The inclusion of David De Gea and Petr Cech among the four shortlisted goalkeepers to be named in European League Best IX shows that English Premier League goalkeepers are highly rated. Although we can expect voters for the continent’s Team of the Year, consisting of Euro sports journo, will favour Bayern Munich and German’s goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, who had an excellent 2013-2014 season, the standard shown by Premier League’s goalkeepers are actually not that far from Neuer.
David De Gea has been excellent in the past 12 months and so have Simon Mignolet, Wojciech Szczęsny, Tim Howards and Tim Krul. So, I decided to take a look at 10 top English Premier League goalkeepers for your consideration and I would like you to name the goalkeeper that you think is the best in the Premier League. Easy peasy, right?
My Top 10 English Premier League Goalkeepers
My selection is based on the performances over the past 12 months, so there are a few good goalkeepers out there who failed to make the cut. I am also not going to put the statistic into consideration. My selection is based purely on the players’ technique, agility, reflexes and decision making on the field. Those who have impressed me are:
David De Gea (Manchester United)
He won the Premier League’s goalkeeper of the season and is now included in the list of four top goalkeepers in the European Leagues. So, I will definitely look like a fool if his name is not in my list as well. Plus, his inclusion has got nothing to do with the fact that he plays for Manchester United. The boy really deserves it and he is one of the top goalkeepers.
David De Gea had a very tough introduction to the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson brought him from Spain a couple of years ago. The young Spaniard struggled with the physical aspect of the Premier League and was downgraded to the bench for several matches. However, he has improved a lot at Old Trafford and had singly won many points for the Red Devils with strings of important saves last season. His agility and cat-like reflex are the strong points of his game. With the guidance of former United’s goalkeeping coach Eric Steele and now Chris Woods, he has also improved his decision making, thus making him more consistent these days.
Tim Krul (Newcastle United)
I was pleasantly surprised that none of the big clubs tried to sign Krul from Newcastle United. If not for the Dutchman, Newcastle United is probably playing in the championship this season instead of the Premier League. Tim Krul has one of the best reflexes in the business, if not the best. On his day, he can be unbeatable. Just ask Roberto Soldado and the rest of Tottenham Hotspur players what they think of him when they last met each other. You bet AVB still hold some grudges over Krul for that splendid performance that denied Spurs at least a point at White Hart Lane last month.
One problem with Krul is that he can be erratic sometimes. But the level of consistency is still high and should put him among the best in the world. However, with the competition among Holland’s goalkeeper being quite high, there is no guarantee that we will be seeing Tim Krul in between the Dutch goal post come next May in Brazil. I hope he will.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
One Premier League goalkeeper that will almost certainly see some action at the FIFA 2014 World Cup is Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris. As the captain of French national squad, his place in the starting line-up is almost guaranteed. A great leader and consummate professional, Hugo Lloris is not the kind of player who will easily let his team down, even when he was suffering a life threatening concussion during the game. Who will forget how Lloris woke up to continue playing after being knocked unconscious in an accidental collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku in the Premier League meeting between the two teams last month? It took a lot of courage and a little bit of insanity on his part to do what he did in that match.
If you ask me about his goalkeeping ability, I must say he is one of the steadiest goalkeepers that I have ever seen. His superb decision making and maturity is what makes him a difficult keeper to beat. Sometimes he makes difficult saves look so easy because his good positioning and anticipation of the ball. He definitely sets himself apart from other French goalkeepers who are mostly quite flamboyant and like to do acrobatics on field. I guess that is the reason why he is so trusted by French coach, Didier Deschamps.
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)
Simon Mignolet reminds me of the great Peter Schmeichel who often stood big in front of the strikers and made it difficult to get past him. The Belgian is certainly the best when it comes to one-to-one situation and I don’t think there are many strikers that fancy beating him in this type of position. He is also very good at positioning himself and it normally takes a brilliant strike to beat him from a distance.
I think many football fans were quite surprised when Brendan Rogers decided to replace Spanish, Pepe Reina, with Mignolet. Based on what I have seen so far, it was absolutely the right decision made by the manager. If he continues his form this season, don’t be surprise if the FA names him as the goalkeeper of the 2013-14 season.
