The Premier League and Great Goalkeepers
La Liga may have the top forwards, but we’ve got the best keepers
Last week Arsene Wenger stated that the Premier League contains the best forwards in the world, a statement that was roundly mocked by the majority of those that heard it. While the Prem does contain some stellar names – Rooney, Costa, Sanchez, Balotelli etc – it’s difficult to view anything other than La Liga as the home of the world’s biggest goal threats.
What the Premier League does have, however, is arguably the best collection of goalkeepers in the world. De Gea, Lloris and Courtois are to my mind three of the top four keepers out there, with only Bayern Munich’s Neuer ahead of them.
Another sterling display from De Gea this weekend saw him earn the acclaim of Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, surely the ultimate compliment for any United stopper. His performance against Everton on Sunday was tremendous, pulling off stops that the Dane would have himself been proud of. His commanding presence in the United back line is in stark contrast to the nervy 20-year-old that stood between the sticks in 2011, with his improvement and increased levels of composure there for all to see.
Tottenham’s sweeper-keeper Lloris has also had praise heaped upon him this term, often pulling off stops that are undoubtedly world-class and, on occasion, nothing less than miraculous. Tottenham have been shaky this season and currently sit in 6th, but that position would most certainly be a lot lower were it not for the French number one. Many Tottenham fans believe that this will be his last season at White Hart Lane and, were he to move to Madrid or Barcelona, he’d surely thrive.
So, while Spanish fans are treated to the goals of Ronaldo, Neymar, Messi, Bale and Mandžukić on a weekly basis, we English football fans see some of the world’s best goalkeepers performing heroics each weekend. A top class keeper may not have the same draw as a prolific striker, but it’s worth sitting back and appreciating that this is a golden age in Premier League goalkeeping.