Lately I’ve been listening to WNYC’s wonderful RadioLab show, and recently came upon “The Loneliness of the Goalkeeper” episode. Turns out it was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4, so you Brits may have already heard it before. (And here I was hoping to break new ground.)
If you haven’t listened to it, go do it. If you have already, do it again. It’s that good.
The award-winning piece delves into the hypothesis that no position in the game is as thankless or as lonely as that of a goalkeeper.
Which made me wonder, if this hypothesis is true, what do we make of our very own David Stockdale? If being a goalkeeper is the loneliest profession, what must it be to a 26 year old that has a lot of potential, deputized admirably; but still cannot get the starting role?
Especially considering it’s different compared other backups Fulham have had. Pascal Zuberbuhler seemed quite content with his loneliness, only ever featuring once in three seasons with the club (yet isn’t that bad when compared to Hilario at Chelsea, or Stuart Taylor at Villa/City). Tony Warner and Jan Laštůvka came out of the lonely wilderness only for us to immediately demand they be sent back. Can anyone even remember who was the backup to Edwin van der Sar?
Stockdale has already been with the club for four years. Bobby Zamora, John Pantsil, Paul Konchesky have all come an gone during his tenure (with AJ and Dickson to follow?). He has over three times as many appearances with various clubs on loan than he does with Fulham. Fulham’s #1 goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer signed an extension in January that will keep him here until at least next summer.
If we were to be brutally honest with ourselves and rank the likelihood of a specific player to leave this summer, would Stockdale be in your top three? He would for me.
Why? Just ask yourself how much more lonely can it get for him.
Tim Gelles is a writer for Craven Cottage Newsround. A Fulham fan since 2006 when he saw Fulham defeat an Iain Dowie led Charlton. He resides in Baltimore. His current headshot is temporary. E-mail him or follow him on twitter.