Pic credit: gwizdek24.se.pl
Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal)
Like Manchester United before them, Arsenal had a very difficult time replacing one of the great goalkeepers ever, David Seaman. Jens Lehman is probably the most reliable ever since Seaman but he too can be very annoying at times. Therefore the coming of age of their young goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny has certainly brought huge relief to Arsene Wengner and Gunners’ fans. At last, a goalkeeper of Seaman’s stature to provide safety at the back.
Szczęsny has been at Arsenal for quite some time now. However, despite his undoubted talent, the Pole has been rather erroneous and at fault many times during his early years as Arsenal goalkeeper. This season he has finally fulfilled his true potential – a rock solid goalkeeper with super reflexes like De Gea. Wojciech Szczęsny is one of the many bright sparks in Arsenal superb season so far.
Tim Howards (Everton)
A former Red Devil and one of those who finds that Peter Schmeichel is just one tough act to follow. He later moved to Merseyside and joined Everton to re-start his Premier League career. The American is gradually improving himself and starting to become a very good goalkeeper.
There is no denying that Tim Howards has the talent to be one of the best. He is a good shot stopper with super reflexes and good agility. The problem with him since at Old Trafford, is his decision-making and ability to handle the pressure. At Goodison Park, he has been given the opportunity to learn and improve himself. He is a much better goalkeeper now than when he first arrived at the Premier League.
Petr Cech (Chelsea)
Several years ago, Petr Cech is arguably the best goalkeeper in Premier League if not in the world. He has slow down a bit now and his place in Chelsea first XI in under a treat from Thibaut Courtois, who is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid. Well, I guess age has catching him up a bit and he also never fully recovered from the head injury he suffered a few years ago.
Still, I will put Petr Cech in my top 10 best Premier League goalkeepers. I think he is still a great goalkeeper albeit losing some of his mojo over the past few years.
Joe Hart (Manchester City)
He may be struggling for now but Joe Hart is still the best goalkeeper for England and one of the best in the Premier League. The few bad luck that he suffered at the start of the season seem to be affecting his confidence. What he needs is to relax and build up his confidence again. Remember this: form is temporary, class is permanent. I believe Joe Hart is a classy goalkeeper and will play a big role for the Three Lions in FIFA World Cup next year.
Joe Hart has a splendid catching ability. He has a hand like Spiderman – always assured when catching the ball. He also has good reflexes plus he is very agile. I’m looking forward to seeing him back to his true form soon. But not when facing Manchester United! 😀 .
Pic credit: betting.boylesports.com
Asmir Begović (Stoke City)
I must confess that I’m a fan of the big giant Bosnian goalkeeper, Asmir Begović. Standing tall and big at 6′ 5″, Begović certainly has the physical presence that makes life difficult for a striker. Imagine if you are a footballer playing in a forward position facing Asmir Begović, I bet there ain’t much angle left for you to shoot, right? Asmir Begović is also a fine goalkeeper with good decision-making skills.
The Bosnian is calm under pressure and quite consistent in between the goal posts. No wonder Manchester United and Arsenal were interested in him before they settled with De Gea and Szczęsny. The 26 year old is also another goalkeeper that is set to feature in next year’s World Cup where he’ll be facing Leo Messi’s Argentina in Group F. Good luck!
Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham)
Maarten Stekelenburg may be playing at struggling Fulham but there is no denying that the Dutchman is a very good goalkeeper. His form may have dipped after suffering injury while still playing for Roma, but Stekelenburg has recently shown some of the form that made him the undisputed No. 1 for Holland for quite some time.
Stekelenburg will still face battle to be the first choice keeper for the Oranje in next year’s World Cup. Apart from Tim Krul, Swansea’s Michel Vorm is also eyeing to be selected in Rio. However, if he regains his full fitness and form, he definitely has the advantage of having the experience of playing in the last World Cup.
Well, that’s it – my top 10 goalkeepers in English Premier League. I know some of you have different views. Well, everyone has their opinion. Feel free to comment and let me know who you think is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League.
– Top 10 English Premier League Goalkeepers