Category Archives: Goalkeepers

Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015 – The Winner

So further to my last post on the 2015 contenders, the final game of the 2014-2015 season has been played. We now have a clear winner, meaning that my wish for a 5 way tie did not come true, with only one keeper keeping the clean she’s that mattered. 

The award went to 3 time winner and our England and Manchester City Number One, Joe Hart. That means he also goes into the record books as the only keeper to win this 4 times. That is some achievement. Well done Joe Hart. Very well deserved.

Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015

So with 1 match remaining, we see a four way battle for the Premier League Golden Glove Award 2015. With 13 clean sheets each, which one of these amazing keepers will come out on top:

  • Joe Hart, Manchester City – has won this award 3 times before and showing again why he is a world class stopper and why he is England’s number one
  • Simon Mignolet – he was dropped to the bench because of a dip in form, but we alway knew he was a quality keeper and has proved his critics wrong. Fighting his way back in to the side and now into contention for this award
  • Lukasz Fabianski – left Arsenal to gain first team football, as he was playing second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny (Last year’s joint winner with Petr Cech). Funnily enough Szczesny has also dropped to the bench, seeing Fabianski playing regulary for Swansea and showing Arsene what he is missing.
  • Fraser Forster – I did question why Southampton brought in Forster as they did at the time have 2 great keepers in Kelvin Davis and Artur Boruc (now at Bournemouth, helping them to win promotion to perhaps fight for the glove next season), however Forster has shown me and other why he is now pushing Joe Hart for the England number one Jersey

Unfortunately Fraser now looks to be ruled out of first team action with injury until 2016. So it seems it will be a three way struggle. 

Albeit let’s add one more to the mix… Thibaut Courtois. He has played a huge part in Chelsea’s Premier a League Winners campaign, keeping Petr Cech on the bench… Who would have thought that would happen, like Szczesny, last year’s joint winner, not even getting much time in the team to push for the award again (and Cech has won it 3 times before, like Hart!). However Coutois currently has 12 clean sheets and one more would see him join this club of 13… Unlucky for some, meaning a potential 5 winners. 

Hmm… Wouldn’t that be something. Even though I am pushing for no clean sheets this weekend by the 13 club, wouldn’t it be great if we had 5 winners, rather than just the one. I think they do all deserve it. What a fantastic season for Goalkeepers!

There are two new Goalkeepers in the Premier League

With the Championship season drawing to a close, with just the play-off winner to resolve. Two teams are already promoted with Goalkeepers I was blogging about 2 years ago.

I blogged because I saw great potential in both of them after watching them in a number of games:

Kasper Schmeichel – living in the shadow of his dad, someone who had been trying to emulate his dad. However, Kasper is now finding his own style and it has not gone un-noticed by clubs in the Premiership. Check out my previous article: https://goalkeepingitreal.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/goalkeeper-spotlight-kasper-schmeichel/

Tom Heaton – 2 years after moving from Cardiff, where chances were limited because the impressive David Marshall was in goal (still as impressive this season with his shots to save ratio, even though Cardiff swap with Burnley into the Championship…). Now Tom Heaton has shown why he was in the England U21 set up. It is good to see another English keeper given a chance to shine in the top division. Check out my previous articles: https://goalkeepingitreal.wordpress.com/tag/tom-heaton/

Here is to next season and seeing how these Goalkeepers develop further ūüėČ

Proud Dad

My daughter has come a very long way. From life’s twists and turns she has had to battle with that big foe, confidence. There have been times that have challenged her confidence, however one of the biggest things that has helped her continue to build confidence has been, that of being part of a team of girls who share the same passion as her, for playing football…

She first discovered football at first/primary school. However, on moving to Middle school, she found that at that time they did not promote girls football. She attended their after school training but this was for the boys and as the only girl there she found it difficult to settle in, which upset her. So, we found her a local team and this was the start of something good…

She was now part of a team of other like minded girls and from this confidence grew. It was within this team that she discovered her love of Goalkeeping, often filling in this position, when the Manager asked for volunteers. This became such a regular occurrence, that the Manager suggested that she attend Goalkeeper training…

From the moment she attended the Goalkeeper training, she was hooked. Through attending this and subsequently the Academy with a Head Coach (who as a female goalkeeper herself inspired My daughter!) and all the other many coaches at the Academy that have trained her/with her, she has improved her Goalkeeping skills further…

Her development this year has been superb, with opposing Managers commenting about her tremendous improvement, game to game, with one saying ‘she was the best in the league’…

… And last night, was my proudest moment, when she picked up the award for ‘Most Improved Player’. Well deserved indeed.

