The Curious Case of Christy Pym

When Pym was purchased in the summer, he seemed to be the answer to our prayers. On a free transfer, hyped up by Exeter fans and a goalkeeper who could play out from the back with ease and confidence – this, unfortunately, hasn’t transpired so far with Pym at Posh with him looking more error prone than the trustworthy keeper sold to us by Exeter City.

So, should we persist with Pym for the meanwhile? Or look towards O’Malley or last season’s regular Chapman?

Pym has made some glaring howlers so far – dropping the ball for Norwood to slot in an easy tap-in is the most obvious one, but a more recent example includes Christy letting the ball go between his legs from a straightforward shot by Pinnock against Wimbledon. Keepers are obviously a position that gains a lot of attention due to their importance, and thus the odd mistake isn’t out of the question – the Rochdale keeper for example made a horrendous mistake against us for Toney to score an easy goal. But, the frequency of errors is rather alarming for a man who was seen as an excellent signing at the time of his arrival. Chapman, too, was hyped up for winning League Two’s Golden Glove and he now sits on the bench or even the stands.

Another issue fans seem to have with Pym is his short height, just coming in at six foot – to his credit, anyone would seem a dwarf in contrast to Aaron Chapman. Also, height isn’t everything for a keeper and it is slightly harsh to judge him purely for being smaller than some rival goalkeepers. But, in aerial battles, Pym does look weak – a prime example being his fumble versus Ipswich, he didn’t look assured and James Norwood made sure to take his chance.

Also, is Pym’s distribution as good as it was suggested to in pre-season? He does look calm when passing out from the back to equally competent passers like Kent or Mason. However, using the Wimbledon home match as an example, most of his goal-kicks rarely made it to the correct player and they often veered out of play for an opposition throw-in to the annoyance of Darren Ferguson – so annoyed in fact, he played Pym with some teenagers against Arsenal’s youngsters. Does this show that Fergie is losing patience with Pym?

On the other hand, there is a case for Posh to continue persisting with Christy even in spite of the negatives outlined. Firstly, although the leakiness has returned in Posh’s defence, a lot of clean sheets have been picked up along the way – it’s just when Posh concede, it’s a noticeable amount.

Before the Tranmere away match, Posh had 5 clean sheets in a row to their name – a significant one being at home to Sunderland, where Posh cruised to a 3-0 win with Pym picking up his 3rd successive clean sheet, before solidifying that with a further 2. Even after an unconvincing display against The Dons, he stepped back in and kept a clean sheet in the Leasing.com Trophy.

“When the goals dry up, Pym’s frailties might ring more evident”

It’s just hard to justify that when you compare after the 6-0 demolition of Rochdale, with Christy conceding 9 in the following 5 displays in net. Obviously, the defenders do have to take blame for this leakiness – Beevers contributing to the 2 being scored at Doncaster due to a lack of pace and effective marking. Likewise, at Wycombe, Kent’s intervention was inevitably making its way into the net via an unfortunate own goal. So, it isn’t all Pym’s fault. Besides, other than the terrible Donny away day, Posh have managed to pick up points using Fergie’s old approach of winning games by slender margins, outscoring the opposition if needs must. But when the goals dry up, Pym’s frailties might ring more evident.

Still, I think Posh should stick with Christy purely because neither O’Malley nor Chapman are particularly good and neither were convincing enough last season to displace Christy just yet. When we stop scoring by the bucket load, and Pym is still shaky, an intervention from either Connor or Chapman might be useful. But, until then, I think the general outcome is to persevere until his howlers outweigh our goal scoring exploits. 

By Kelan Sarson

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