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Max O’Leary


Aipearcey
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What’s do people think the next steps will be will max? Clearly he has ability but at 24 really needs to be getting match experience to keep progressing? Is Bentley likely to leave anytime soon and how long will max be happy being number 2 on the bench each week when he knows he’d be a starter for a high end league 1 if not low end championship team?

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I probably don’t see Max at the level we’d need him to be to replace Bents. He’s competent enough, but in reality he’s not played first team football for 18 months - and that was at L1 level.

Ask this - if we sold Bentley, would you be happy with someone as first choice who’d played at this level on a sustained basis over two years ago, but done well 18 months ago at L1?

Hes fine as a backup. But, because of the lack of exposure, im very nervous of him as a number one. And that’s due to him stagnating for at least 18 months - but after this season, bleeding into 2+ years 

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8 hours ago, Silvio Dante said:

I probably don’t see Max at the level we’d need him to be to replace Bents. He’s competent enough, but in reality he’s not played first team football for 18 months - and that was at L1 level.

Ask this - if we sold Bentley, would you be happy with someone as first choice who’d played at this level on a sustained basis over two years ago, but done well 18 months ago at L1?

Hes fine as a backup. But, because of the lack of exposure, im very nervous of him as a number one. And that’s due to him stagnating for at least 18 months - but after this season, bleeding into 2+ years 

How has he stagnated? He can be improving by training.  Impossible to say if he has or not as we haven’t seen him play much. Just because he hasn’t been playing doesn’t mean he isn’t good enough too 

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9 hours ago, Silvio Dante said:

I probably don’t see Max at the level we’d need him to be to replace Bents. He’s competent enough, but in reality he’s not played first team football for 18 months - and that was at L1 level.

Ask this - if we sold Bentley, would you be happy with someone as first choice who’d played at this level on a sustained basis over two years ago, but done well 18 months ago at L1?

Hes fine as a backup. But, because of the lack of exposure, im very nervous of him as a number one. And that’s due to him stagnating for at least 18 months - but after this season, bleeding into 2+ years 

 

If Bentley left, O'Leary would certainly need to step up and grow into the role but that is true of any young goalkeeper. And I don't think the fact he's not yet been playing regularly for us is necessarily evidence he could not play regularly for us and neither do I think the fact he isn't playing means that he is stagnating. He may well be developing in training and U-23 level. Clearly the pressures are different to match day situations but it depends on the player. Maenpaa had played one league match in three years when he joined us and he did okay. On the other hand, David James had just played in the World Cup and performed below expectations. 

And I think, when we consider the risk with O'Leary, you've got to consider who the alternatives are. It might be someone who is playing regularly in the Championship and we spend enough money to prise them away from the club but it is more likely to be one of:

a) Someone who is playing regularly at League One or League Two

b) Someone who is playing regularly abroad.

c) Someone who has just been released from a Championship level club where they are surplus to requirements.

d) Someone who has been sat on a Premier League bench for the last few seasons.

All of these confer some degree of risk. So too does giving a chance to a keeper who has come through our system and sat on the bench for the last two seasons. Personally I honestly don't see much more O'Leary could have done over his time with us to prove he deserves a chance. And, until he gets that chance, we just don't know. But, either way, I don't think he's necessarily any more of a risk that any player we might sign from another club. 

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21 minutes ago, And Its Smith said:

How has he stagnated? He can be improving by training.  Impossible to say if he has or not as we haven’t seen him play much. Just because he hasn’t been playing doesn’t mean he isn’t good enough too 

Precisely. Teams can only play one goalkeeper at a time. Being a goalkeeper is a specialised position. 

Of course goalkeepers would stagnate if they didn't train at all, but they do with specialised goalkeeper coaches. If they stagnated then the stagnation would be an ongoing process which means each week without playing they would degrade that bit more. Surely if that was the case simply a month on the bench without playing in a match would see a manager voicing concerns that his back up keeper was no longer good enough. That never happens.

Proof of the pudding comes from Nikki Maenpaa he had hardly made a first team appearance for a few years before joining City. He had been a back up keeper in the Prem. Yet he was very impressive for us, yet judging by the theories of some on here we had signed a keeper who had stagnated

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Max is just what you want as a number 2, able to deputise short term when needed, and cheap.  That’s not meant to sound derogatory, just it’s what we want.  We don’t need a no2 on £15k p.w.

