Often Partisan

Three is the Magic Number

David Lucas became the second player to sign for Blues this summer after penning a one year deal with Birmingham City following his release from Rochdale. The thirty-four year old keeper was a player/coach at Rochdale but will only be fulfilling playing duties whilst at St Andrews providing backup for Colin Doyle and Jack Butland.

It’s a transfer that has caught people off-guard somewhat; many assumed that because Lucas had been a GK coach at Rochdale he would continue the same at St Andrews whilst some of the more gloomy Blues fans prophesied that this would hasten the sale of Jack Butland from the club. To be fair to Blues they have emphasised that Lucas has been brought in as a third keeper, and that Butland would remain at Blues unless someone really did make an “eye-popping” offer.

I’m of the belief it’s a good transfer. With the matchday squad at 18 this year it means that Blues will have to have two keepers available for every game, and thus is makes sense to have a third keeper available should injury strike – particularly if they’re not on much money and they’re not expecting to be in the team. Other than Butland and Doyle Blues would be reliant on Nick Townsend, who is only seventeen and has yet to sign his first professional deal – it would be a big ask to ask the young lad to step up to the bench and potentially the team, especially as the season wore on.

I’m also of the belief that this signing has backed Blues into a corner over Butland; they really can’t sell him now unless an unbelievable offer comes in because anything else would result in (potentially justifiable) accusations of the club lying to the fans. Of course the big question is how much is an “eye-popping” offer; I think most would agree that if someone like Man City rocked up with a £20million bid for the lad we’d have to snap their hands off but I’m not sure how many would feel the same if Butland was sold to a significantly lower bid; especially with stories of a £6million bid being rejected already.

I can understand why there is widespread cynicism around the fanbase over whether Butland will still be a Blues player on September 1 but I think right now we have to give the club the benefit of the doubt. They’ve laid out the terms of reference – nothing but a silly bid will see him leave the club – and I think we have to take the club at their word that this will be the case until something happens otherwise to disprove that. I think we also have to give the club and Lee Clark credit that they are trying to build the squad up to a level that can compete in this division; Lucas may be 34 but in goalkeeping terms that’s not incredibly old and there is no denying that he was a talent when he was younger.

The Newcastle Chronicle confirmed yesterday that an approach for Steve Harper was rejected but I’m led to believe that the search for a replacement for Dave Watson is progressing apace and that the club should meet their aim of appointing a new GK coach by the time they leave for Austria at the end of the week.

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46 Responses to “Three is the Magic Number”

  • joking says:

    David Lucas was a player/coach at rochdale and could help in that role also

  • Rickster says:

    I was worried at the start of this transfer window of the usual rape and pillage. But for the first time I can remember our beloved club seem to be building the core and foundation. How many seasons have we struggled with injuries and players out of position. I see a little ray of light for us finally! KRO

  • Quokkasskip says:

    Why waste loads of money and wages on a 3rd choice keeper that may never play. Sensible if not uninspiring signed.
    The lack of squad caught up with blues last year. Maybe we can build a decent sized squad this year.

  • Paul Carter - TVOR says:

    Never heard of him but good luck to the guy

  • p says:

    imo it depends what sort of performance jb puts in at the Olympics, if he has a poor tournament it will put potential suitors , but will blues fans then question lee clarkes decision to make him no1 keeper?.

  • bluesbot says:

    Butland will be a star for team gb and his value will skyrocket

  • Bluenosesol says:

    If we got a genuine offer of £6milion, then I would expect us to ratchet that by negotiation to about 7.5, then for a club in our position and as long as PP promises at least 50% of it for new players, we would me crazy not to sell.

    • Jay Sidney says:

      I thought Blues had already turned down a £6m bid from Southampton for Jack Butland. Did it include a load of add-ons, ifs and maybes?

      If £6m is not seen as “eye-popping” I can’t see that £7.5m would be, either.

      • almajir says:

        And therein lies the problem – one man’s “eye-popping” is another mans “not enough”.

        I personally do not believe Butland is worth more than £7million in cash. Many will disagree with me.

        • Paul Carter - TVOR says:

          Not me nor any rational thinking Blue.

          None of us have seen him play a first team game yet and if he is worth £7m why the hell was he not playing for us last year. He may have saved us a few points.

