Magnificent Marshall Doesn’t Surprise Me


There are quite a few former SPL goalkeepers plying their trade in the English Premier League this season and they are doing a fine job too.

Artur Boruc has helped Southampton into the top half of the table. Before his injury many were suggesting Hull’s Allan McGregor might get into the EPL’S team of the year. Former Dundee man Julian Speroni has been in fine form as he battled with his Crystal Palace teammates to survive in the top flight. Tim Krul is now Newcastle Utd’s number one and in the Dutch national squad. While John Ruddy could be heading to the World Cup with England.

Only one former SPL keeper is currently in the relegation zone but he’s the one that everyone is talking about at the moment.

David Marshall has been in terrific form with Cardiff this season, despite all of the dramatic off field problems at the Welsh club and the fact that the side have struggled since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over.

The Scottish international keeper is almost single-handly keeping his side in games and helping them win vital points. How vital they will be, will only be decided in the last few weeks of the season.

He has faced 587 shots this term, the nearest to that total has been Ruddy, who has had 514 shots to deal with. In his thirty-four appearances Marshall has managed to keep seven clean-sheets. His shot-stopping has been fantastic all season.

Cardiff City boss Solskjaer has been full of praise for his goalkeeper. After their last match Ole said this…

“The chance ‘Marshy’ (Marshall) saved, should have been a goal, and we should have sat here with no points, but we have to thank him again.”

The Norwegian has been extremely impressed with the Scotsman, so much so that one of his first pieces of business at Cardiff was to get his number one to agree to a new longer deal.

That hasn’t stopped others looking over the goalie and admiring his qualities with Tottenham and Liverpool being linked with a move for the six foot three stopper.

Now many fans of the English Premier League will have been surprised by Marshall’s outstanding performances but I’ve seen him since he broke into the Celtic team back in 2002.

Even back then he excelled in the trenches against stiffer opponents. As a young goalkeeper he was thrown on against Barcelona in a UEFA Cup tie after Rab Douglas was sent off at half-time, he had a good half and Celtic won the first leg 1-0. Marshall will forever go down in Celtic folklore after he managed to keep a cleansheet at the Nou Camp. Barca might not have been the team they are now but their side did include Ronaldino, Luis Enrique, Marc Overmars and Xavi! They peppered David’s goal but the nineteen year old didn’t waver under Goliath’s might. Later on in his Celtic days, Marshall would face Barca again. Celtic would lose but Marshall once again impressed, saving a Ronaldinho penalty.

Its always hard to grow as a footballer in Glasgow especially when you play for one of the Old Firm. Mistakes are always jumped upon and magnified. So it became a bit of a struggle for Marshall when he had a disappointing few games in 2005. New Celts boss Gordon Strachan decided to replace the Scot with new signing Artur Boruc. That would signal an end to Marshall’s career in Glasgow.

But instead of being down on his luck Marshall went south to England/Wales and forged a decent career in the Championship with Norwich then Cardiff. In his six full seasons in the Championship, Marshall would play over forty matches in five of those campaigns. Showing his reliability and worth to the first team.

So going into this season those of us who had seen him preform his heroics against Barca or had witnessed his steady, strong outings in the Championship, would have known that he wouldn’t be out of his depth in the English top flight.

But it has been fantastic to see Marshall grab his chance with both hands and shine in the Premier League. The eleven capped Scottish international has now matured in to a fine consistent goalie and is once again showing the same qualities he did a decade ago.

He will no doubt be in the running for the EPL team of the year and deservedly so. I also believe he will be a shoe-in for Cardiff City’s player of the year award.

The only questions now remaining for David Marshall are these: Can Cardiff survive this season? If not then where will he be next term?

I hope for David Marshall’s sake he remains in the top league, stays a number one and keeps on impressing. He has worked hard to get to the top and deserves to remain there!

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