In the build up to the England Vs Moldova game tonight there has been a lot of talk about Joe Hart. Some of it very positive to such an extent that he is being described as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and some less positive talking about the mistakes he has made this season so far.
All this talk got me thinking. What makes a great goalkeeper and just who are the best around at the moment in the Premier league?
Speaking purely for myself I believe there are two types of keepers. The Goalkeeper and the Shot stopper.
A prime example of a shot stopper is David De Gea when he first arrived and Manchester United, he made a string of spectacular saves and produced some outstanding performances under pressure but struggled to organise his defence or command the penalty area with any real authority. Since his arrival he has gone on to become a good all round goalkeeper who is only going to get better. So who is the best in the premiership?
No 1. Petr Cech – So (and here comes the part where people call me biased) with that said. It is my opinion that for his attributes of concentration over ninety minutes, his ability to make save after save under pressure, his ability to collect crosses in a crowded penalty area, organisation of defence. For me Petr Cech is the premierships best goalkeeper. I am a Chelsea fan and have watched Cech throughout his career with the club and no he is not as good as before his fractured skull but he is not far away from it. He proved in the super cup just how good his reflexes are with 3 superb saves in the second half, and unlike a lot of teams Chelsea without Cech are considerably weaker, even when Carlo Cudicini was our second choice as a fan you always felt less confident about a result without the big Pete between the sticks.
No 2. Hugo Lloris – A bargain buy for Spurs the French number one has been one of the most consistent
and spectacular keepers in the division. Since coming in he has stamped his authority on the Tottenham back line and now they look very shaky without him there, in short he has had a very similar effect on Tottenham that Petr Cech had at Chelsea.
No 3. Asmir Begovic – The reason I’ve gone for the Stoke man is his consistency, not only is he for me the best shot stopper in the division but the amount of clean sheets he keeps while playing for a team that hasn’t possessed the meanest defence in recent years is truly outstanding and speaks volumes for itself.
No 4. Marten Stekelenburg – Obviously as yet the Dutch number one is unproven in the premier league but I think it rather goes without saying that given time he will prove to be one of the top keepers in the country, this could easily be another Van Der Sar, Fulham being a stepping stone to a bigger club. Shocking that Arsenal did not take a chance on signing him considering he cost less that £5 million this summer.
No 5. Joe Hart – Here we find the England number one. No doubt is he a top class player and an excellent shot stopper, but as a goalkeeper he is not there yet. We have all seen that Hart has put in some outstanding displays for Manchester City, Birmingham and England and his big game temperament is something to be admired, BUT his reading of the game needs to improve (prime example in the recent Kenny Miller goal against Scotland. The ball was only going in one place and he was slightly slow to react in my view), as do his concentration levels if he is to stand in the same bracket as Cech, Casillas, Buffon, Neuer or in years to come Ter Stegen, De Gea and Courtois.
This is of course my own personal opinion. I would love to see what others think so please do comment.