UpTheSaddlers Forum

Liam Roberts - Good enough?


Is he good enough? That depends on what you expect from a goalkeeper. He is not the worst goalkeeper we have ever had.

I would say that Roberts is the weakest regular keeper we have had for a few years. In my opinion he is not as good as Mark Gillespie, Craig MacGillivray, Neil Etheridge or Richard O’Donnell.

I am puzzled by the idea that he is a “young kid” (he is 24 years old) with “little or no experience” (he has been at the club for six years and including loan spells at two other clubs he has made 75 first team appearances so far). He is unlikely to improve much from now on.


Short memory then. Both in terms of the quality of those keepers and in terms of Roberts performance.

Generally accepted that keepers mature much older than outfield players. Buffon himself said he didn’t feel he was in his prime until he was 36-38 years old. 20 Odd with less than hundred appearances is young for a keeper. Absolutely ridiculous to say he won’t improve much from now on. I can give you a list of keepers that didn’t reach their prime until 28 onward and that’s generous. It’s more like 30.


I reckon 4 of the 17 goals conceded recently were Roberts’ fault. He was at fault for both Luton goals and missed a couple of corners in other games that led to goals. But, all keepers make mistakes, it’s how they respond that matters.


We are entitled to our opinions about the relative merits of goalkeepers, so we can agree to disagree about whether Roberts is at present better than recent regular keepers.

Some goalkeepers improve as their career progresses in their late twenties, but most do not. Some reach a plateau quite early and others regress, lose their place in their teams and drop down the leagues. If it were true that generally goalkeepers reach their prime in their thirties we would see lots of players moving up the leagues as they become older, with the premier league in particular being noted for having many keepers aged 36-38 who spent their early careers in the lower leagues. That is of course not what happens.

In League One currently there are 24 first choice keepers, 19 of them are aged between 24 and 28. The oldest regular keeper in this division is 32 and he is on his way down the leagues. The youngest is 21.

Nobody can predict what will happen to Liam Roberts in the future. I hope that he continues to improve, but I doubt it. Again that is a matter of opinion, not fact.We are entitled to our opinions about that but we are not entitled to our own facts.

Roberts is the same age as the England goalkeeper. He is 24 years old. It is false and misleading to say that he is a “young kid”.

It is false and misleading to say that a player with 75 first team appearances, who has been a full time goalkeeper for six years, has “little or no experience”.


Are you saying this happens to most goalkeepers? I mean if you are talking about every keeper in the football pyramid then yes, most probably do die off. That is a question of potential. If you don’t show potential you won’t get the chances. If you don’t get the chances you won’t develop. If you don’t develop then yes you will fall down the leagues.

But Liam Roberts and those other first choice keepers you named have shown potential. otherwise they wouldn’t be in the position they are in now. Will they all make it? Obviously not (and depends what you mean by make it) but you’ll never know if you don’t give them opportunities and have faith in them during poor runs. I remember people criticising Neil Etheridge during his time here. He seems to have developed pretty well between the ages of 24 -28. The exact time frame you are saying won’t develop much at all.

Of all the keepers that get regular football they ALL progress in their late 20’s. It’s not even opinion. There is barely any physical impact on a goalkeepers performance so they can only improve their game reading ability. The only thing that slows keepers down is reflex deterioration. That doesn’t happen in your 20s.

And you don’t think Jordan Pickford will improve between now and the end of his career? Crazy. He’s extremely young for a top keeper.

No it isn’t. Generally keepers can play every game a season. we play a minimum 51 games a year. Thats not even two full seasons.

You’re entitled to an opinion. Doesn’t mean it is correct.


Both Luton goals!!! The first was scored from very close range by a top striker at our level.Very hard to blame him for that. Roberts has had a rocky spell but all keepers have similar spells. He will come good again.



“Not even two full seasons” = “little or no experience”

Does he ever read back what he has written to see if it makes any sense? How can he claim that someone who has played 75 first team matches has “little or no experience”?

As for goalkeepers’ careers, the sad truth is that like all other players they usually reach their peak from 24-28 and drop down the leagues as they get older. There are rare exceptions to this, but if it were the case that goalkeepers generally continue to improve as they get older they would move up the leagues when they reached the age of thirty instead of down.


I mean selecting part of a sentence will never keep the point in context. Here, let me help you:

So in the career of a Goalkeeper, who can rack up hundreds and hundreds of games in a career, it’s not a lot of games. If you’d like to actually answer the point, instead of whatever that nonsense was, I’m all ears.

■■■■ can’t wait to see David De Gea next season! Can’t believe Liverpool spent 66 million on Allison, he’s only got one and a half more good years in him before he starts sliding down the league!


Goalkeepers peak in their late 20’s to early 30’s. From then on the decline is much slower too.


Football Manager taught me that, and I have a feeling it taught you that too!




Goalkeepers peak in their late 20’s to early 30’s. From then on the decline is much slower too.

That is not true.

Most goalkeepers’ careers peak between twenty-four and twenty-eight. After that age most tend to either cease to be first choice or move down the leagues. Of course there are individual exceptions to this, but it is certainly the case for the majority of keepers.

If it were true that goalkeepers become better in their late twenties and early thirties there would be lots of first choice keepers in league one who are 29 and over.

In fact there are only three of the twenty-four teams in this division who have as their most regular goalkeeper this season a player who is over thirty: John McLaughlan, 31 at Sunderland; Mark Howard 32 at Blackpool; and Josh Lilis 31 at Rochdale. There is one who is 29 and one who is 30, Richard O’Donnell, who was probably a better keeper when he was playing for us aged 24.


It is true.


It is true.

Do you think that most league goalkeepers as a rule tend to move up the divisions when they are over 28? Do you have any evidence to support that assertion? Note that I am not saying that ALL keepers start to decline as they reach their thirties, merely that most of them do. Merely mentioning a few exceptions does not disprove a rule about “most” keepers.

If it were true that most goalkeepers’ peak form comes when they are in their late twenties and thirties would not most league clubs employ goalkeepers at that age, rather than inferior keepers aged 24-28?


I would say hes definetely not as good as Ince, etheridge or o donnell. And possibly not as good as macgivallry. This makes him one pf the weakest keepers weve had. If we had a decent back up he would be out the team.

We do not know. Maybe dunn will be given a chance


Debate over.

Link to where I found that. Suppose your analysis is right though


Someone actually said on this thread Gillespie was better than him?!:joy:


Biggest load of nonsense I’ve ever read.


Ben Foster went up a division at 35 this year. And is one of the most solid keepers in the league.

Don’t know what they are doing signing a keeper whose been in decline for 7 years.

No they try and sign them young and develop them. Because it’s cheaper. Not because that’s when they peak.


Was Mac really that impressive WHILE HE WAS HERE? I don’t remember that.