The best keeper in the world ?

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

Fabianski 5.1
Green 5.1
Ben Foster 5.0
Guzan 4.8
Heaten 4.8
De Gea 4.5
Krul 4.4
Hart 4.2
LLoris 4.2
Forster 4.0
Courtois 4.0
Adrian 4.0
Mignolet 3.9
McGregor 3.9
Schmeichel 3.8
Szczesny 3.5
Speroni 3.3
Howard 3.0
Begovic 2.3

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.