2012/13 Report Cards: Goalkeepers

David Rogers

Over the next few weels we'll look back at each player from the 2012/13 season and review how they performed over the course of the season. Today we'll start with the goalkeepers, where three players all started Premier League games.

Firstly the grading system will be be done from A+ to an F, where A+ is a magical one of a kind season and F is the type that makes you want to put the players in stocks and hurl rotten vegetables at them.

In terms of grades, it's not just about performances but expectations, previous history etc. For example it would be unfair to give Stuart Taylor a low grade on the basis that he only played 4 games, nor totally slam Simon Church after he didn't even feature.

Stats used are Premier League ones only.

Adam Federici

Games: 21 Clean Sheets: 3

Federici came into this season on the back of a magnificent 2011/12 that had seen him named third in the Player of the Season vote and widely praised as one of the best 'keepers in the Championship. Sadly just as the man who pipped him to the Championship's goalkeeper of the year, Kelvin Davis, fell apart, so did Federici who suffered a string of high profile blunders to start the campaign.

In our opening game he let the tamest of efforts slip through his body against Stoke and he followed that up with by allowing Gary Cahill's long-range effort to beat him as well.

Federici then found himself dropped for Alex McCarthy, although he was also having to sort out a knee problem. With McCarthy impressing it seemed as if Federici's time at Reading was over, but McCarthy's freak injury at QPR let Federici in and he responded by keeping a clean sheet against Norwich and then helping us beat Everton 2-1. In the seven games that followed Federici mixed good performances with mediocre ones but he eventually saw his campaign derailed by an ankle injury suffered the day before the Everton game. With McDermott gone he played in one last game against Southampton but hasn't been seen in a squad since.

Errors can happen to any goalkeeper but for them to happen in back-to-back games was poor and Federici never fully looked assured when he came back. The lack of a settled back four probably didn't help but it's safe to say Federici's season was underwhelming by even his own standards. I don't think he had as bad a season as some might make out but I can't suggest it was a stunner either, to me it was the very definition of average.

GRADE: C

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Alex McCarthy

Games: 13 Clean Sheets: 2

McCarthy was named second in this year's Player of the Season vote despite having played just 11 games to that point but if you'd seen those games it was easy to see why.

After a shaky start against Tottenham he was impressive throughout the next six games, culminating in a Man of the Match performance at QPR that was sadly overshadowed by a freak shoulder injury.

The initial diagnosis suggested he'd be out for the season but he battled back to return under Nigel Adkins in April and his return was a sensational one as he denied Liverpool time and time again to keep a clean sheet. An up and down pattern then followed with good games against Fulham and Man City but weaker displays against Norwich and West Ham but an England call-up was justly deserved for one of England's best young 'keepers.

Whether he's a Reading player next season remains to be seen but if he is we'll certainly have the best 'keeper in the Championship.

GRADE: A

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Stuart Taylor

Games: 4 Clean Sheets: 0

Few thought Taylor would make a league appearance but injuries to McCarthy and Federici meant that Taylor was forced into action and he did a respectable job in those games, often the lone player to take any credit during four straight defeats. Sadly he saved his worst performance for his final game against former employers Arsenal but overall he justified his signing and probably surpassed expectation but holding his own.

GRADE: C+

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OVERALL

Our goalkeepers probably summed up the best and worst parts of our season. Federici's failure to step up was symptomatic of most of our Championship winning regulars but McCarthy along with the likes of fellow Academy graduate Hal Robson-Kanu proved rare bright spots in a dismal campaign and gave us some hope for the future. Throw in Taylor's decent shift and in my opinion we just about got better than average production at the position.

OVERALL GRADE: B-

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