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! 😉
A new season with new opportunities for Goalkeepers to cement their place in their clubs folklore, to show them self as the new star on the block or just try desperately to deal with all that is thrown at them…
So who do we have to watch this season? Who will we be most excited about and who will excel?
In the English Premier League, we will get chance to see those Goalkeepers again who impressed last season, through their impressive stats, such as Manchester City’s Joe Hart (Awards: http://wp.me/p27nBU-c1 and Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-80) and Manchester United’s David De Gea (Awards: http://wp.me/p27nBU-c3). Will they impress again or for De Gea will he be pushed this time for his place in goal by the equally impressive Andres Lindegaard now that he is back from injury?
Will Arsenal’s Worjciech Szczesny (Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-5u) put his Euro 2012 red card behind him and build on his stats last season to be the Goalkeeper that lives up to the potential Arsene Wenger believes he has to be one of the greatest Goalkeepers?
We have some new Goalkeepers to watch too, where through promotion from the Championship we see two exciting propositions, with equally impressive stats, Reading’s Adam Federici (Awards: http://wp.me/p27nBU-bA and Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-am) and Southampton’s Kelvin Davis (Awards http://wp.me/p27nBU-bX and Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-5o). Can they continue their impressive form or is the Premiership too big a step up…?
West Ham also promoted lost England Goalkeeper Robert Green to QPR who felt that he has the potential they need to keep it clean at the back and help QPR avoid their dalliance with the drop zone this term… A great Goalkeeper indeed with the potential to be their saviour, however will they be too reliant on him and perhaps will he then be as busy as Wolverhampton Wanderer’s Wayne Henessey was last season if the QPR defence is not there to help him?
West Ham instead bring in a new Goalkeeper but one who is very experienced in the Premiership, Jussi Jaaskelainen from relegated Bolton Wanderers to work once again with Sam Allardyce. Jussi’s stats were also impressive last term, before he was unfortunately out for the season through injury. However if he rediscovers this form, could he help Big Sam bring back a mean defence like that which they both experienced in the old days at Bolton Wanderers, to keep West Ham in the Premiership? A defensive record similar to that which Martin O’Neill can boast in his time in the premiership, that may also see Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet (Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-6k) shine?
We have already discussed QPR but what about second season syndrome for last terms other Premiership new boys, will the defensive records slip for Swansea’s penalty king Michel Vorm or Norwich’s England new boy John Ruddy?
Will it be these that I have mentioned or the other equally impressive Goalkeepers of Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic, Wigan Athletic’s Ali Al-Habsi or Newcastle United’s Tim Krul that shine?
Perhaps indeed it could be a more experienced Premiership Goalkeeping head that steals the lime light such as Tottenham’s Brad Friedel, Aston Villa’s Shay Given, Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer, Chelsea’s Petr Cech, West Bromwich Albion’s Ben Foster (Spotlight: http://wp.me/p27nBU-6Q), Liverpool’s Pepe Reina, or Everton’s Tim Howard, that stand out this season?
It’s early doors in the Premiership with a number of goals scored against some of our hopefuls, whilst some others are already impressing… However with another 37 games to go I wonder who will stand out from the crowd (and for the right reasons!). Who ever it is, for now I think we should sit back and watch as we are most certainly all in for a treat of some tremendous displays of Goalkeeping – I can’t wait 😉
In the previous posting http://wp.me/p27nBU-fP it was seen that UEFA had chosen their 3 goalkeepers of the tournament. However what did the stats say… who are the goalkeepers that the stats showed to deserve recognition…
Euro 2012 Stats Part One: The busiest Goalkeeper of the tournament (Shots on goal per game)
Sometimes you have to feel for these Goalkeepers as they have a barrage of shots on goal, meaning that either their team is up against huge fire power or the defence isn’t doing their job or perhaps the team are not taking the action further up the field, meaning that the Goalkeeper has to deal with a lot more shots on goal, which makes the job of keeping a clean sheet that much harder (student Goalkeepers should take note, that it can be difficult to keep clean sheets in such situations – even for the vastly experienced Goalkeepers).
With Spain keeping the ball more than any other team and having one of the best defences, it is unlikely to see Iker Casillas in the top 5 of this stat…
Winner: Shay Given
So the first award, is for the busiest Euro 2012 Goalkeeper and there was none busier than Ireland’s Shay Given who had an incredible average of 10 shots on goal per game. He most definitely deserves this award as throughout the tournament Shay had to put up with tremendous back pain whilst still pulling off some great saves in the processes.
Runner up: Joe Hart
Shay Given was closely followed by England’s Joe Hart who not only from stats claimed to be the second busiest keeper (at an average 8.25 shots per game) but in the last match against Italy had more passes than any other England player… some feat…
The top 5 stats in full:
|Player||Country||Games Played||Shots on Goal||Shots on per game|
|1st||Shay Given||Republic of Ireland||3||30||10.00|
|3rd =||Vyacheslav Malafeev||Russia||3||21||7.00|
|3rd =||Maarten Stekelenburg||Holland||3||21||7.00|
Stats by www.goalkeepingitreal.co.uk
The Goalkeepers to Watch in this tournament (if they get their chance)… A quick guide to the Goalkeepers at Euro 2012
PART THREE – GROUP C
Stipe Pletikosa, FC Rostov, Age 33 – Squad Number 1 – 91 senior international appearances prior to this tournament
Ivan Kelava, GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Age 24 – Squad Number 12 – 0 international appearances
Danijel Subašić, Monaco, Age 27 – Squad Number 23 – 4 international appearances
Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus, Age 34 – Squad Number 1 – 114 international appearances
Salvatore Sirigu, Paris St Germain, Age 25 – Squad Number 12 – 3 international appearances
Morgan De Sanctis, Napoli, Age 35 – Squad Number 14 – 5 international appearances
Republic of Ireland
Shay Given, Aston Villa FC, Age 36 – Squad Number 1 – 122 international appearances
Kieran Westwood, Sunderland FC, Age 27 – Squad Number 16 – 10 international appearances
David Forde, Milwall FC, Age 32 – Squad Number 23 – 2 international appearances
Iker Casillas, Real Madrid, Age 31 – Squad Number 1 – 131 international appearances
Victor Valdes, Barcelona, Age 30 – Squad Number 12 – 8 international appearances
Pepe Reina, Liverpool, Age 29 – Squad Number 23 – 25 international appearances
This group boast a lot of experience Goalkeepers with all the teams Number 1’s having over 90 caps each. Will experience count? Or will we see more un-characteristic mistakes from the more experienced? So will any of these be your pick of the tournament…
So I have already shown my cards as to who I think is the stand out Goalkeeper of the Premiership this Season. But you may disagree with me… especially as there has been some fantastic Goalkeeping examples by a number of the Goalkeepers in the top level.
Now is your chance to vote for your best in my poll.
Bernard Day, Senior Goalkeeper Coach at the Worcester Goalkeeper Academy.
Qualified to UEFA B And FA B Football and Goalkeeping coach.
A highly experienced coach, who was a professional Goalkeeper.
Provided coaching for many professional clubs such as Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Walsall, and Hereford United. As well as coaching for schools and community coaching schemes.
Having worked and played with some of this countries best talent understands that coaching needs to be relevant to the player, the situation and today’s game.
Bernard’s aim therefore is to coach Goalkeepers the right way of doing things. Where his philosophy is simply to help Goalkeepers keep the ball out of the back of the net!