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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!

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! 😉

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 of the Tournament

So Euro 2012 is now over, with Spain crowned the kings of Europe again. What a tournament – not just for the dazzling goals and outfield action but for the Goalkeeping too!

We saw fantastic examples of Goalkeeping and then again some not so good examples with Arsenal’s Worjciech Szczesny seeing red or seeing errors from Goalkeepers who we have recently seen to have had excellent seasons relatively error free. However to jump to the defence of a number of Goalkeepers here, some of these were errors not because they were poor on judgement, that they had to deal with a very unpredictable ball… As Joe Hart experienced and as only one camera angle caught, the ball flew through the air almost ‘wobbling’ in flight. So Goalkeepers had extra factors to deal with in this tournament rather than the obvious ones…

So with the tournament over, UEFA posted their 23 man squad of the tournament, showing that they felt the 3 best goalkeepers had been:

  • Iker Casillas;
  • Gianluigi Buffon; and
  • Manuer Neuer.

3 quality Goalkeepers who I agree deserve recognition, however what did my followers think and who do the tournament stats say were the best? 

There is still time for you all to vote for your favourite, with polls closing this week. I shall then provide an insight into who else deserves our recognition from this great tournament… 

How are the Euro 2012 Goalkeepers performing? Who do you think is the pick of the bunch?

Have you been keeping an eye on those Euro 2012 Goalkeepers?

There have been cracking examples of great Goalkeeping… oh and some not so good examples… across this competition.  So have any of the Goalkeepers playing at these European Championships stood out for you as of a different class to all the others at the tournament?

I have now opened up the poll for you to start register your votes as to who you think has been the best.

Please may I ask you to cast the vote based on reviewing all of the Goalkeepers and try not to vote for them because it is your home nation… unless of course they honestly deserve it!

This poll shall close soon after the tournament at which point the results shall be announced.

I look forward to seeing who you choose and of course please feel free to comment as to your reasons why…

Euro 2012 Group A Goalkeepers

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

PART ONE – GROUP A

Czech Republic

Petr Cech, Chelsea FC, Age 30 – Squad Number 1 – Prior to this tournament, 90 international appearances

image from www1.skysports.com

Jaroslav Drobny, Hamburger S.V, Age 30 – Squad Number 16
– 6 international appearances

Jan Lastuvka, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Age 29 – Squad Number 23
– 1 international appearance

 Greece

Konstantinos Chalkias, PAOK, Age 38 – Squad Number 1 – 30 international appearances

Alexandros Tzorvas, Palermo, Age 29 – Squad Number 12 – 16 international appearances

 Michalis Sifakis, Aris, Age 27 – Squad Number 13 – 12 international appearances

Poland

Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal FC, Age 22 – Squad Number 1 – 10 international appearances

Pnzemyslaw Tyton, PSV Eindhoven, Age 25 – Squad Number 12 – 5 international appearances

Grzegorz Sandomiershi, Jagiellonia Bialystok, Age 22 – Squad Number 13 – 3 international appearances

Russia

Igor Akinfeev, CSKA Moscow, Age 26 – Squad Number 1 – 52 international appearances

Anton Shunin, Dynamo Moscow, Age 25 – Squad Number 13 – 2 international appearances

Vyacheslav Malafeev, Zenit St Petersburg, Age 33 – Squad Number 16 – 25 international appearances

So after the first round of games for this Group we have seen a few examples of great goalkeeping and some not so great – including a sending-off and a penalty save. But will any of these be your pick of the tournament…

To be a goal or not to be a goal? That is the question!

So a moment of contention arose in the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool. Another debate if we need goal line technology ensued… So was it a goal or not? A moment of sheer goalkeeping brilliance by Petr Cech or a moment of old fashioned luck?

After much debate and reviews on Sky Sports News, they concluded that not all the ball had crossed the line and I agree with teh experts that this was in fact an incredible save. As I have said before to the student keepers… always try and save everything… as it may just pay off!

Well done Petr Cech!

2011-2012 Premiership’s Best Goalkeeper Poll

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.

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