Lots of talk this weekend about who is the best keeper in the world has got me thinking, How do you judge? Well I can’t judge every keeper in the world so I’ll judge what I know, Premiership keeper’s. I took it upon myself to do A simple calculation to judge how much effort is given by premiership keeper’s. Which is what I personally believe makes the best keeper’s.
Firstly using the official Premiership stats from their website. I took the figures of games played, saves made and clean sheets earned. I gave 1 point for every save they have made and 5 points for every clean sheet. Add these numbers together and then divide it by the number of games played and use that figure to judge the keeper’s performances in a very basic way. The higher the number the more effort by that keeper for the rewards. The lower the number means that they’re not saving shots or rewarding their team with clean sheets and that their average match performance is weaker. Which is what a keepers main aim is surely? When looking at the score you should also think of the defence in front of them. For example Courtois is mid table but when you consider the cost and skill of his defence he doesn’t need much effort In order to pull off what is needed. This is obviously not fool proof but gives a basic indication of performance levels of each keeper.
So just to clarify how it works we can take Forster as an example. He has 29 saves and 7 clean sheets (7×5)+29 = 64 , you then divide that by 16 (games) which equals 4.0
If we do this for the top played keepers these are the results
Ben Foster 5.0
De Gea 4.5
My initial reaction is there is a lot of effort by the top 3 keepers. I see this week in week out with Foster who Pulls off save after save. Yet because of the shear number of shots that get fired at the goals of teams such as Swansea, QPR and WBA. They inevitably concede many more goals and for some reason this leaves them to be completely excluded from any sort of acknowledgement of how good they actually are. Another thing I noticed are the best teams in the premiership right now are in the middle of the table. This proves if nothing else the importance of defence. If you don’t have to make as many saves in a game then your team does well. But this doesn’t help with your performance and I often wonder how goalkeepers like Hart would do In a team with much weaker defence.
Why am I saying all this? Well because of one Mr De Gea whom had a very good game against Liverpool this weekend. No doubt about it, though because it was Man United it has lead to questions and polls and on whether he is the best keeper in the world. He’s had a few good performances this season but, to be categorised as the best keeper in the world after a few games? Well It is sheer madness. He’s not even the best keeper in the premiership let alone the world. Each person will be slightly biased to their teams keeper, I understand that. Unfortunately United have developed quite a following of fans. Mostly they are only following them to brag that they follow the best. “Glory hunters” is probably the best explanation. They’re fans that generally only support said team to gloat that they’re the best (Completely up to them). So when polls and questions arise on who is better it becomes more of a popularity contest than an opinion poll on the actual question. This is yet further proof of the table above, no one notices the Guzan’s or Fabianski’s because they’re not at Manchester United. So no, De Gea is NOT the best keeper in the world because he isn’t even the best in the premiership. So can we stop these popularity poll’s, they are never correct?
To finish this up,I’m not overly sure who is actually the best. But hopefully this helps you make a more informed decision next time you are asked. For me as a West Brom fan, when asked about the premiership keeper’s, I always lean towards Ben Foster as the best and so should you (wink).
Thanks for reading.
It’s getting bad. today I watched a Hull team so devoid of their usual Brucey Magic. The FA cup runners up were actually rather good entertainment for their worth last year. A promoted team doing well in the Premiership and having an all but successful cup run. How? Steve Bruce has earned his way to the premiership. With knowledge, successful times and results. He took charge of Hull city in the championship and this Was the beginning of his climb that ended with a comfortable premiership season highlighted with a cup final at Wembley. Why is this relevant? No I don’t have a secret love for Hull, but Steve Brice is struggling this season. doing worse than Albion as a matter of fact. However their fans are rightly backing Bruce and it would be an atrocity if he was sacked. However Alan Irvine is theoretically doing better and is being openly executed by fans. I am one of them. I was in the group of Smethwick end fans responsible for “Alan Irvine football Genius” and “dingle downing number 2” in the last half of the West Ham game. So is this right? Absolutely! Alan Irvine has earned nothing from the fans. Respect isn’t just granted because the bald man at the top hired him. He’s a football failure. Sacked from league 1 clubs for boring football and horrible results. Even his time at Everton wasn’t magical. Not doing anything significant with them. Yes he had players like Barkley in his under 21 squad. But he didn’t find these talents. Others did, he just put them on a pitch and they shone. So what part of his mind thought I’ll apply for that premiership job. And what absolute moron thought he was the best of the rest and decided to pay him for the privilege of wearing our beloved badge.
Bruce has earned his time at Hull so should be given time to sort out his teams poor performance. Which is my next point. Hull were poor today. We should of capitalised, he should of spotted the weaknesses and taken control. He didn’t and doesn’t have the ability too. Let’s take the penalty that we earned through an improving Anichebe. Our penalty taker was on the bench! Im not saying Berahino has been brilliant since his alleged drink-drive arrest, I just saw this as a rebellious act from Irvine. Done to show the fans that forced his hand last week that HE is in charge. The wrong choice in my opinion, Berahino should of started. So what happens next? up steps Dorrans who has it saved. Would Berahino score? We will never know. But the fact that the team has some great penalty takers and Dorrans is the one we rely on in a MUST-WIN game is nothing but disgraceful! Everything about this guy is making me angry.
We keep on this path and we will not survive this season. An absolute certainty in my mind. And I think albion fans are ready for this. I spent the last 40 minutes of the West Ham game having one of the best times in the stands that I’ve had for a long time. It seemed that all the anger and fear just snapped. But it didn’t result in riots or violence. It resulted in laughter, humour and a coming together of fans that I haven’t see for many years. So here’s a personal shout out to all of the other fans at the back of the Smethwick end with me. You were awsome!
Now I don’t mean to dilute the mood with misery but I do think we need to understand what relegation means for the club. As accepting it and actually being relegated are 2 different things. We will lose money first and foremost, not something Peace wants but I don’t see us having financial difficulty with him in charge. He will make cuts where necessary. Also we will lose fans. It’s just truth. Some fans will desert a club that’s been relegated, every club has them. We will also lose premiership status obviously but worse is the title of “established premier league team”. just words I know but the first time I heard Albion referred to as such, a sense of pride filled my body, losing that isn’t the end of the world however but it sure is nice. Now the biggest thing I think we will lose are the quality in player. Which is funny to say as this whole blog post is because of our poor team performances. But there is quality in this club. The type of quality albion could only dream of signing or keeping only 4 years ago. Lescott, Foster, Sessegnon, Berahino and so on. We have had to do more than just buy such players. We’ve had to earn it. If we get relegated we will lose these players. They’re not championship players. Clubs will grab them. I think we would be shattered by the losses and I think we would be in the championship for quite a stint because of this. And even if we did get back into the premiership I think we will be re-labelled the Yo-Yo club we fought so hard to lose. What top players want to go to a club they think will be bouncing between leagues for years to come?
It’s a bad time for Albion fans. A part of me hopes that people high in the ranks of WBA HQ read this. And understands what is to lose. The only way to stop this happening is to sack Alan Irvine. We need a manager! A premier league manager. And we need it now!