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.
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!
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! 😉
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 last season the press were on Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger’s back to find a new goalkeeper, but he kept his faith in a young talent called Wojciech Szczesny. And boy was he right to keep the faith as a large proportion of you all agreed that this season he was your choice as goalkeeper of the season. Well done Wojciech!
The following is a break down of your top 5 players:
|Player||Club||Percentage of Votes|
|2nd||Michel Vorm||Swansea City||17%|
|3rd||Joe Hart||Manchester City||15%|
|4th=||David De Gea||Manchester United||11%|
The Busiest Goalkeeper not just on the number of shots on goal, but with the number of shots to games ratio was Wolverhampton Wanderers Goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey. As you will see below he won by a clear mile to the next busiest keeper. With so many shots on goal it looks like he didn’t get a moment’s peace. However with the injury he has now sustained he now at least gets four months worth of rest… I wish him well and hope to see him back in action soon!
The following is a break down of the top 5 players from www.goalkeepingitreal.co.uk:
|Player||Club||Games Played||Shots on Goal||Shots on per game|
|1st||Wayne Hennessey||Wolverhampton Wanderers||34||246||7.24|
|2nd||Jussi Jaaskelainen||Bolton Wanderers||18||111||6.17|
|3rd||Adam Bogdan||Bolton Wanderers||20||122||6.10|
|4th||John Ruddy||Norwich City||37||216||5.84|
|5th||Ali Al Habsi||Wigan Athletic||38||200||5.26|
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!