I would like to thank the following people who have helped my daughter on her development journey, to enable her to gain such great recognition:

To her former Manager, who introduced her to Goalkeeping.

To Bernie, a brilliant Goalkeeper coach and the person who inspired her the most, to develop her skill further in Goalkeeping. He has a great way with all ages of student and continues to help her develop at the Academy.

To her current Manager and former Assistant Manager (who I took over from), who allowed my daughter to make her own decisions in goal, that if she needed help in the early days with goal kicks say, that it was her choice. This has really been a big catalyst to her development. That combined with her new team mates who play as one team, laughing together and developing together. A team where everyone improved because they all worked together to help each other.

To the opposing Managers, as their comments along with our own observations were the reason she was picked out for this award.

And finally to the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy, a centre that she went to, because she wanted to be as good as the lady who set it up, Julia. Julia and all the other many volunteer coaches who turn up each week (including myself), have really honed in on the areas in most need of development and built on all aspects of her game. This included the biggest hurdle of all, confidence… as at the Academy they also looked at the psychological part of the training and this truly has developed, as my daughter is now more confident in not only Football, but also in life.

Well done indeed. Very proud ūüėČ

Football Awards – fingers crossed

Well after a long hard season it is awards night.

I have my fingers crossed tonight for my daughter. She has played tremendously well for her football team this season with many of the opposing managers praising her efforts…

She has been up against a lot of shots, which has only seen her grow and develop as a Goalkeeper. If she does win then it will be well deserved and if not I understand, as for me the whole team deserve an award for all their effort in the face of adversity – that is having a lack of players and playing against teams (or rather managers!!) who are happy to take advantage of this fact, for the win (not really looking at player development) – soap box moment over… Here’s to the team and here’s hoping for my daughter… Fingers crossed ūüėČ

Villain to Hero

After posting the article about Casper Ankergren, of his momentary error that cost 2 points for Brighton an Hove Albion after a sterling display, I read some fascinating stats in another Goalkeeper also once berated by the press for similar momentary errors. Someone who the press were writing about his replacement at Manchester United almost as soon as he’d started his career there…

Fast forward to the recent stats in the Premiership and David De Gea is now showing that those critics (as usually is the case) were far to quick to judge. Keeping it clean at Manchester United for 627 minutes and now being called up to the Senior Spanish Team. Well deserved!

Let’s hope he keeps proving his doubters wrong. Although if he does make a mistake, can we please keep it real and remember the good times?

…And with the Manchester Derby this weekend with the expected barrage of shots, will he be able¬†to keep this premier league clean sheet run going, so that he can come close to,¬†match or even surpass the record by another Manchester United great, Edwin van der Sar, who kept it clean for 1,311 minutes?

Hero to Villain

With Tomasz Kuszczak sidelined for Brighton and Hove Albion, Casper Ankergren took his chance to shine between the sticks, keeping out shot after shot by Nottingham Forest. After 90 minutes of superb goalkeeping and all set to win the Man-of-the-Match, it took just 1 minute of injury time to undo the great work by Casper Ankergren. A seemingly tame shot went through both the hands and legs of Casper and into the back of the net meaning 2 points lost by Brighton and Hove Albion.

You have to feel sorry for Casper, but he is not alone, I have witnessed this a number of times at Senior level and down through to grass roots level. The effect is always the same, the Goalkeeper provides a match winning performance and within seconds of being the Hero, to then almost becoming the villain as it is then that this one mistake is the one part of the match that they all remember at the end. The superb display before that seems to pale into insignificance and gone is any match award.

