Matty has been at the club all his life – the second successful goalkeeper to come through the ranks in recent times. It could be argued that he is the second successful anything to come through in recent times, such has been our drought of youth players. Gilks’ main strength is his shot-stopping ability, he has fast reactions and is excellent at saving penalties. He has also shown willingness to dive down at strikers feet if need be, and very rarely concedes fouls. Gilks is also adept at catching high balls, when he comes for them that is. His downfall was always his confidence, and you could see Matty on some occasions come then go then come again for some balls. A keeper needs to make his decision and stick to it. Having said that, when he is playing well, he tends to be more authoritative. However, if he gets down he has a tendency to crumble.
Rochdale probably wasn’t the best place for him to play. He used to get abuse from the two sections of home support behind the goals, unfairly in my opinion. This manifested itself in Gilks kicking under pressure and also his decision making. If any Norwich fans are reading this, I just hope they give him time to get some confidence, after all, he is playing two levels above what he was. If Gilks needs anything, it is the support of the fans.
Matthew won’t be without competition at Norwich. Paul Gallacher is the current first choice, but if rumours are to be believed, City are close to signing Celtic’s David Marshall. If that comes off, Gilks could be second or third choice. Time will tell if this is the case.
Our other departed player, Alan Goodall has left Rochdale and joined Luton Town instead. Our chants of “Der-der-der-der, sign a contract” obviously fell on deaf ears. I’m am unsure about Goodall’s departure. He was always an able player, but last season he seemed to have taken a step back from previous seasons, except when he was moved to centre back. Maybe this is because I was used to seeing Goodall at left-back, and when you watch a player over many seasons, you become acutely aware of their faults (like those guys who barracked Gilks). Goodall is quite fast, fit, and can get forward well. He is generally a good defender too, although sometimes he has a habit of letting his man beat him. I hope he has a great time at Luton, and I hope we have a sell-on fee.
The replacement for Goodall, Tom Kennedy, is apparently really good (the same was said about Paul Tait). bury fans tried to put on a brave face, but I could see they were not best pleased about his controversial departure. Expect to booed at Gigg Tom!
Here’s wishing two of our best player a fond farewell, and a warm welcome to two new comrades.
Viva la Revolution!