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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.

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?

Coaching: Distribution – Under Arm Roll

Part 4 – Under-Arm Roll Out

So to the final part of our journey on Distribution after previously looking at kicking (Dead ball kicking http://wp.me/p27nBU-cQ and Kicking from hands http://wp.me/p27nBU-d4) and throwing (Over Arm Throw http://wp.me/p27nBU-d6), we now take a look at the Under-Arm Roll Out.

Like all of the distribution methods practice can make perfect and even though this is seen as the easiest of all 4 distribution methods it can still be rushed and guidance may be needed to our younger student Goalkeepers or even to just give a reminder of the basics to those more experienced Goalkeepers to hone their technique.

So as before, lets look at what is the right technique:

Figure 1

Again the basic technique is as easy as 1-2-3, in one smooth movement, like rolling a bowling ball…

The steps then are as follows:

  • Look at your target;
  • Hold the ball in your throwing hand, with the opposite foot forward (i.e. If you throwing hand is your right hand, place your left foot forward) as seen in Figure 1 – Step 1;
  • Moving the ball forward, start crouching down, with opposite foot still forward, and the rear leg now bending so that the knee eventually touches the floor;
  • Still moving the ball forward, with the throwing arm going past the now bent rear leg (almost brushing it) as per Figure 1 – Step 2;
  • Watching the ball now;
  • Rolling through along the ground and releasing, with the throwing arm carrying through in motion after release of the ball as per Figure 1 – Step 3;
  • After release of the ball look to your target; and
  • If required to promote follow through of the arm, get them to point at the target they have just rolled to afterwards.

To progress things there are some useful exercises that can be used:

  • Put balls (of different sizes) mounted on cones out at appropriate distances, and encourage them to knock these balls off the cones by rolling out; or
  • Again for that game scenario (and to encourage accuracy) get them to roll out to a target area – although unlike kicking and throwing, the distances this time are not as far… – Set out a box with marker cones on different parts of the field at appropriate distances. Having a coach/keeper/player in that box to collect the ball with hands/feet. If using another keeper they could work together rolling the ball to each other in boxes/target areas whilst you as a coach look on/or assist; and
  • Mix it up a bit, so they roll left and right… creating some movement from the Goalkeeper, maybe have more than one option for them on different parts of the field. Getting them to look for who to roll to before they roll out the ball or even get some communication going between Goalkeeper and outfield

Also, it is not set in stone to just practice one distribution technique in an exercise, so to really mix things up, you could set out targets at varying distances, or get target coach/keeper/player to move about encouraging different techniques. Meaning that they may need to Kicking from hands, Over Arm Throw, Under-Arm Roll Out, or even off the floor Dead ball kicking style… Which now starts to encourage the decision-making process (Psychological and Technical)…

This series was just 4 of the distribution techniques Goalkeepers can use. There are others, however these are the main ones that a young student Goalkeeper should learn. They will all need practice to improve on and again I stress for patience, as practice can eventually make perfect… The top Goalkeepers seen at Euro 2012 this month have all had to perfect their distribution techniques, and for them too, this did not happen overnight. It took years of practice. So no pressure, take your time and above all have fun doing it! 😉

To K or not to K?

Through the continual development of my Goalkeeper Coaching, I have observed and been taught various coaching techniques and styles. Understanding that different coaching methods suit different abilities, ages or situations in game play. The one coaching technique that seems to have a varying degree of opinion is the scoop technique and the use of (or not) the ‘K-Position’.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to the ‘K-Position’, but each do have their own merits, albeit in differing situations.

The following diagram (figure 1), shows 3 figures doing 3 types of scoop catches.

The Scoop Save - Which of the 3 is the best?

figure 1

1. Shows the Goalkeeper reaching down to the floor with feet close together, using the hands to let the ball roll up them, scooping the ball, eventually pulling the ball into the chest.

2. Shows the start of a ‘K-Position’ but not actually allowing the bent knee to fully touch the floor. Again using the hands to let the ball roll up them, scooping the ball.

