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Loan Watch: Paul Rachubka

Lets be honest we haven't missed Paul Rachubka at Elland Road. Fans are still waking up in the middle of the night with the shakes...just at the thought of the night at Elland Road against Blackpool. Rachubka had been poor before the tipping point, but despite all of this I thought it would be good to get an update from his time at Tranmere. Paul Harper a Tranmere fan was kind enough to share his thoughts on how Rachubka has done, he will return to Elland Road tomorrow and who knows may leave before the end of the window.

So without further ado take it away Paul:

Goalkeeper Paul Rachubka came to Tranmere Rovers on loan in difficult circumstances. He had just had a bit of a nightmare when thrown into the Leeds side and his confidence was probably somewhat fragile. Tranmere needed a goalkeeper due to an injury to their regular number one Owain fon Williams, and they had been going through a difficult few weeks with lack of positive results. The injury to Fon Williams came on the eve of the ‘emergency’ loan deadline for Football League clubs, so it was a case of trying to get an experienced goalkeeper who was available at short notice for Rovers, and Paul Rachubka was that man.

The team has not been at its best. The strong defensive record which the team prided itself on early on in the season had disappeared, and so losing the goalkeeper was always going to be difficult. Rachubka came in and was unable to halt those deficiencies single-handedly. Though that is certainly not to say that the spell at Prenton Park has been disastrous. He has his strong points and like all goalkeepers, he has weaknesses too. He is a terrific shot-stopper and has made several top class saves while keeping goal for Tranmere. I cannot fault him on that front, when a shot has been there to save, he has done his job pretty much every time.

The negative traits are that he’s not the biggest and as such he fails to command the area as well as you’d like. I like a goalkeeper to take charge when the ball is in the six-yard box and Rachubka is rather reluctant to do that. You could also question his positioning once or twice when we have conceded goals. You’re always hyper-critical when conceding goals as you never want them to happen. As much as the team scoring the goal has to do well to score, you can always find fault in concession. On a couple of occasions, he’s been caught out too near his post or too near the centre of the goal and has not been quick enough to change direction to stop the goal from being scored.

His loan spell has expired and fon Williams is close to a return to action. I’m not sure if his loan might be extended for a short while longer to ensure that fon Williams is fully fit to return to first team action, but overall, I’d say that Rachubka has done a decent job. It would have been nice if we had won more points, but that’s certainly not due to his performance in goal.

So then he hasn't set the world alight and hasn't been a disastrous signing. Let us hope he has refound his form and move away from Elland Road and do well.

Big Thanks to Paul for the update.