Fortunately though not all Managers and Coaches in the game end up blaming the goalkeeper for one single mistake, so you have to hand it to the Brighton and Hove Albion Manager, Gus Poyet as he not only sympathised with the Goalkeeper, but also summed up the life of any Goalkeeper brilliantly:

“When you are a keeper you pay the price and Casper has done that today. He was having a very, very good game, making two or three good saves, coming for crosses and kicking very well. In training he will save a 1,000 shots like that but we wanted him to save it today…

…Goalkeeper is a terrible position to play but we lose together and we win together – at least we got a point.”

Goalkeeper scores from a dead ball kick…

It’s was quite amazing to see the Alan Marriott goal, because how often does a Goalkeeper score from that distance.

It just goes to show that effective goal kicks need: power, height, distance and of course a little bit of luck!

Let’s not forget the last time we saw such an amazing Goalkeeper goal, this time not from hands, but from the floor. A goal by England keeper, Paul Robinson. He’s still a class act, helping Blackburn Rovers to keep the score line against them down. Let’s just relive that moment – pure class:

Goalkeeper scores from a volley kick…

Check out this YouTube footage of Goalkeeper Alan Marriott of Mansfield Town scoring a goal from kicking out of hands…brilliant:

Adios to Barcelona for Valdes…

I have grown up supporting a team I watched as a young boy and that support has never wavered through both the good and bad times of football, I have been there through thick and thin. However even though I am an avid supporter of my club I do look out for the results of certain other teams, whether that be because I have friends or relatives who support them, or in the case of Barcelona, because of the number of great holidays to this beautiful part of the world, almost making Barcelona feel like a second home. That coupled with my good understanding of the Spanish language allowing me to read a good chunk of the words in the Spanish press, especially my favourite paper the Sport (This is not in any way the same as the UK boob filled newspaper, this is actually about sport!) allows me to follow Barcelona in more ways than one. Not just from reading the papers whilst on holiday, but also through their App and Facebook site, meaning I am flooded with information on the team, giving me yet more reasons to practice my Spanish  whilst reading about the latest rumours in the Barcelona camp.

When it comes to rumours, often the Sport out-trumps our press. They called it right on the transfers of Thierry Henry, David Villa and most recently Alex Song from Arsenal. So as a fan of Goalkeeping a number of stories recently have really caught my eye… That Victor Valdes is not looking to renew his contract with Barcelona when it expires in 1.5 years.

The UK press are all over this story too, already throwing names in the frame as their own potential ‘Exclusives’. With one rumour being that Liverpool and Barcelona could be looking to do a swap for Spain’s 2nd choice goalkeeper, Valdes, for Spain’s 3rd choice keeper, Pepe Reina. Which would make sense as Reina was a former Barcelona scholar and would probably like a return. However, when you read the¬†Spanish¬†press there is a different name being touted, one which make’s more sense, Thibaut Courtois.

Courtois, is someone Barcelona have been able to see up close, from his time on loan from Chelsea¬†in La Liga at Atletico Madrid. Seeing Courtois in very impressive form…¬†Last season (2011-2012) saw him keep 23 clean sheets 52 appearances for Atletico Madrid and this season (2012-2013) to date he has kept 14 clean sheets in 24 games! No wonder ¬†he appears to have caught their eye, and no wonder why Chelsea want to hold contract talks with him… However, even though this impressive form ought to see him get more first team appearances with his current employer on his return from loan, there is the issue of the also impressive Petr Cech being in his way. With Cech as the first choice keeper, would Courtois really be happy as ¬†the second choice, when this Summer he could be guaranteed first team action? All of which means there is a lot more to this rumour than just paper talk…

It will be a shame for Barcelona to lose Valdes, who according to the Sport will be sold in the Summer. He has been such a great Goalkeeper for them over the many years as their number 1. Indeed, he has had his low points, his critics and dropped the odd clanger, but which keeper hasn’t (including those at the¬†highest¬†level). His stats over the years show that he deserves the praise and recognition he is getting. Most notably his best form was in 2007, when he entered the¬†Barcelona record books after not conceding a goal for 466 minutes, followed by winning the best goalkeeper in Spain in the 2008-2009 season beating the Spanish 1st Choice Goalkeeper Iker Casillas – some feat. It is part of the reason why Barcelona will remain fond of him.¬†I wish him well and perhaps maybe… he will decide to come to the Premiership. If so then I for one can’t wait to see him in action! ūüėČ

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