3. Shows the ‘K-Position’. This is similar to 2., but with the bent knee touching the floor.

The biggest advantage of ‘K-Position’ is that by putting the knee down creates a second barrier, so that as a Goalkeeper you have a safeguard behind your hands acting as another ‘barrier’ in front of goal, that the ball would hit, if the ball does get through the hands…

However the ‘K-Position’ has a big disadvantage too, just ask Rob Green…

image from smh.com.au

image from smh.com.au

As we saw in the 2010 World Cup, when England played the USA, Rob Green had to deal with what seemed a tame shot. He made the decision to use the ‘K-Position’, and saw the ball end up in the back of the net. For the biggest disadvantage of the ‘K-Position’ is that once committed to it, your movement as a Goalkeeper is limited, so if the ball hits a divot and changes direction you are already committed and will find it as difficult as Rob Green did to recover…

This doesn’t mean that the ‘K-Position’ is truly bad, if used when completely behind a ball (ensuring movement to get into a position to take behind the ball), it is can be very effective. So one school of thought is to use it when dealing with slower balls… Or as Figure 1 drawing 2, to coach the Goalkeeper to not let the knee fully touch the ground as then you are not fully committed and have a little more flexibility in movement.

The other school of thought though, is not to use it at all, and to just coach as Figure 1 drawing 1, ensuring that the feet are not too far apart, so that the legs can become the second barrier. That if needed, when dealing with a faster ball, to either do a collapsing save (dropping down straight on top of the ball) or to smother the ball (by scoping the ball up but dropping forward onto the ball).

Which ever school of thought, each can be used and each have their merits… of which I am slowly starting to learn more about, and also of what their drawbacks might be. It is our job as Goalkeeper coaches to therefore understand each and of which would best suit the Goalkeepers we train. We can then assist them to make the right decision… However, that said, with the many different scenarios that could present themselves to a Goalkeeper in an actual game, it can sometime be difficult for any Goalkeeper to ensure that they make exactly the right choice. For they can only make one, which will be in the split second they have to think about it and one that they feel is the right one to do at the time.

Understanding these different techniques and deciding when to use and not to use which one, is why the life as a Goalkeeper has its challenges. With the biggest challenge being the critics, especially those who aren’t conscious of the fact that Goalkeepers have so many choices to make. As Rob Green discovered, choosing the ‘K-Position’, seemed right at the time (as it would for most Goalkeepers), as this seemed such a straight forward catch… but as we all saw it was a decision that meant yet again another Goalkeeper was to be slated by our unforgiving press.  Just look at Joe Hart over the last 2 weeks, a hero for England against Brazil and then a Villain for Manchester City… or the ever slated David deGea, now lauded as one of the best Goalkeepers after his heroics for Manchester United to deny Real Madrid… and all because of the choices made… Who’d be a Goalkeeper… me definitely – it’s just too much fun! 😉

Deadline Day – Premiership Goalkeeping Headaches

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 😉

The sparkling new season kicks off – So which Goalkeeper will shine?

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 😉

Euro 2012 Goalkeepers – What the stats showed:

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
2nd Joe Hart England 4 33 8.25
3rd = Vyacheslav Malafeev Russia 3 21 7.00
3rd = Maarten Stekelenburg Holland 3 21 7.00
5th Andrij Pyatov Ukraine 3 19 6.33

Stats by www.goalkeepingitreal.co.uk

Euro 2012 Group D Goalkeepers

The Goalkeepers to Watch in this tournament (if they get their chance)… A quick guide to the Goalkeepers at Euro 2012

PART FOUR – GROUP D

England

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC, Age 25 – Squad Number 1 – 18 senior international appearances prior to this tournament

Robert Green, West Ham United FC, Age 32 – Squad Number 13 – 12 international appearances

Jack Butland, Birmingham City FC, Age 19 – Squad Number 23 – 0 international appearances

France

Hugo Lloris, Olympique Lyonnais, Age 25 – Squad Number 1 – 33 international appearances

Steve Mandana, Marseille, Age 27 – Squad Number 16 – 15 international appearances

Cedric Carasso, Bordeaux, Age 30 – Squad Number 23 – 1 international appearance

Sweden

Andreas Isaksson, PSV Eindhoven, Age 30 – Squad Number 1 – 93 international appearances

Johan Wiland, Copenhagen, Age 31 – Squad Number 12 – 8 international appearances

Par Hansson, Helsingborgs IF, Age 25 – Squad Number 23 – 2 international appearances

image from ca.sports.yahoo.com

Ukraine

Maksym Koval, Dynamo Kiev, Age 19 – Squad Number 1 – 1 international appearance

Andriy Pyatov, Shakhtar Donetsk, Age 27 – Squad Number 12 – 26 international appearances

