We knew he was a talent prior to the European Championships and then witnessed as to why he is one of the worlds best Goalkeepers keeping the score low for the French. Now former Olympique Lyonnais Goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris comes to the Premiership So we can watch in awe as he steps between the sticks for Tottenham Hotspur… Oh hang on a minute… Spurs already have a top class Goalkeeper in Brad Friedel… He might be 41 but he is still top class. This surely would give any Manager a selection headache having two great Goalkeepers… But what a fantastic headache for any manager to have… Although spending £11.9m on Lloris would suggest that it won’t be long before Brad has to make way… Even though his heroics this weekend against Norwich, kept the score line down… how could he be sidelined?
And what of QPR… They sign England Goalkeeper Robert Green at the start of the season to replace the outgoing Paddy Kenny (now at Leeds United). A Goalkeeper with a decent Goalkeeping record in the Premiership. Coming to QPR from West Ham, after an impressive 15 clean sheets for the Hammers last term… And although he has made the headlines for England, sometimes for the wrong reasons, he still remains great back up for Joe Hart in the England Squad… A useful acquisition then for QPR. However deadline day saw free spending QPR sign another great Goalkeeper, Brazilian Julio Cesar from Inter Milan. Will that also mean sidelining one talent for another.
Ok there is some method in the madness, of which some other clubs could learn from (those with complacent Goalkeepers), that having another talent on the bench could push the man between the sticks to perform better for fear of losing their place… It can work well, but if the Goalkeeper between the sticks then performs well enough to stay in goal, eventually (if not there for the pay cheque) the Goalkeeper on the bench starts to grumble, which either results in the occasional cameo appearance to appease them or that they start to look for the exit… Like Shay Given did after being in Joe Hart’s shadow for so long…
Shame we can’t play more than one Goalkeeper in one team… After all, they do say that some Goalkeepers are frustrated strikers at heart. Perhaps swapping positions in a match 😉
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 😉
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.
I saw this tweet last week: “Who have been the best goalkeeper for you this season ? – SZCZESNY – DE GEA – HART – KRUL – VORM – FRIEDEL – OTHER”. As a fan of Goalkeeping I had to reply, pointing out that this list could be expanded on, that indeed they are all quality Goalkeepers. Although if I had to pick one, the stand out Goalkeeper this season in the premiership is Michel Vorm of Swansea City.
At the start of this season no one really knew about Michel Vorm, they do now…
Michel Vorm signed for Swansea City from Ultrecht for what now seems to be an absolute bargain in Premiership prices of only £1.5 million! Making his debut against Manchester City. This turned out to be a 4-0 defeat for Swansea, but that score could have been much higher had it not been for the activity of Vorm in the Swansea goal. Since then Vorm has kept 12 clean sheets. Which is some feat as he is the second busiest keeper in the Premiership, having had to make 111 saves so far.
He is also gaining a reputation for a penalty save specialist, having saved a penalty from Ben Watson of Wigan Athletic and Clint Demspey of Fulham in this season. I would have to agree, he has a fantastic technique, both psychologically and technically, winning the battle of minds and using great agility to make the save respectively.
Swansea are likely to stay in the Premiership this season. There have been heroics outfield and people making a name for themselves at Swansea, but the star of the show for me has to be Vorm. A class act who Swansea must keep hold of!