        • jeff says:

          it,s a hard one dan.yes loads of potential but he hasn,t kicked a ball for blues.so if he was sold for 7m we havn,t in one way lost anything because he,s never played a game for us.if he went on to be a megastar then we would say we,ve given him away.im just glad a self sustaining plan is in place now.cut your cloth accordingly.so i,m with mr pannu.swansea and norwich both got promotion with a squad that would have had no 20k a week earners.blackpool did it with under 10k.it,s a myth that we cannot go up .if we,re organised and committed we have players on our books who can win and change games.a fit fahey and we would have beat blackpool last year in the p/o.s.i,m up for the new season and welcome wor lee and his team to blues. all the very best lee and thank you for (through your interviews)showing a great desire to be at stans

  • david says:

    Wheres Myhill gone ??

  • pierre says:

    remember craig gordon was it 9 million, where is he know?

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Good shout, I understand he is now a free agent after being released. I recall his transfer fee was £9m and he is still only 29! Maybe one that Blues should have considered?

      • jeff says:

        craig gordon on his day would be right up there with anyone.only joe hart above him.craig ,if he stays fit will be a bargain for someone.

  • nicky wicky says:

    Like i said yesterday. This year Blues are going to sign a lot of quality bosmans and loans so they can make a serious challenge for automatic or 3rd spot. David Lucas is just one of those bosmans. LC wants 3 keepers in case of injuriy,but there still writing rubbish about blues in the nationals!

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    We’ve seen with Doyle that a weak goalkeeper has a negative effect on the defence in addition to his own deficiencies. I lost count the number of the ‘safe’ ball back to Doyle was rejected in favour of putting it into defence. The back four need confidence in their goalie. Would Lucas give it them?

    • nicky wicky says:

      bhamcityjul look mate you can coutn on one hand the mistakes that Doyle made compared to mall the ones Myhill made in away matches,and he saved pens.you can’t blame him for dodies goal in the play offs the weather was awfull, and it was hard to get a grip on the ball. the rest of the players were slipping overon the pitch as well!

      • Peckham_Blue says:

        Agreed. Doyle’s a very good keeper.

        • BobbyBlue says:

          You can count them on one hand because he wasnt the no.1. For me, there is no doubt the back four look nervous when he played. He looked nervous himself when he played. Nerves, however, are something that could be sorted by regular football. An understading would develop.

          But Doyle as blues number 1? I imagine he’ll be given the shirt at the start of the season whilst JB is unavailable and so he then has a chance to make it his own. If he doesnt impress then he’ll be back to his usual role, just like when Brucie made him no.1 for the start of the prem a few years back.

          From what i’ve seen over the years, he lacks the decisiveness and communication/presence to be a top keeper. Am expecting Butland (if he’s still with us) to take the shirt off him.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    Imagine the up~roar from some posters on here if ALMAJIR wrote a headline after BLUES were promoted to the prem.

    BLUES bid 6 million for S`hampton goalkeeper who has never played for there 1st team.

    ……….. “MELTDOWN” ……………….

    • jeff says:

      that is true.i,d like to keep the home grown kids for as long as possible but it could be argued selling a keeper for 6m plus who hasn,t kicked a ball for us is money for old rope.i could see the money men thinking that way

      • Bluenosesol says:

        Exactly – Butland is a 6-7 million pound extravagance for us. I say sell him, but only if a large proportion of the money goes to LC. If it goes into the coffers simply to increase the future value of the club, then keep him!

        • nicky wicky says:

          very short sighted. hes gonna save us some points this year and increase his value!

          • Bluenosesol says:

            Yes and the players we would buy with the money- dont they enhance our ability to progress? There are 11 players on the field!

  • A third keeper is essential. All you need is a broken finger, the second choice suspended for a reckless dive at the feet of an attacker and hey presto, No 3 you’re on! Three senior keepers are required at this level of football and I think all the talk about Butland going elsewhere is hot air balloon journalism.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Bazza, totally agree, even last season we had three keepers, admittedly Butland went out on loan, but there was certainly a recall option, which was invoked when Myhill was injured!

  • Art Watson says:

    Just another angle on the potential Butland transfer and all the hype on his value and the clubs commitment not to sell him unless pots of money is on offer.

    If he is eventually sold I very much doubt the club will disclose the transfer fee so they are in a win win situation with the fans and can still claim they have kept their promise not to sell him unless a substantial offer comes in.

