It’s back to the Premier League player profiles, and as of this week it’s the goalkeeper special week. Today I will be profiling Brad Friedel, then on Wednesday fellow blogger 5stars will be profiling Mark Schwarzer…
Currently 38 years of age and a former United States international goalkeeper, Brad Friedel has always been classed as one of the best goalkeepers ever to play in the Premier League. Friedel has spent thirteen years plying his trade in the English Premier League, as he has featured for three different English clubs through that period of time. Liverpool proved to be his first English move, however for Friedel his time at Liverpool didn’t go to plan, as over his three year stint with the Merseyside club, Brad only featured 25 times for Liverpool. However the American born star, was overshadowed by the likes of David James and Sander Westerveld, but when Friedel was given a chance he performed excellently well.
Friedel then decided to move to fellow Premier League club, Blackburn Rovers in the year 2000. However when he joined Rovers in that year, they were still fighting for promotion in League 1 now known as the Coca Cola Championship. However, Blackburn was able to sustain promotion to the top flight of English football, and for Friedel he was handed the number one goalkeepers role, by Graeme Souness. As in the 2005/2006 season, Friedel was a huge success as he managed 16 clean sheets throughout that brilliant season. Friedel though decided to join Aston Villa in the 2008 summer transfer window, and since his time with Villa, Friedel has featured over 60 times for the West Midlands club.
Brad Friedel has always been known for his incredible shot stopping, and his wonderful saves. This season though, Friedel has definitely shown off those attributes, also Friedel has featured the most times for Villa this season, along with striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, as they have both amassed a total of 25, Premier League starts. This season the 38 year old has also kept eleven clean sheets throughout the 09/10 Premier League campaign, that total is the joint second highest in the league, with Chelsea topping the clean sheet statistic with twelve.
Friedel’s first clean sheet of the Premier League season came against Fulham at Villa Park, Friedel also kept rivals, Birmingham City at bay in early September. Also for Friedel, he has been able to stop the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United from scoring this season. Hopefully on Brad Friedel’s behalf he can keep a lot more clean sheets, in the 09/10 Barclays Premier League campaign.
Friedel is a great goalkeeper, and some of his attributes are world class. Friedel is great at commanding his area, also he has great distribution skills. The former USA international, is pretty decent at catching the ball from crosses, and he has hardly made any goalkeeping errors throughout his long and successful football career. He also commands his goal very well, that’s one of a few clear reasons of why he has been touted as a wonderful shot stopper. Back to his distribution and Friedel is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, who can spot danger at any time. He is quick on the eye to shoot out of his penalty area, and clear any one on one attempt’s, that the opposition might have.
Friedel has always organised his team very collectively, as this season the number of clean sheets he has made, just goes to show how he organises his back four. On the pitch, Brad Friedel is a very talkative man as if the defence ever slips up, he soon tells them to put their performances right and get back to their normal commanding positions. Also I can’t leave this blog without a mention of his only career goal, which was scored while playing for Blackburn Rovers in a 3-2 loss at the hands of Charlton Athletic. Overall, Brad Friedel is a brilliant goalkeeper, and he is still playing well at the old footballing age of 38 years old.
Wednesday Premiership Player Profile – Mark Schwarzer(5stars)
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