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 😉
The PFA recently voted Kelvin Davis of Southampton as the best Goalkeeper in the 2011-2012 PFA team of the year.
Kelvin has indeed played well this season and is one of many Goalkeepers who deserve such high praise and recognition for their feats of Goalkeeping this season. Therfore over the coming days, watch this blog for other awards and stats for Goalkeepers in otehr categories.
So Reading this week secured promotion but how much do they owe that to their Australian Goalkeeper, Adam Federici…
So far this season Federici has kept 14 clean sheets. And yes some goalkeepers with a similar amount of clean sheets this season have done so because of few shots on goal, meaning that the defence can also share the credit. This could be said of Federici, with only 125 shots on goal this season (compared with that previously posted about Frankie Fielding having 275 shots on goal!). However, this month has shown Federici’s true real class as a Goalkeeper, that so far this month he has kept 4 clean sheets against a barrage of 31 shots on goal…
The best of his performances being the match against their rivals for the Championship trophy, Southampton, who had 19 shots at goal and 12 on target. The scoreline could have been so much different if it wasn’t for Federici’s heroics, with Reading winning that game 3-1 to move into pole position.
The Australian has of course grabbed the headlines in his home country:
Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/federici-set-for-epl-with-reading-20120418-1x68s.html
And Australia should be proud, so too Reading and so too us Goalkeeper followers… with just 2 games left Reading are now promoted, and the Premiership gets another class Goalkeeping acquisition! 😉
Further to my post about Southampton Goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, another Goalkeeper getting the praise they deserve is Wojciech Szczęsny.
At the end of the match between Liverpool and Arsenal, it was a pleasant surprise to see Robin Van Persie giving his man of the match champagne to Wojciech Szczęsny Who equally deserved the recognition for his display against the Reds.
But, spare a thought for Wojciech as he like David De Gea also was at the mercy of the press. His story is a mirror image of De Gea’s, as new to premier league first team action he also made mistakes and like De Gea was vilified by the press, with some questioning Arsene Wenger’s decision not to sign a replacement keeper.
The worst mistake was the defensive mix up between Wojciech and Laurent Koscielny which helped Birmingham to defeat Arsenal in the League Cup Final back in February 2011.
Wojciech like David De Gea still had the Manager’s backing that they had the potential to be world-class…
Yes it certainly looks like history is repeating itself and I am so glad that these Goalkeepers have proved the press wrong and are now getting the praise they deserve.
Perhaps we owe the press a bit of thanks? Maybe Robin Van Persie should have actually given the champagne to the press? Perhaps the press actually can spot the special Goalkeepers… I.e. The ones criticised so heavily by the press… Or maybe it was such press criticism that drove both Szczęsny and De Gea on to prove them wrong? Hmm… food for thought… 😉
I have previously posted about goalkeepers not always getting the recognition they deserve. However I was pleased to see that even though Southampton are usually getting headlines for their prolific goalscorer, Rickie Lambert, this time the press, television pundits and the whole team were providing the praise that their goalkeeper, Kelvin Davis truly deserves. This was especially poignant as it was for a brilliant display against a Leeds side whose form is definitely improving under Neil Warnock management.
Even though Leeds lost and as Neil Warnock pointed out they (Leeds) had a number of chances to score, he was able to praise Kelvin Davis for his display in stopping them scoring, quoting: “The keeper could have won five man of the match awards…”
Southampton are top of the Championship and in the frame for an automatic promotion to the Premiership and aside from scoring the goals needed to get the 3 point, with Kelvin Davis in goal producing fine displays like these, they should be able to keep all these points and succeed in reaching the highest level of english football.