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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The curious case of John Ruddy

 16 Comments: First  |  Last

I was really excited and nervous when we signed this lad... potentially a keeper for the next 15 years, potentially a Simonson, Gerrard!

I thought it was wise loaning him out but his career went from bad to worse.

Never starting any games for the blues and then going on loan to Walsall ? playing only a few games, then Chester, Stockport... all these world beaters and still not many games.

Finally, at 23 years old, he got a full season under his belt at the mighty Motherwell. We deemed him not good enough and released him ? on paper an obvious choice.

Then, from nowhere, Norwich sign him up as their Number 1 and he is integral to their promotion.

This season the kid looks like he is going to get into the England setup.

I'm neither a Moyes lover or hater but this can't be... it seems crazy how you can't get into the Stockport team then 2 years later potentially in England squad!

On paper, when he was released, I didn't think I'd hear this kid's name again. But Paul Lambert or his scouts saw potential we never did. I just wish we had given youth a go... Oops ? there I go, giving a little dig to Davey... Sorry ? it's only out of love!

Peter Griffin, Chorley     Posted 27/10/2011 at 08:20:14

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Danny Broderick
1   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:44:28

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In fairness, he would never have got in our team ahead of Howard. It's one thing being allowed to learn your trade with a small club like Norwich as they move up the divisions. It's a lot more difficult to go straight into a Premiership team as a goalkeeper and a young lad.
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:01:51

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I think Danny has this right. If he was still at the club he'd be faltering as a player.

It's a tough choice for goalies. Do you stay at a Premier League club, or go elsewhere for first team football. I remember Jason Kearton being around for years, who obviously was never going to be ahead of Big Nev.

Maybe players like Mucha are pleased for the chance and the salary, but eventually you need to end up playing.
Jimmy Kelly
3   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:06:45

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As far as I'm aware we attempted to enter contract negotiations with him and he advised that he would rather play 1st team football and move back closer to home.

Not much you can do in those circumstances.

Also if you've seen any of Norwich's games this season you'll know he's not exactly exempt from dropping the odd clanger.
Tony J Williams
4   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:25:00

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Would that be the same keeper that has yet to have a clean sheet this season and conceeded 4 against the mighty MK Dons?
Ray Robinson
5   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:33:59

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TJ, no that was the reserve goalie called, coincidentally, Rudd. Ruddy has been excellent this season although, I agree, he would never have displaced Howard.
Rob Murphy
6   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:39:44

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We obviously saw potential if we signed him in the first place,he just never realised it.As mentioned he's had a clanged or two & he's bound to look good saving 1 or 2 of the twenty chances other teams are going to get against that defence!
Tony J Williams
7   Posted 27/10/2011 at 16:42:01

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To be honest, he must have known he would own get a couple of cup games (if we got passed our first tie) and thought it best he gets out to make sure his career doesn't stagnate like so many others at Goodison.
Lee Courtliff
8   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:20:38

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I knew somebody would mention Ruddy on here after his save,world class save,against the Shite.

I hope the lad does well. I saw him interviewed the other week and he seems like a nice bloke. Raises a lot of money for the Armed Forces.

It's always tough for a youngster to get a chance at a Prem club but even more so for a 'keeper.

I don't think we can be too hard on Moyes for this one. Even if he does become an England international.
Nick Armitage
9   Posted 27/10/2011 at 18:03:14

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Keepers are notoriously difficult to gauge. Some are completely unspectacular when young and immense when old, Southall is a prime example here; some are amazing in their teens and touted as future internationals, but proceed to achieve little, think Steve Simonsen.

Ruddy may well be going through a bit of purple patch, similar to one Richard Wright had at Ipswich - and we all know what happened to him.

Like Lee, I don't think we can point fingers at Moyes here. If anyone is to blame it is Ruddy for working his bollocks off and performing to the level he is. Good luck to the lad.
Chris Wright
10   Posted 27/10/2011 at 20:36:38

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I'm from Chester and have been to see them loads over the years (both as their previous club as City and the new Chester FC). I saw Ruddy a couple of times at The Deva and he looked really good and had loads of potential. I could see why Moyes signed him in the first place. But, as previous correspondence have said, he just could not get a chance here. I think for all it has worked out well. Good luck to him.

I also saw Iain Turner when he played for Chester. The less said the better. I do think Ruddy could have been given a chance in a couple of games that Turner played in.
Andy Crooks
11   Posted 27/10/2011 at 20:45:53

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This is hardly a golden age of goalkeepers. Jaaskileinen (sorry I've had ten goes at spelling that) of Bolton has been one of the best players, let alone goalkeepers of the last ten years but, as Nick says, it's hard to gauge. A friend who supports Sheff Wed said Turner was tremendous there. Howard is okay but I'm not entirely convinced.

I think the attacks on Mucha are unfair. They all make howlers and a lack of first team practice doesn't help. I wouldn't judge any player on a couple of games (Denis and Velios). Enough happened during the 120 minutes to have won the game, Mucha's blunder aside.
Michael Coffey
12   Posted 27/10/2011 at 22:57:17

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I once saw Chorley FC put 4 past Winsford United at Winsford. Never thought I'd see that keeper again either.

Southall, I think his name was...
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 28/10/2011 at 00:26:14

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Gordon Banks got many a league pasting.

I also remember the Blues of 68-69 putting 7 on Liecester and a certain young Mr Shilton.

Keepers, if they do get better, get better with age.

Continental keepers, with their flapping, punching (catch it, man!) and general Weetabix style, used to be a joke, but the joke came back to bite us in the bum when the Polish Keeper played a blinder.

There was a time pre-foreign player invasion that, with the exception of a few Scots and Welsh, any one of a dozen 1st Division English keepers would be good enough to play for not only the England of then, but easily the England of now and were only denied by the high class and long records of Banks, Clemence, Shilton, who must have had it sown up between them for nigh on 25 years. Hodkinson, Springett, Waiters, West, Stepney (even down to the much(a) maligned Bonnetti, who only got the chance coz West turned it down) spring to mind. I'm not sure if the 2 guys in the 60s from Blackburn and Burnley didn't get the odd cap as well.

Even the Flying Pig got a cap or 2 for Scotland, woolieback accent and all.
Eric Myles
14   Posted 28/10/2011 at 05:24:03

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^ And Derek, don't forget the excellent Gary Sprake the Leeds and Wales goalie. He was one of my favourites.
Tony J Williams
15   Posted 28/10/2011 at 09:31:37

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"They all make howlers and a lack of first team practice doesn't help" - Usually I would agree with that, but not for keepers. Catching a ball is their bread and butter, it doesn't take match practice to know how to keep hold of it.
Danny Biddle
16   Posted 28/10/2011 at 09:45:31

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Are keepers only as good as the defenders they play behind? A rubbish keeper can be made to look good behind rubbish defence and good keeper can look bad if he plays behind a good defence and only has a couple of things to do in any given match. Not sure which catagory our keepers fall into...!

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