It had been known for some time that David Marshall has been suffering with an elbow injury for most of this season and he has now been ruled out for the rest of the campaign because he needs an operation on it. However, what comes as a surprise is that Tom Heaton, who has looked increasingly confident and competent in recent weeks, has picked up a groin injury which looks set to rule him out for a month or so. It was obvious then that City needed at least one new goalkeeper, hence the earlier moves for Andy Lonergan and Chris Kirkland, but it was still a shock to see that two of them have arrived in the past twenty four hours!
Firstly, Wales International Jason Brown has come in on a months loan from Blackburn. Brown has had spells at Leeds and Leyton Orient this season and was certainly highly thought of by Gillingham fans during his six seasons with them – at five foot eleven, he is short for a keeper, but has good reflexes and is decent shot stopper. As for Bywater, he is here until the end of the season, but Derby County have a twenty four hour recall on him – Bywater, who had a loan spell with us back in 01/02 , has been Derby’s first choice keeper for most of the season playing twenty four matches for them but has been unable to regain his place in their team after returning from injury a week or two ago.
Only insiders at Cardiff City Stadium will know the full circumstances behind all of this, but, to this outsider at least, it does seem a bit of an over reaction to bring in two keepers given that we can only have five loan players in our match day eighteen. Unless there is some sort of special dispensation which I am not aware of that enables emergency goalkeeping signings not to be counted as one of those five, it means that only three out of Bellamy, Olofinjana, Koumas and Emmanuel-Thomas can be included in our squad, but, worse than that, it leaves us in a tricky position when it comes to bringing in the central midfield player that I would like to see to give us the option of being able to switch from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 when required. We were getting over run at times in midfield playing 4-4-2 when Aaron Ramsey was here, so I cannot see how it’s not going to happen now he’s gone.
Finally, unlike a few on the messageboards, I’m not going to prejudge our new keepers, but, it is true to say that between them they have conceded fifteen goals in their last three visits to Cardiff!