Some would like you to believe goalkeeping is all about how many goals you allow which, at its essence, makes a heck of a lot of sense, doesn’t it? But when to rank the best performances over the course of a season, looking at a stat line could be a pretty big mistake.
For one thing, is Simon Mignolet a horrible keeper because Liverpool pushed forward and sometimes lost the defensive plot? Is Petr Cech a wizard simply because Chelsea didn’t allow a ton of shots?
Advanced stats can only tell us so much, too. Take a look at this season’s Squawka goalkeeper stats for players who appeared in 20 or more Premier League contests:
Now does that mean we’re going to stick with that list? Heck no. There are defensive and attacking philosophies, jaw-dropping saves and plain-old, splendid performances to consider. Let’s find a happy medium.
10. Joe Hart, Manchester City
England’s No. 1 backstopped his club to a Premier League title, but not without some mid-season questions as to whether his backup should get the No. 1 seat. Not many players on this list had their job status questioned this year.
9. Hugo Lloris, Tottenham
The Frenchman is very, very good. Appears poised to make the move to a great keeper soon, but needs to eliminate the baffling performances
8. Vito Mannone, Sunderland
Of all the “great keeper on a bad team” arguments, Mannone’s leaps above David Marshall of Cardiff and John Ruddy of Norwich. Much like his Northeast counterpart, Tim Krul, there have been so many matches where Sunderland could’ve conceded many more goals with an inferior keeper.
7. Petr Cech, Chelsea
Classic game orchestrator. Not taking slots away from the team in front of him, but his reputation would place him higher than his game at this point. Still a fantastic netminder.
6. David De Gea, Manchester United
Once he eliminated the excessive taco eating — this was a story, folks — De Gea found his place as perhaps the most effective player on his underachieving team. Making the Spain roster is sign enough he’s announced his arrival.
5. Tim Krul, Newcastle United
Watch this team for more than 10 minutes and you might think Krul deserves to be No. 1. His early season was incredible, but his form dipped with his team’s late in the year. Krul rarely gives up a bad goal, and that happened a few times in the final couple months.
4. Simon Mignolet, Liverpool
Left out to dry on many occasions, Mignolet can play with the best of them. Get him an average defense and you might just see that next year.
3. Tim Howard, Everton
Tied with our No. 1 for clean sheets, the American backstop was phenomenal in completing Everton’s rise. Under-appreciated for distribution, especially lengthy kicks.
2. Asmir Begovic, Stoke City
He’s very, very good… a complete keeper already at the age of just 26.
1. Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal
He’s brilliant in all aspects of the game, from shot-stopping to positioning a defense to distribution. And despite what his almost impossibly-awkward lack of sideburns (read: dad haircut) might tell you, he’s only 24. And in our book, already the best.