With Pepe Reina receiving a straight red for nuzzling up to James Perch late in yesterday's match, the club will be without their first-choice keeper for the next three matches---home with Aston Villa, away to Blackburn, and, crucially, the semi-final tie at Wembley with Everton. Given that Reina's played every minute of competitive action so far this season, a fair bit of hand-wringing is to be expected as they approach life without him.
We can argue about how unfair the sending off was, or how it boggles the mind that Perch could have been gravely wounded by the force of the wind created by Reina's head movement. We can't really argue that it was a foolish decision by Reina to approach him so agressively, though, even if it's understandable that on such a depressing afternoon, frustrations were bound to boil over. It doesn't seem that the club has much interest in appealing, as Kenny Dalglish has acknowledged that the red was "deserved."
That leaves Dalglish and Liverpool with the uncomfortable prospect handing their backup keeper his Liverpool debut with only a few weeks remaining and ahead of the last match with any sort of actual importance connected to it.
Doni's time at Liverpool hasn't been very notable, with Reina the clear favorite despite a relative dip in form. It's led to openly voiced uncertainty from the player about whether or not he'll be with the club come summer, which is understandable if he wants to be playing on a consistent basis. He featured only twice during the preseason, surrendering two goals apiece against Hull and Galatasaray, and since that time he's been a spectator in league and both domestic cups, only getting time in the midseason friendly with Rangers, when he conceded the lone goal of the match.
The worrying about match readiness is Liverpool and Dalglish's own fault---with a clear emphasis on advancing in the League and FA Cups they opted to go with Reina in matches that we'd have typically seen a backup, and it's up for debate how necessary Reina was against Exeter, Brighton, and Oldham. So in terms of evidence of Doni's effectiveness in net in competitive matches, all we've got is dramatically scored and slo-motionified clips from his time with Roma, where he was first-choice and, at times, very good.
But form from last year or seasons prior doesn't do much in the way of informing us about how he'll perform over the next few weeks, although it at least confirms that he's done this whole goalkeeping thing before. And I guess if it doesn't work out, there's always Jose Enrique.