Paul Rachubka sat on the Leeds United bench for countless hours, waiting like a cobra, coiled and ready to strike. Unfortunately, when that opportunity arose, he was awful.
‘The loneliness of the reserve goalkeeper’, is a book waiting to be written. Hours spent during the week making sure your ‘mate’ is in tip top condition for Saturday, secretly hoping he trips awkwardly on the cone you mischievously moved into his path. You get changed and go home after training, mentally challenging yourself to find the motivation to sit on the bench for another game; unused, unloved, unseen. No hope, no fulfilment, no appearance bonus.
But then it all changes; the weeks of perpetual non-actualisation are forgotten when Andy Lonergan fractures his finger. This is it, six weeks minimum in the first team; a chance to shine on the biggest stage of your career, a chance to justify Simon Grayson’s faith in you.
At 8.30pm on Wednesday November 2nd 2011 Paul Rachubka’s brief reign of terror was brought to an abrupt end after three calamitous errors lead to a crushing home defeat and the public humiliation of being substituted at half time.
Against Coventry on your full league debut, you have no saves to make but in the 93rd minute you bundle a harmless cross into the path of a starved opponent and Leeds concede a debilitating equaliser. Against Peterborough you are hesitant and unconvincing but the two goals you meekly concede are papered over by an injury time winner. Against Birmingham you palm a catchable cross straight to another striker to dispatch the games only goal. Against Cardiff you repeatedly spill crosses and kick directly into touch, and against Blackpool………..
At 8.30pm on Wednesday November 2nd 2011 Paul Rachubka’s brief reign of terror was brought to an abrupt end after three calamitous errors lead to a crushing home defeat and the public humiliation of being substituted at half time. Scared and confused Paul is now recovering in a land far, far away, and Leeds United are safe again with a loanee keeper.
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