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Do Leeds United Need a New Keeper?

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Andy Lonergan clashing with Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith when his form was first class for the Whites.
(Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Andy Lonergan clashing with Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith when his form was first class for the Whites. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
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There is no such thing as the perfect goalkeeper, in my opinion anyway. Even the greatest keepers of my generation had their flaws.

Peter Schmeichel was a phenomenal keeper (pains me to say it) but he was, however he had a big shiny red nose. Oliver Kahn is for me the best I've seen in my lifetime, those who are slightly older will obviously remember the greats. Kahn's problem...well he's German.

A little closer to home Kasper Schmeichel was unreal at first like a cat flying across the net, his flaw was he soon became pretty average and his dad was a ****.

You get the picture every keeper has his flaws. Above were obviously light-hearted well Kasper's dad was a **** but I'll get back to the topic of this piece...Andy Lonergan.

The idea behind this came after my journey home from the game on Saturday, well it wasn't a game as only one side turned up. I had this horrible image in my head that kept flashing through my eyes, the ones you generally try and forget before they haunt you.

Ok a little extreme but the replay of every Andy Lonergan kick was just too hard to shake. Then I heard a few conversations as I briskly walked away from Elland Road as fast as my legs would allow me. "That ******* Lonergan" ans so on.

I ventured onto Twitter to see if it was just me, and it wasn't. Quite a few people had a problem with Lonergan's performance but I still have this feeling of maybe I'm being a little harsh. His kicking was woeful and always has been. I'm starting to notice it more because we're playing pretty shit in general!

When Lonners first arrived it was like a breath of fresh air. I'd grown tired of watching Kasper acting like a little petulant child while flapping his arms around and booting the ball away after it had gone into the net. Lonners came for the ball and got it. He also seemed to talk to his defenders too, quite important that. His height enabled him to get places Kasper couldn't and it was just a good start to his tenure as our number one.

However there's been some problems along the way that could well have affected his performances. His injury away at Doncaster was labelled as nothing major by Grayson...we missed him dearly for several weeks. Then he came back and looked good, well anyone would after Paul Rachubka's efforts. Then the sale of Jonny Howson resulted in Lonergan being named captain, something many thought was a wrong decision and too much pressure considering he'd being at Leeds less than six months.

Last weeks slaughtering at the hands of Forest wasn't Lonergan's best performance. He wasn't at fault for every goal which is what some fans have said but his positioning could have been better. Against Millwall he got us the three points with an excellent penalty save, and even against Watford he kept the score respectable with some good saves.

But I just can't help but think that maybe we need someone else to push Lonergan. Has Warnock's new policy of only one keeper in the match-day squad given Lonergan this 'untouchable' tag in his head? Lonergan needs pushing, he needs to be looking over his shoulder knowing someone can come in and take his journey. In all fairness Alex Cairns, Maik Taylor and Paul Rachubka don't exactly send a shiver down ones spine do they?

I've still got some faith in Lonergan to stay at the club. He has shown at times this season he can be the man, but only time will tell whether I'm just being too kind. In an ideal world we're going to spend some cash in the summer and challenge for the title and we need a man between the sticks who can save us when we need saving.

Nobody is safe under Warnock and if he really is planning a summer exodus I can't say with any vigour that Lonergan will be exempt from the departure lounge at Thorp Arch. Personally I think he needs to be given the summer to refresh, he needs a no.2 behind him to make him work hard and he MUST improve his distribution.

But what do you readers think? Do we stick with Lonergan, get someone to support him or lose him all together?

Vote away!