2010-11 season index
Player profile: Kenny Arthur
15 September 2010
Another season, another goalkeeper. In what now appears to be an annual event, the official website brimmed with optimism in unveiling the identity of our new sticksman. His name, they told us, was Kenny Arthur and he'd come from Rochdale to break our hearts. But wait a second; didn't Rochdale get promoted last season? Might this one actually be half decent?
He might. In fact, there's more than just a fourth division promotion medal to suggest that this 'keeper may be a keeper. Kenneth James 'Kenny' Arthur was born on 7 December 1978, making him 31 years old, and is 6 foot 3 inches, making him pretty tall. A Scottish lad, Arthur started his career at Partick Thistle and remained there for ten years, establishing himself as the club's number one during one of the most celebrated periods in their history. Back-to-back promotions between 2000 and 2002 led to two seasons playing in the Scottish Premier League, where he was spotted by then Scotland boss Berti Vogts and called up to the national side for the European qualifiers in Iceland and Lithuania. He didn't play in either game, but he probably got a couple of nice photos to show the grandkids and a few bonus air miles, so not totally wasted trips.
In 2007, after 243 appearances, a testimonial v Celtic and club legend status assured, Arthur decided it was time to leave Thistle and headed for Accrington. He enjoyed two successful seasons at Stanley, making 66 appearances and generally impressing everyone at the Crown Ground, to the extent that boss John Coleman tried to take him back there this summer. In 2009 he made the short trip to Rochdale and started the first 15 games of the season before injuring his back in late October. Thereafter he struggled to reclaim his place in a side that had hit form in his absence and made only two further appearances as Dale gained their first promotion in 41 years.
So yeah, on paper, he does sound half decent. But we've seen plenty of keepers arrive with pedigree only to turn out to be shit. Anthony Williams arrived from Hartlepool having been voted their all-time cult hero. Blackpool had seen enough in Phil Barnes to spend £100,000 on him a few years before he joined us. Nick Colgan had represented the Republic of Ireland eight times. No, what we need is a keeper with more than just stats and caps and records. Someone with something a little bit different. Someone with, say... a risk management degree from Glasgow Caledonian University?
That's right. Our new goalkeeper has a degree. In risk management. Now, I've never really given the topic much thought before now, but if I were to choose a subject that I would want the goalkeeper of my club to have graduated from a university with, I reckon risk management would be well up there. Along with, I dunno, 'Kicking the Ball Really Far in a Straight Line (BA Hons)'. However, reports that Arthur's dissertation was entitled 'Identifying, assessing and evaluating the potential risk of an inswinging corner in a swirling wind' are unconfirmed.
And that's not all. Putting his degree to good use, Arthur has set up his own glove company: KA Goalkeeping. The 'mission statement' of the company is "more than just a pair of gloves"... but it looks as though it mainly just sells pairs of gloves. Doing his bit to smash the age-old stereotype that all goalkeepers are crazy, he's even applied to Dragons Den to get the business venture some more exposure, but has warned: "It's a very long process." Typical pessimistic Scot.
So it looks like Kenny is set up for life after playing. Here's hoping, however, that he's got a good few years (and preferably at least one more promotion) left in him yet before he utters the immortal line "I'm out!"
Stats from Soccerbase
Info from Wikipedia