So Manchester City have been allowed to sign Sunderland’s Marton Fulop on an emergency loan until the end of the season, due to their goalkeeper crisis. Why?
How is the position that they have got themselves in, any different to our current problems at right back? Like us, City are struggling to fill a role within their team, due to injury and having loaned out players. They do actually have a goalkeeper at the club in Gunnar Nielsen, who they consider too inexperienced to play. This is not dissimilar to the position that we’re in with Kyle Walker.
Had we been able to bring back Alan Hutton for the game against Manchester United, then perhaps he might not have given away two penalties, as his makeshift replacements BAE and Wilson Palacios managed.
I’m not actually saying that we should be able to recall, or bring in an emergency right back. I think that if you make your bed then you should have to lie on it and I don’t believe that the Premier League should have bent the rules for City.
It was them that chose to let Joe Hart go on loan to Birmingham without a recall clause. It was them that choose to have Gunnar Nielsen as their third choice keeper behind Shay Given and Stuart Taylor. If they’d wanted someone more experienced, they could have easily recruited a suitable candidate that would have been happy with a fat wage and a seat on the bench.
Goalkeeping is a specialised area and you can argue that an out-of-position player can fill in at right back with more ease than an outfield player could, if they were forced to tend the sticks. Yet City weren’t actually left without a keeper. They have Gunnar Nielsen and no doubt some younger players in their academy they could call on. Their paucity of options is no one’s fault but their own.
All clubs will have to name a 25 man Premier League squad next season. You would imagine that clubs will register three keepers and if two of them got injured under those circumstances, then being able to bring in a loan player would be justifiable.
Another rule I’d like to see changed is the ability for clubs to send players on loan to other Premier League teams. Why should every team in the Premier League have to face a Birmingham City with Joe Hart, but Manchester City not have to? Why should we be able to face a Portsmouth team without their best player in Jamie O’Hara, for that matter?
By scrapping that rule, clubs would be forced to make a decision on young players instead of hedging their bets and sending them out on loan. They’d either be good enough or they wouldn’t, in which case they’d have to be sold and the smaller clubs in the Premier League would have a better chance of building a decent side, without having to worry that a key player would be going back to their parent club at the end of the season.
Manchester City were unable to bring Joe Hart back from his loan at Birmingham and they should have been unable to bring in Fulop from Sunderland. There will be a big fuss if this ex-Spurs keeper ends up playing a blinder when we play City in a week’s time. Start writing that letter of complaint now Levy.