So back up keepers are not going to play unless there is a suspension or short term injury.
If there is a long term injury there is a problem.
I reckon that it was potentially a waste of money keeping on Shearer. Stevens is clearly not seen as good enough to play a dozen games.
As somebody else suggested three managers have not used Stevens (and I agree that Eastwood playing every game including cup games maybe wasn't sensible).
 
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