Saturday, January 30, 2010

MaCalamity no more?

The news that Hibs have signed Mark Brown as back up to current number one Graeme Smith must surely bring to an end the Easter Road career of Yves Makalambay. Once more we in Scottish football must mourn a true maverick.

For some time now he has been a figure of fun. One of his final appearances came when he appeared as a half time substitute against Falkirk earlier this season. His every gangling step as he entered the fray was greeted with ironic cheers from the away support. If he wasn't already convinced that he needed new goalkeepers then the boost that just seeing Makalambay gave the visitors that day will have persuaded John Hughes to make changes.

(As an aside, just what has happened to the man he replaced that day? Graeme Stack hasn't been seen since. An injury more serious than feared? Or more mysterious reasons? The gossip I hear could not possibly be published without prior legal consideration. Feel free to have a guess in the comments section in true Holy Moly style).

Unfortunately for Makalambay some of his errors have been so remarkable, and at a club that has struggled between the sticks for some time, that he was destined to be consigned to the SPL's dustbin of comedy players. Even his choice of shirt number, 50, hinted at a man who didn't really understand his job.

In fact he was capable of some great goalkeeping. He seemed to suffer from some kind of reverse Alan Rough syndrome. Where Roughie could appear entirely uninterested in a game for 85 minutes only to switch on and excel for five minutes of action, Makalambay seemed to keep focus for the vast majority of the game only to let his mind flicker to what he was going to have for his tea at the crucial moment when a simple catch was called for.

Still I wish him well. His style is unorthodox but there's nothing wrong with that if it can be coupled with a stronger mental approach. For all that, he plays the game with a smile. As his teammates, managers and fans howled their disbelief at his latest blunder he seemed to shrug it all off. Maybe he's worked out the secret. Whisper it, but this is just a bloody stupid game after all.

So good luck Yves. And, if any fans of whatever lower league English team he ends up with stumble across this page, here is a clip of one of his more inexplicable moments.