Half Term Report: Goalkeepers

As we approach the winter break, and edge past the half way stage of what has been a thoroughly miserable season to date, I thought it worthwhile to take a look at each area of the team and speculate as to what might happen in the forthcoming transfer window. So without further ado, first up is goalkeepers.

The sudden retirement and departure of Craig Samson pretty much summed up the season so far.

There wasn't even a hint of what was to come as Sammy made what turned out to be his last appearance for Saints, helping us to earn a decent enough point in what was a huge game at Dens Park.

And yet a few days later he was gone. Off to Sunderland to join Jack Ross as the Black Cats new goalkeeping coach.

Sammy was/is a club legend and a guy that will always be fondly remembered by the vast majority of the supporters. The speed of his departure had the supporters reeling.

Oran appeared to sanction the deal which was puzzling given Sammy had apparently offered to stay until January but I guess the thinking was that with his heart set on going we'd be as well shifting the salary from the already bloated wage bill now and let him go immediately.

Adding further weight to that decision we still had two senior keepers on the books, with Danny Rogers on a season long loan from Aberdeen and Dean Lyness who arrived on a short term deal to January after Rogers picked up a pretty serious injury earlier on in the season playing for the reserves.

Rogers was a much heralded summer arrival and after Sammy had gone he was given the gloves, making his league debut in the memorable win over Hearts and keeping a clean sheet in doing so.

His form since has been a bit questionable though, culminating with a couple of pretty soft goals at Livingston two weeks ago. A performance which certainly got the fans talking.

It's safe to say his position was almost certainly under threat at any rate before his ineligibility ruled him out of the next game, which was last weekends home encounter with Aberdeen.

Dean Lyness came in and did superbly well against the Dons and so I fully expect him to retain the jersey as we prepare to travel to Motherwell on Saturday.

Confidence is everything in football, and particularly between the sticks. Lyness is also a man playing for his future, which I'm sure will make him even more hungry to succeed and keep the jersey.

His current deal is up when we hit the winter break but if, as looks likely, he is given the chance to impress in the three remaining games this year then he may well persuade the gaffer to offer him an extension to the end of the season.

Rogers looks pretty certain to see out the season with us so I guess that is the big decision Oran will have to make come January.

The importance of a good, strong goalkeeper cannot be understated.

Let's hope Lyness seizes the opportunity that has come his way and fills the big void left by Sammy and that Rogers, who is a very decent keeper, steps up his form to push him all the way.