    How would we ever find out?

    • Dan H says:

      In theory the accounts will tell you how much BCFC made from player sales, subject to them being filed this could be 12 months or longer !

      Even though the figures are undisclosed they soon come out via – agent, player, journalists connected with the other club etc

  • DoctorD says:

    That’s gotta be the phrase of the summer for Blues fans — “eye-popping”.

    By the way, who are the only really big earners in the current Blues squad? If it’s just Zigic, I wonder if that is/will be leading to some form of rivalry?

    • almajir says:

      I think it is just Zigic now.

      Interesting point re rivalry, but I don’t think that’s the case.

      • Dan H says:

        I think Pannu must have learnt a lot about contracts from the Zigic situation. Is it correct he got a pay rise this year?

        Ziggy must think his agent’s a legend

        One thing you can say about Brady she always got the contracts to include relegation clauses which safeguarded the club (granted she took a big cash payment when they left), I think Ridgewell was affected by this when we got relegated, hence the push to move !

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Getting back to having a goalkeeping coach,!!. it is a pity that Ian Bennet or Maik Taylor,?. are both still playing, either one spent a long time with us and would be good methinks,!!.

    Almajir, any comments,?.

    • almajir says:

      If I was going to look at a former Blues goalie I’d go for Martin Thomas, who is a goalie coach for the FA and from what I’ve heard is quite a good one.

      • Oldbluenose says:

        Forgotten about him,!!.

        I have also just remembered Mike Kelly,!!. Was he not also something to do with the F,A, ?.

        Any idea whether either may be available at all,?. Almajir,!!.

  • andy says:

    Does my memory serve me right Almajir, that Blues did put a £12 Million price tag on the head of Redmond last season? Esp after Man City were rumoured to be interested. I think this is the eye popping figure Blues are talking about, and in my opinion, rightly so. We should not sell our prized assets unless we get offers just too ridiculous to refuse.

  • andy says:

    I would class those type of figures as eye popping bids. I certainly would be disappointed if Blues accepted anything less esp if Southampton did have a £6 Mill bid rejected.

  • Hardwick says:

    some of these transfer figures are or can be misleading…..for instance, £6m sounds good on the face of it but there’s very little chance of that being paid upfront. My information is that the fee is paid over the lifetime of the players contract and also related to appearances, international call-ups etc etc. So, if a club paid £6m for Butland totally upfront then that would be “eye-popping”….but def not so if that was £1m down and the rest over 4 years

  • Bluehobba says:

    I think all eyes will be on the olympics and how well he does there. Hughton never rated him and then changed his mind. Lee Clark has probably seen him at Cheltenham on loan and now making Butland feel wanted. I am not sure how you can put a valuation on a youngster like that but the more the better to keep the prem dogs away. While he hasn’t played for Blues yet, we haven’t missed him yet. Good luck to him at the olympics I say as it can only be good for Blues.

  • andy says:

    The thing for me is that Blues should hold onto their young players as they represent the future of the football club. Now whilst Redmond is not yet the finished article, he is a tremendous talent and has shown why he would require an eye popping fee, Im sure Butland will be in a Blues shirt this coming season and hopfully show us why he commands so much attention.

  • Cleggy says:

    I think generally Blues have been spoiled in the goalkeeping department over the last few years. Hart’s loan and then the Foster buy (the best signing in recent Blues history if you ask me) meant we had quality English custodians for three years. Maybe we’ve been a little spoiled even? Myhill was decent and I felt criticism of him was a little harsh but then he had big gloves to fill. We should get behind Doyle as I doubt Butland will be given the number one slot and hope the Irishman shows the short of form that a few years ago got him the nod ahead of the excellent Maik Taylor.

  • Paulo says:

    I am just worried that all this hype / media / agent talk about Jack Butland doesn’t have a negative effect on him! I’m sure he has the potential to be awesome …but what happens to all this chat about him if (probably ‘when’) he doesn’t stop the goals against us ..who’s gonna turn on him first?

    I know it’s a lot to ask, but Doyle will get on form with match time, and right now – Butland has zero hours Championship experience, let alone Premiership!!!

    Well, let’s hope the new goalie coach fits in ok and we can see the training pay off on the pitch.

    I mean ..Joe Hart was always going to be good, I doubt we will get so lucky as to have a long serving keeper like him!!


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