I’m in two minds about Billy Turley. On one hand he can be an excellent keeper. And there’s no doubt he has been a key component of the best defence in the league. However he is prone to losing his head and creating panic in his back line.
He’s unusual for a keeper in that when we’re playing badly he looks awful, when we’re playing well he looks composed. Quite often goalkeepers playing in bad teams look like superstars. They have so much to do that they invariably end up playing out of their skins. Take Richard Knight – who looked like Gordon Banks in 2000/1 when he conceded over 100 goals. When the team is playing well, and the keeper has little to do, a rare breach of the rearguard looks like a disproportionate cock-up.
Chris Tardif is less of a number 2 and more the nice guy who hangs around and helps out with the kids. You suspect he could be at the club for years, helping out with sweeping the stands, working the turnstiles etc. As a participant in the first team, his involvement is increasingly marginal.
On balance I would aim to keep Turley and let Tardif go. However with the wage cap it would be tempting to not bring in an understudy. Many clubs rely on the option to bring in an emergency loan if the first choice keeper goes down. A credible, younger challenger needs to be brought in. Partly because you suspect Turley’s days as an effective keeper may be numbered, but also, to keep him focussed on performing on the pitch and not to the crowd.
Next: The defenders.