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Premiership Player Profile – Chris Kirkland

Today it’s the return of the goalkeeper special week; this will be our third goalkeeping special after we featured the likes of Petr Cech and Brad Friedel in our past two batches. Today I will focus on Wigan and England international hopeful Chris Kirkland…

Currently Wigan Athletic’s first choice goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland started his career at Coventry City. Kirkland made his debut for the ‘Sky Blues’ in the year 1998. The 29 year old featured 24 times for Coventry, but his impressive displays caught the attention of Liverpool, and he decided to join the Merseyside club in the year 2001. While he was a product of the Liverpool side, Kirkland was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion for the 2005-2006 season. Kirkland’s loan move at the Baggies expired at the end of the 05/06 campaign and so did his Liverpool career. Chris decided to leave Liverpool for Wigan in the year 2006. So far for Wigan, the 29 year old has featured 129 times in the Premier League for the ‘Lactics’.

Kirkland, who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday, has featured 32 times in the Premier League for Wigan Athletic this season. Kirkland has had an impressive season between the sticks for Martinez’s side, however at times he and his fellow team mates have shedded plenty of goals. Kirkland was the unfortunate keeper who conceded nine goals against Tottenham. Also against Manchester United in the League this season, both home and away Kirkland conceded a total of eight goals, even though he is a talented keeper he is wary of mistakes. Also this season the former Coventry goalkeeper has suffered numerous injury problems meaning that reserved choice goalkeepers Vladimir Stojkovic and Mike Pollitt, have both been given considerable chances to perform.

With the World Cup only around the corner, and the three goalkeeping places up for grabs it is highly likely that Chris Kirkland will be in the frame. Fabio Capello has already stated that he knows his first choice goalkeeper, leaving two places to be decided over the next month. Birmingham City goalkeeper Joe Hart has been in tremendous form all season, while David James has produced some marvellous saves while playing for Portsmouth. Kirkland who has one England cap to his name hasn’t featured in an ‘Three Lions’ shirt for some time, also it seems that the Wigan goalkeeper is out of the reckoning altogether. Overall Chris Kirkland is a consistent performer for his current side Wigan Athletic, and he still has a brilliant chance to be in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad.

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