The first in our end-of-season reviews of every player to have played for the ‘Orns this season
With the 2011/12 season now consigned to the ol` grey matter, Vital Watford take a look at the impact of each and every squad member to have pulled the famous yellow jersey on over the course of the campaign. Whether that was during a two-minute FA Cup appearance or over 46 league games, everyone who made an appearance gets assessed.
Today we kick off with the goalkeepers…
1. Scott Loach:I`ve always backed Scott, but this season the former England U21 international took the next step towards becoming a fully-fledged citizen of blunder city and having defended him to the hilt, I finally lost patience. The fact remains that at 23 and with 185 league starts under his belt the excuse of relative inexperience and youth is wearing thin. He`ll do a job again next season but to an extent, and without trying to be harsh, he is damaged goods as far as a lot of Watford supporters are concerned – 6/10.chrisgwfc: Remains a decent Championship keeper, but his lack of progress has been frustrating. Still looks the same keeper he was when he broke into the team 3 years ago. High profile mistakes have not helped with the crowd on his back.
13. Rene Gilmartin: Whilst I don`t think Rene is a desperately good goalkeeper – I`m no ‘keeper coach but his technique is bizarre – I think he has been unlucky this season. A brief two-game stint as number one was harshly ended after a 4-0 reverse at Southampton, a game where he wasn`t actually at fault for any of the goals. He did well enough at Yeovil to earn the regular ‘keeper`s slot but has been replaced by veteran Dutchman Michael Kuipers at Crawley Town. Regular football elsewhere beckons – 5/10.chrisgwfc: 5/10 – Never really thought he offered genuine competition for Loach and still don`t after his 2 league appearances this season. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was a goalkeeping overhaul at the Vic` this summer.
30. Jonathan Bond: Impressed on his one full appearance this season and is very much tipped to be one for the future. With Gilmartin soon to be departed, I`d expect Bond to move up the pecking order. It might however be more beneficial for the Welsh youth cap to spend a season out on loan in League One or Two. If he can follow a similar career path to Loach, we will definitely be benefitting from his ability soon – 6/10.chrisgwfc: 6/10 – And that overhaul could include a bump up the pecking order for this man. Only played 1 full game this season but looked accomplished dealing with crosses against a physical Bradford side in the FA Cup.
35. Tomasz Kuszczak: I can`t quite gush about Tomasz enough. He has been a revelation, plain and simple, and, much like Michael Kightly, he`s one of those players you feel a little blessed to have seen in a Watford shirt. Sadly for Loach, the Polish international`s brilliance has only highlighted his short-comings, if we had had Kuszczak all season I wonder where we would be? On the grounds he has made one solitary error, a slightly exaggerated (perhaps) – 10/10.chrisgwfc: 8/10 – Not really here long enough to get a 9 but has made our defence look much more solid. Comes for crosses and with the exception of his debut blunder has not really put a foot wrong since he arrived.