GLF 47: Du-Du-Dubordeau!!!
As Stevie Woods fished the ball out of his net for the twenty-ninth time at Pittodrie back in early November, it not only ended yet another shortlived League Cup foray for the 'Well but it also brought to an end Woods' latest
With the previous two matches in the SPL having seen us tamely lose a massive six-pointer at Firhill fast on the heels of that 5-1 drubbing against Livingston ( in which our 'keeper had been cupable for more than one of their strikes ) Terry Butcher took the decision that many fans had been looking for and decided to take Woods out of the team.
That seemed to be the easy part of switch - the problem looked to be who was capable of taking the gloves and doing a better job?( Put your hand down Lofty - I mean someone on the Fir Park payroll !?!?!? ).
Francois Dubordeau signed on as part of Eric Black's mini French invasion towards the end of 2001.Little was seen of him in the early part of 2002 until he made his debut in a baptism of fire against Celtic at Fir Park.Despite the 0-4 reversal ( you mean the Old Firmactuallybeat us at home sometimes!?!?!?! ) he didn't do himself any harm with his performance.After a home point against St Johnstone, we travelled up to Tannadice for a 0-1 defeat that actually saw the young 'keeper subbed off amid heated exchanges between the travelling support as to whether Black had taken the decision due to an erratic display or the hint of an injury being carried.Francois retained his place for a Sunday game at Easter Road but, in a neat show of symmetry, another 0-4 thrashing saw him return to the reserves tout suit.
During the administration cull, it would have been to no surprise if the young goalie had been one of the players off-loaded but we retained his services seemingly as a back-up to Stevie Woods.As he started the new season back in the Under-21's, his performances never suggested that he would impress Terry and Chris sufficiently for him to be elevated back into the top team again any time soon.Of course, if you'd witnessed Davide Ferrere's prep game on a cold Monday night at Fir Park, you wouldn't have predicted his astonishing second-half hat-trick against Hibs now, would you??????
Stevie Woods played the first fifteen games of the current campaign, conceding just short of two goals per match.It was noted in a recent programme that we had lost more goals to headers ( thirteen ) than any other SPL team so far this season.Woods was between the sticks when nine of these flew in, which from thirteen league games is a damning stat.During these league clashes, we came out on top only twice ( against eight men at Rugby Park and the Celtic win ) and played out three stalemates, losing the other eight.The mind drifts back to several incidents during these ninety minutes' play ;
Townsley's free-kick with ball & 'keeper in net - lost 0-2
a needless corner prior to the goal at East End Park - lost 0-1 Aberdeen's equaliser barely into the second half at home - lost 1-2
more than one costly individual error in that game - lost 1-5
allowing a soft Delomeaux free-kick to count in the Cup - lost 1-3
Francois Dubordeau played our last ten games leading up to the winter break, conceding fifteen goals in the process.The fact that he kept a clean sheet to help us defeat Rangers is an impressive stat.In this spell, we won twice ( the glorious rout of the Jambo's and the Rangers win ) tied three times and lost the other five.Several situations spring to mind ;
good display v Killie failing by seconds to earn a shut-out - lost 0-1
no costly individual errors in that game - won 6-1
followed up the Hearts game by earning point up North - drew 1-1
fantastic list of second-half saves to earn point at Dens - drew 1-1
Man of the Match heroics including late wonder save vGers-won 1-0
This season, more than any other, it's imperative that we grab every opportunity available to put points on the boardto assist in our fight for survival in the top division.We are managing to score in just about every game we take part in, but are simply leaking too many at the other end of the pitch.As it's currently a choice between a veteran player who seems to have had his nine lives in his career at Fir Park, and whose only show of consistency seems to be his continual return to the reserves after each and every one of his ' last chances ' to lay claim to the number one jersey, and a twenty-two year old whom, just as I was finishing this piece, it was reported on the official site was currently sitting atop the Opta stats index during the winter break as the top keeper in the SPL based on his last six performances, and is someone who can instill a sense of confidence in both his team-mates in front of him and the supporters, I'm sure that we have the best man for the job in the shape of Du-Du-Dubordeau!!!!!!!!!!!!
by Christopher Hutton
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