Leeds United legend Brendan Ormsby answers your questions.
HI BRENDAN. Have you ever seen a goalkeeper brought off in the way Paul Rachubka was against Blackpool after such a nightmare?
Don Harker, Leeds
I honestly can’t recall either playing in any game like that or seeing it happen, Don.
You look at a lot of keepers and people just remember their mistakes. Look at David James – who has been a brilliant number one – you know that every now and again he is going to throw a clanger in. He’s done it throughout his career.
It was unfortunate for Rachubka that he had such a nightmare in one evening.
Everyone feels sorry for a keeper when they make a mistake as they get punished with a goal. It’s not like when an outfield player makes a mistake when he can get away with it.
But, having said that, if any other player, say a defender, makes a mistake for a goal, he gets stick and criticised by the fans and the manager will have a go.
The keeper is there to do a certain job and he didn’t do it on Wednesday. His mistakes were demoralising for the team and the defence.
As a defender if you don’t know if your keeper’s going to come for the ball or stop, catch it or hold anything, the confidence can go in a back four completely.
It means a lot more work for defenders as they are not sure what a keeper is going to do and it puts doubts in their minds. It can spread uncertainty throughout a back four.
As a keeper, you have got to take the highs with the lows. Rachubka had a nightmare against Blackpool and it’s not been ideal for him after he cost the team two points against Coventry a few weeks ago. He’s made several bad mistakes in a short space of time.
In terms of bringing him off at half-time, it must have been a hard decision to make for Simon Grayson.
Rachubka’s confidence will have been low and it was a case of do you have a quiet word in the dressing room and tell him to keep his head up and get out there and improve in the second half, or do you do the ultimate thing and take him off?
I would think Rachubka will have been feeling ‘50-50’ at the break. I think if he’d gone back out in the second half he would have felt a lucky lad, but the other half of his mind no doubt thought ‘I’m coming off here’.
It was a hard decision too because, as a manager, you don’t want to be changing a keeper when you’re trying to get back into the game; you want to bring a more attacking player on. It’s a waste of a substitute in a way.
But the lad’s confidence was obviously low. If he’d have gone out in the second half and conceded even more, it could have finished him completely. So, while it was a tough decision for Simon to make, for me he had to do it. The lad knows he had a complete nightmare.