Oleksandr Goryainov, Metalist Kharkiv, Age 37 – Squad Number 23 – 2 international appearances

image from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com

So with this the final part, you have now been introduced to the 48 Goalkeepers at these European Championships. Only a small selection of these will get their chance, unless of course they get sent-off or injured, then we will see a few more…

Will the French va va voom or the power houses of Schevchenko (Ukraine) and Ibrahimavic (Sweden) take the action away from goal and further up the field, giving their Goalkeeper a break… Hmm… I doubt it, as all group games so far have produced much action with very few clean sheets… Or perhaps could England’s Joe Hart repeat his Manchester City form that got him the Golden Glove Award for his impressive 17 clean sheets in the Premiership or will England’s defence do him no favours… We shall wait and see…

So will any of these be your pick of the tournament…

Premiership 2011-2012 Goalkeeper Awards – Quadruple award winner: Joe Hart

So David De Gea was a double winner but Manchester City’s Joe Hart goes not 1 but 2 Awards better! Oh yes he is a talented Goalkeeper and he’s English! With all that foreign talent in our Premiership, Joe Hart cleans up…

Our England Number 1, now selected for the Euro 2012 is set to show Europe how good he is… So massive congratulations to Manchester City’s Joe Hart for:

  • PFA Goalkeeper – Selected in the PFA Team of the year;
  • Most Clean Sheets;
  • Best Clean Sheets to Shots on Goal Ratio; and
  • Meanest Keeper = Average Goals Conceded per Game.
image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk

The following is a break down of the top 5 players in all three categories from www.goalkeepingitreal.co.uk:

  Player Club Clean Sheets
1st Joe Hart Manchester City 17
2nd Tim Krul Newcastle United 15
3rd Michel Vorm Swansea City 14
4th Brad Friedel Tottenham Hotspur 14
5th = David De Gea Manchester United 13
5th = Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal 13

And

  Player Club Clean Sheets Shots on Goal % Clean Sheets vs Shots
1st Joe Hart Manchester City 17 133 12.78%
2nd Pepe Reina Liverpool 12 119 10.08%
3rd David De Gea Manchester United 13 134 9.70%
4th Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal 13 135 9.63%
5th Tim Howard Everton 12 138 8.70%

And

  Player Club Games Played Goals Conceded Average conceded/ game
1st Joe Hart Manchester City 38 29 0.76
2nd David De Gea Manchester United 29 29 1.00
3rd Pepe Reina Liverpool 34 35 1.03
4th Tim Howard Everton 38 40 1.05
5th Brad Friedel Tottenham Hotspur 38 41 1.08

England Goalkeepers – nice selection

So Roy Hodgson this week made his first big decision as the new England Manager, to name the squad for the Euro 2012 finals. With some familiar faces, some that were missing and some new ones. As usual of an England Manager there were those quick to rain on Roy’s parade, that he hadn’t pick this player over that… However you can’t really argue over his selection of the Goalkeeping position.

Again, we see that this country does have much exciting talent for this position, even with Ben Foster withdrawing from International Football.

He was always going to select Joe Hart and as my stats shall show later this week he deserves this more than most. Fast proving himself one of the best keepers in the world. Hopefully he will get to prove this at the Euros!

Then we have Robert Green. He has his doubters after some high profile errors, but he does learn from them. His form in the Championship with West Ham has been brilliant with: 15 Clean Sheets – That’s a 35.71% Clean Sheets to Games Ratio; 45 goals conceded in 42 games played for West Ham; and Keeping it mean at the back with a 17.79% of goals conceded to shots on goal ratio.

Today Robert Green now heads back into the Premiership with West Ham following an excellent game of football (for the neutral) in the Championship Play Off Final. It does make you question why the papers are linking Paul Robinson with a move from Blackburn to the Hammers, after all why would they want to replace such a talent.

image from www1.skysports.com

And you have to applaud Roy for selecting John Ruddy, who had pulled off some remarkable saves at Norwich (his stats are also coming soon…). He most certainly deserves his place.

Finally if for what ever reason one of these 3 are withdrawn, we have a great young keeper on the replacement list, Jack Butland. As previously posted when enthusing about the young talent in the wings he has been producing immense displays on loan for Cheltenham Town that has got him not only watches by a number of Premier League clubs but also noticed by the England Senior squad. Way to go Jack!

In fact way to go all the England Keepers. Bring on the Euros and some great Goalkeeping displays! 😉

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