Date: 7th February 2007 at 5:22pm
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The raging debate goes on. Should goalkeeper Rhys Evans still be between the sticks? Why is this question being asked? Is it because he really isn`t good enough or just a case of fans finding something to moan about?

Personally, I`m sick of logging onto the internet and finding that yet again Blackpool ‘fans’ feel the need to slate their number one. I`d much prefer to hit the World Wide Web and find that we`re interested in so and so from Yeovil Town for example. I see absolutely no point in moaning about – in my opinion – one of the best buys of the close season.

The Seasiders have shipped 33 goals so far this season, and there are 15 other teams who have conceded more – so why the panic about a ‘keeper? Has he even been that bad? Or are these fickle fans looking for an easy target?

Many use the argument that Lee Jones won player of the year last term, and so why hasn’t he kept the jersey? Well for me, ‘Jonesy’ is an ageing stopper who certainly has his best years well and truly behind him. Also, why did he win player of the season in the last campaign? Because there was no-one else who came close, as the team were that poor! Simon Grayson, despite a clamour for Jones to be reinstated as number one, never really fancied Lee this season, and it was no surprise when he moved on to Darlington last week permanently after a loan spell.

Now, look at Evans for a minute. He also scooped all the end of year awards at his club, Swindon Town. However, this does not mean a lot as Town were relegated. Born in 1982, the goalkeeper is still only 25 and has his best years ahead of him. He is an excellent shot stopper (anyone with a different opinion obviously didn’t go to the Cheltenham game!), and seems a calm level headed person – surely the ingredients to become a good number one?

Many say his communication is lacking and he does not command his area. Without wanting to sound controversial, is Jackson’s communication all that it`s cracked up to be? He looks to do a lot of barking (no pun intended) at players without any real purpose. The defence as a whole hasn’t looked that organised (this is down to Jackson?), and it’s proven as we very rarely keep clean sheets – just six all season. There is a lack of trust with goalkeeper and defenders, but looking from afar I can see that Evans isn’t confident with his defenders, as much as it is visa versa. This is obviously going to take time, and as soon as Gorkss is moved into the middle alongside Evatt the better for Evans and the backline in my opinion.

The signing of Paul Rachubka will keep Evans on his toes, as the loanee from Huddersfield is quite experienced at our level, but Rhys has a big personality within the dressing room which helps him even if he has a string of bad games.

If Evatt and Barker are as perfect as they’re made out to be they wouldn`t be playing for Blackpool. Neither would Andy Morrell. Neither would Keigan Parker and so on… If any of the players were the complete player, they’d be off and the club would cash in. None of the first team at this moment in time are that good – otherwise they wouldn`t be playing at our level. The same goes for Evans.

Give the lad a break. The guy is un-droppable!

 

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