Date: 29th August 2013 at 8:52am
Written by:

The signing of 41 year old goalkeeper Mike Pollitt on a one month loan deal has led to many fans suggesting that Barnsley are panicking regarding the number of goals conceded and have just signed anyone that was available at the time.

Whether you agree with David Flitcroft`s decision or not is not really the debate I want to have but more your thoughts on the effect this decision will have on Steele and Alnwick.

When speaking about all three goalkeepers in an interview the other day, everything that Flicker said made sense.

He has felt for some time that Steele has needed some genuine competition for the number one spot and Pollitt despite his age brings with him that Premier League experience.

Pollitt did ok against Southampton. Two good saves and looked assured when coming for crosses. The areas of concern would be that he really does look like a man in his forties when coming off his line and scrambling across his goal.

Flitcroft is still undecided whether to start Steele or Pollitt against Huddersfield and it did seem a genuine answer to the question asked. I believe he will pick Pollitt now he has made the decision to bring him in.

On to Steele and Flitcroft has said there is no doubt that Steele needed taking out of the side. I have doubts and that is despite the nightmare he had against Blackburn especially the fifth goal.

Every keeper has bad games, just look at Joe Hart over the last year or so, and unless it is two or three games in a row I believe you should stick with your keeper if they are the undisputed number one, just as Man City and England have done with Hart. Obviously if errors continue then the time comes when they have to be dropped.

Other than the Blackburn game I don`t think Steele has done much wrong this season and there is a possibility that he is being made a bit of a scapegoat for our shambolic defending in certain games.

On the flip side, Flitcroft works with Steele every day and it could be more than a form thing. His confidence could be shot at the moment and more errors could destroy it completely. Yet if Steele feels the errors against Blackburn were just a blip then being dropped for a 41 year old could destroy his confidence completely.

Steele`s shot stopping is up there with anyone around and that is never in question. The rest of his game often raises questions. In my opinion the other areas of his game have improved immensely since he has been at Barnsley but he still can have his moments.

These moments I have noticed come when the team are defending poorly and shipping lots of goals. One game I recall last season where we had had a spell of conceding from corners a lot. Prior to the game I am talking about I believe Steele had decided he would come for every cross no matter what as that is what he proceeded to do. His success ratio was about 50% and it is decision making like that has some fans questioning him. The other argument would be that the defence should be able to deal with set pieces so that Steele doesn`t find himself in that position.

I personally wouldn`t have dropped him unless he made another error but I can see why Flitcroft has done it and I respect his decision. I just hope that it hasn`t been at a long term detriment to confidence of Steele.

That now brings me on to Ben Alnwick. He was led to believe he was genuine competition for Steele as Barnsley`s number one. Flitcroft in his interview explained that he felt Alnwick had not played enough football due to the new format of no reserve football and felt the time wasn`t right to throw him in.

All that made sense but then there was a big contradiction when he said Steele had needed genuine competition for the number one spot and that with Pollitt now at the club he had two number ones instead of a number one and a number two.

Alnwick`s confidence will certainly be shot and he clearly has no future at the club. I just hope we don`t find ourselves in a situation where Pollitt is back at Wigan, Alnwick has left and Steele is our only senior keeper who has had the confidence drained out of him.

Flitcroft seems to be a good man manager and he needs to be at his best with this situation.