Category Archives: Goalkeeper spotlight
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 😉
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! 😉
At the start of the season, Aston Villa’s number 1 was Shay Given. Let’s face it with Shay’s track record in goal who could blame the Villa as he has had a phenomenal career, someone that many of us Goalkeepers and Goalkeeper Coaches admire.
However only 3 matches in Villa took the decision to start with Brad Guzan in goal. Someone I felt after watching in a cup match at the Villa was no match for Shay… Fast forward 15 matches and he is still in goal and now proving me wrong. At the rate he is going he is likely to pick up my end of season award for busiest keeper as in the 2 of the last 3 matches alone he has had to cope with (from BBC stats) a ridiculous amount of shots on target (29 in total!!!). And keeping the scoreline low (only 2 goals conceded over these matches).
In his last match at Liverpool he had to cope with 17 shots on target (!) and only conceded the 1 goal whilst watching Pepe Reina have only 6 shots on goal, but conceding 3. (Match report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20650106)
With 5 clean sheets this season and a huge work rate means that Brad is having a huge influence on the games at the Villa as few (including me) thought Villa would pick up all 3 points at Anfield…
I take my (Santa) hat off to you Brad for continuing to prove me wrong and prove you are a match for Shay. Long may your fine displays continue! I think you deserve a big Christmas drink! 😉
With votes flying in for the Premier league’s 20 seasons, the biggest candidate for the best Goalkeeper over those 20 seasons must be Peter Schmeichel. He was such a great Goalkeeper that every goalkeeper after him at Manchester United had a lot to live up to! So spare a thought for his son, Kasper who people are already trying to match up against his old man!
The pressure on Kasper to be as good or better than his dad must be immense, but he isn’t doing too bad… Yes, he has some similar traits to his Dad, he makes mistakes (don’t we all!) but let’s face it he is only 25 and he is still developing. If he is like his dad, then he still has another 14 years of Goalkeeping to prove he is as good as we hope he is!
He has great potential and this potential was first really shown during his time at Notts County under Sven Goran-Eriksson where in the 2009-2010 season:
- He kept 24 clean sheets in 43 games (this equated to a 55.8% ratio for clean sheets to games; and
- Only conceded 29 goals in 43 matches. an impressive 0.67 goals conceded per game.
Fast forward then to this season (2011-2012) with Leicester City (also signed by Sven Goran-Eriksson) and with only 1 match to go this Kasper has:
- Played in every league match this season (45 games);
- Conceded 54 goals; and
- Kept 14 clean sheets.
Yes that does mean that Kasper has conceded more (1.2 goals conceded per game) than at Notts county and the ratio for clean sheets to games is lower too at 31.1%. However at Leicester he has been far busier in goal than at Notts County! Kasper has actually had to cope with an astonishing 240 shots on target (far lower than my last goalkeeper spotlight blog for Adam Federici). Therefore if you based his stats on how busy he actually was, then at 54 goals conceded versus 240 shots on goal, means that he only conceded 0.2 goals per every shot at goal, which you have to say is very impressive.
OK, he may not win the golden glove this season, but then that is difficult for any Goalkeeper that has to cope with that amount of shots on goal (a good point to remember for those student Goalkeepers), but how good a keeper is, is more than just clean sheets (another good point for the student Goalkeepers). So it isn’t a surprise to read in the press that he is being linked to moves to the premiership.
Kasper is most definitely one to watch and has every chance to emulate the success of his Dad. I can’t wait to see that – although it’s a shame he isn’t an English international!
So Reading this week secured promotion but how much do they owe that to their Australian Goalkeeper, Adam Federici…
So far this season Federici has kept 14 clean sheets. And yes some goalkeepers with a similar amount of clean sheets this season have done so because of few shots on goal, meaning that the defence can also share the credit. This could be said of Federici, with only 125 shots on goal this season (compared with that previously posted about Frankie Fielding having 275 shots on goal!). However, this month has shown Federici’s true real class as a Goalkeeper, that so far this month he has kept 4 clean sheets against a barrage of 31 shots on goal…
The best of his performances being the match against their rivals for the Championship trophy, Southampton, who had 19 shots at goal and 12 on target. The scoreline could have been so much different if it wasn’t for Federici’s heroics, with Reading winning that game 3-1 to move into pole position.
The Australian has of course grabbed the headlines in his home country:
Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/federici-set-for-epl-with-reading-20120418-1x68s.html
And Australia should be proud, so too Reading and so too us Goalkeeper followers… with just 2 games left Reading are now promoted, and the Premiership gets another class Goalkeeping acquisition! 😉
With votes now coming in for your Premiership Goalkeeper of the season… Showing that this season has been good for Goalkeeping in the Premier League with the voting across a wide range of Goalkeepers… It got me thinking that maybe I should start a poll for Championship Goalkeeper of the season too…
Perhaps if I ran this poll, maybe we would see a number of votes for our star England U21 Goalkeeper, Frankie Fielding?
After this weekends display for Derby County against Ipswich Town, with the papers exclaiming that Frankie “was in unbeatable form”, he again showed just why he is rated so highly and perhaps showed Joe Hart that there is more competition coming in the future for his place in the Senior England team… Because, as per my previous article on the future looking bright for England, he is just one of a crop of future England star stoppers that can give us confidence in this position for years to come.
Frankie was a product of the Blackburn Rovers Academy, but the closest he came to the first team was on the subs bench. So instead he went out on loan to Wycombe Wanderers, Northampton, Rochdale, Leeds United and after a frustrated plea to want to play first team football, played for Derby on loan too. With clean sheets and impressive display helping Derby to remain a Championship club, Frankie signed for a bargain £400,000 this season.
The reason I rate this young talent so highly, is because Frankie Fielding is a battler who just loves playing in goal and will do what he can to be no.1. Even if that means issuing a come and get me plea… His stats this season also show that he is definitely one to watch:
As at the 9th April Frankie Fielding at Derby County has:
- Conceded 53 goals;
- Kept 11 clean sheets in 41 games; and
- Been one of the busiest Goalkeepers in the Championship, having to cope with 275 shots on goal, so conceding 53 goals and keeping 11 clean sheets against that barrage of shots is some feat!
With Frankie Fielding now on the fringes of the Senior England team and with these stats I am sure he is being looked at quite closely…. That with this such form, he could certainly be worthy competition for Joe Hart or one player that Premier League Clubs would soon be knocking on Derby County’s door…. What a great future prospect!