I was sickened and angered by the level of abuse thrown at Farms in the middle of the season. The 2-2 draw with Swindon sticks in my mind the most, when he palmed shots away only for a striker to slam the rebound home. You know who else did that recently? Christy Pym of Exeter, only Elliott didn’t slam the rebound home. The pundits gave the plaudits to Pym for the save, our fans gave Farman disgusting abuse on social media. They almost seemed happy we’d conceded as it proved their ‘point’.
Everyone knows I’m a fan of Paul Farman, he’s a cracking personality and someone who served this club superbly over several years. His displays last season were as good as any in the National League and for him to have Football League appearances to his name is the culmination of his dreams. I know that from speaking to him last year.
This year will have hurt Farms and to a degree it’s been sad for me to watch as he’s one of my favourite players, but there’s little doubt that Josh Vickers is a very good keeper. Danny gave Farms a chance, but the Mansfield Town game at home didn’t leave him in the best light. A keeper who commands his area should have stopped that cross before Danny Rose gave them the lead.
I didn’t blame him for the Notts County goals, but he found himself dropped just a couple of days afterwards. Josh Vickers didn’t really put a foot wrong, so there wasn’t a chance for Farms to get back into the side. When he did, critics were quick to latch onto his errors, or perceived errors.
Look at Accrington in the Checkatrade Trophy. Sean McConville beat him with an absolute thunderbolt and the keyboard warriors were out, but few commended his tremendous double save in the dying embers to keep us in the game. For some reason our long-serving keeper had become the scapegoat for a section of support, which I find desperately unfair.
The problem Farms has now is clear. Vickers injury meant a cover keeper came in, but the fact Allsop came in and stayed between the sticks will surely be a concern for the likeable Geordie. He has a year to run on his contract, but will he be happy playing second fiddle to Josh? Will Danny be happy having a keeper on the bench whom he didn’t deem suitable to play regularly in the second half of the season?
It’s a big summer for Paul Farman, one I hope sees him come back determined to prove the boo boys wrong, even if that is in cup competitions and for the occasional league game.
Next page – the best in the squad