In terms of performance when called upon he’s never let us down, so another tick in the box.

What Max has though are some development areas:

  • command his area - Bentley also needs to improve this
  • kicking - he’s ok, but he’s a little bit slow in moving the ball and can telegraph his passes when pressed
  • feet movement - needs to back pedal better.  Can get caught moving to back post when crosses go deep

He is pretty capable with his hands though.

I’ve no idea if we sold Bentley whether Nige would look to get another no1, or whether Max would step-up.  My gut feel is that he’d get another keeper in and ask them to fight it out.  I don’t think he’d go for a young(ish) no2.

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10 hours ago, GlastonburyRed said:

Plenty of keepers make a handsome career out of playing a handful of games a season for 10+ years. Seems different to outfield players in the sense that you can gain a sustainable income and succeesive contracts from being specialist backup.

Very true. I seem to recall there was a keeper in Italy some years back who at some point was on the books of all the top clubs but played about 8 times in 12 seasons. 

As for Max it could be dependant on what he wants. If he believes he is continuing to improve with City, and that his time will come he may be happy to stay. If he feels he needs 1st team football now he may need to force a move permanently or on loan in January. We could always pick up a no2 if we didn't think Wiles-Richards was ready. 

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11 hours ago, Aipearcey said:

What’s do people think the next steps will be will max? Clearly he has ability but at 24 really needs to be getting match experience to keep progressing? Is Bentley likely to leave anytime soon and how long will max be happy being number 2 on the bench each week when he knows he’d be a starter for a high end league 1 if not low end championship team?

Only takes for Bentley to get injured and in he comes.

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1 hour ago, Davefevs said:

Max is just what you want as a number 2, able to deputise short term when needed, and cheap.  That’s not meant to sound derogatory, just it’s what we want.  We don’t need a no2 on £15k p.w.

In terms of performance when called upon he’s never let us down, so another tick in the box.

What Max has though are some development areas:

  • command his area - Bentley also needs to improve this
  • kicking - he’s ok, but he’s a little bit slow in moving the ball and can telegraph his passes when pressed
  • feet movement - needs to back pedal better.  Can get caught moving to back post when crosses go deep

He is pretty capable with his hands though.

I’ve no idea if we sold Bentley whether Nige would look to get another no1, or whether Max would step-up.  My gut feel is that he’d get another keeper in and ask them to fight it out.  I don’t think he’d go for a young(ish) no2.

Spot on.

Obvious to say but being the second keeper is such a thankless role, I remember the Welsh lad Dave Richards (now at Crewe) who was on the bench for us about 80 times during the Cotts era yet never once played for us.

Max is perfect for what we want & no one can predict the future, but he won’t want to be in this position for more than the next 2 seasons so at some point will have to decide his next move.

In a smaller, cheaper squad he really is ideal though, home grown, good age, decent level of experience, as has been said above, has never let us down when called upon, but his next move (probably in ‘23) will very much depend on Bentley.

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1 hour ago, RoystonFoote'snephew said:

Very true. I seem to recall there was a keeper in Italy some years back who at some point was on the books of all the top clubs but played about 8 times in 12 seasons. 

As for Max it could be dependant on what he wants. If he believes he is continuing to improve with City, and that his time will come he may be happy to stay. If he feels he needs 1st team football now he may need to force a move permanently or on loan in January. We could always pick up a no2 if we didn't think Wiles-Richards was ready. 

Our very own Rene Gilmartin is also an example of a keeper who doesn’t play much. ( on reflection it’s probably not a bad life , train, kick about with the lads , sit on the bench and watch a game of football and get paid. Where do I sign ? ) 

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6 minutes ago, GrahamC said:

Spot on.

Obvious to say but being the second keeper is such a thankless role, I remember the Welsh lad Dave Richards (now at Crewe) who was on the bench for us about 80 times during the Cotts era yet never once played for us.

Max is perfect for what we want & no one can predict the future, but he won’t want to be in this position for more than the next 2 seasons so at some point will have to decide his next move.

In a smaller, cheaper squad he really is ideal though, home grown, good age, decent level of experience, as has been said above, has never let us down when called upon, but his next move (probably in ‘23) will very much depend on Bentley.

Wiles Richard looks a good prospect as well. Who will move on first Bentley or O’Leary? 

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