Liverpool FC: The Long-Time Curse of the Backup Goalkeeper

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Liverpool FC: The Long-Time Curse of the Backup Goalkeeper
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Liverpool FC last week completed two transfers in one day, the second of which was the high profile, multi-million pound deal to move England and Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing to Anfield to be the fourth capture of the summer transfer window for the Reds under Kenny Dalglish.

But the first one of the day was somewhat more understated, under-covered and certainly involved less fanfare and money changing hands. AS Roma's Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni joined the club as an understudy for the currently injured No. 1 of the club, Pepe Reina.

Doni is not expected to feature too heavily for the Reds as Reina is by some distance the undisputed first choice and one of the top 'keepers in world football, but Doni is likely to play for Liverpool in the domestic cups and may even start the league campaign in the net if Reina does not recover fully from his double hernia operation in time for the Aug. 13th kick off.

Downing was certainly the bigger name out of the two captures, certainly the more expensive and will certainly be expected to contribute many times more to the success of the club than Doni will.

But it is Doni who is following in the footsteps of more people who have come before him.

While Downing will try to succeed where a few Rieras, Letos and Gonzalezs have failed before him, an altogether larger number have tried to displace the Liverpool No. 1 over the past couple of decades, with a remarkable lack of success.

From unknown Scandinavians to top drawer 'keepers who went on to prove their worth elsewhere, Liverpool have seen more than their fair share of No. 2s warm the bench during the Premier League years.

A long list which doesn't show any sign of abating just yet with no less than four senior goalkeepers on the books of the club at present, as well as a reserve and two promising youngsters.

Many have come and gone, while Liverpool have essentially had just Bruce Grobbelaar, David James, Sander Westerveld, Jerzy Dudek and now Pepe Reina as their first choice stoppers since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.

Read on and remember the best, the worst and the completely anonymous backup goalkeepers Liverpool have paid to sit on the bench—or worse, feature only for the Reserves—since the inception of the Premier League.


You can follow me on Twitter @karlmatchett and on EighteenAndFive or become my fan on B/R!

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