Greatest Premier League Goalkeepers
Hello and welcome. Who do you consider to be the greatest Premier League players of all time? Alan Shearer and his goal scoring record? Roy Keane with his drive and determination? Perhaps Matt Le Tissier with his silky smooth skills, and velvet touch? Well here is your chance to vote for a Premier League XI. I will be posting a short list of players for each position, whom I consider to be the best at what they did or still do.
I would love to hear peoples opinions or choices if they differ to my own, as this is what discussion and football is all about. I hope you enjoy.
Here is a list of whom I consider to be the top 5 goalkeepers since the premier leagues inception in 1992. There are, I'm sure, 'keepers who I have missed out or who you wouldn't have put in the list, but I have chosen my 5 and would ask you to please vote for your favourite. Here they are in no particular order.
1. - Brad Friedel
Friedel's first attempts at a career in England were hampered with numerous refusals of work permits. He attempted to sign for Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United and Sunderland without any luck, before finally getting clearance to sign for Liverpool in 1997.
His first three seasons in England saw little opportunity for him in he first team, making just 25 league appearances. In 2000 Friedel joined Blackburn Rovers and was reunited with Graeme Souness, for whom he had played under at Galatasaray. His performances helped Blackburn promotion back the the Premier League in his first season, and solidified his position as the clubs first choice goalkeeper.
Friedel left Blackburn for Aston Villa in 2008, although there was reported interest from several clubs, including Manchester City. During his time at Aston Villa, he broke the record for the most consecutive games played (167) in the Premier League, and also became only the second goalkeeper to score a goal in the Premier League.
Friedel then signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 2011 where he continued his amazing run of consecutive games which only ended after 310 games. He is still a regular first team player, at the ripe old age of 41. During his Premier League career his kept a total of 124 clean sheets in 443 games.
2. - Peter Schmeichel
Schmeichel, a snip at £505,000, signed for Manchester United in 1991. In the first Premier League season he kept 22 clean sheets for Manchester United, winning the title in the process. He was an awesome presence, not afraid of telling his defenders just what he thought they were doing wrong. He ended his first spell in the Premier League on a high-note, winning a historic treble with Manchester United, captaining them to glory in the Champions League.
After a 2 year spell at Sporting CP, Schmeichel returned to England for spells with Aston Villa and Manchester City.
He kept 129 clean sheets in 310 games. He holds the record for the greatest clean sheets-to-games ratio in the Premier League with 42% of the games he played in the league ending without his team conceding.
3. - David Seaman
David Seaman started his career at Peterborough United in 1982, before joining Birmingham City and QPR. He the joined Arsenal in 1990 for £1.3million, a transfer record for a goalkeeper in England at the time. During his time at Arsenal he formed a part of a formidable back five which included Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon and Steve Bould. Bould was later replaced with Martin Keown but the back five remained dominant for several successful seasons for the Highbury club.
Instantly recognisable with his trade-mark ponytail he was, and remains, a fan favourite for both club and country. He won 2 Premier League titles, 4 F.A. Cups and a League Cup in his time at Arsenal. He was finally forced into retirement in 2004 with a shoulder injury, at the age of 40.
Seaman made 344 Premier League appearances for Arsenal and Manchester City, keeping a total of 140 clean sheets. This is a clean sheet average of slightly over 40%.
4. - Edwin Van Der Sar
Van Der Sar started his playing career at Ajax in 1990, spending 9 seasons at the Dutch club before joining Italian giants Juventus for a fee of around £5million. He spent two seasons at Juventus, leaving only after the Turin club bought Italian international Gianluigi Buffon. Not wanting to spend his time on the bench Van Der Sar moved to the English Premier League,joining newly promoted Fulham in 2001, after spending two years at Juventus.
He made 127 appearances for Fulham over the next 4 seasons, before finally moving to Manchester United, where he was to see out his career. He made a further 186 league appearances for United before finally retiring in 2011. He played a total of 313 Premier League appearances, keeping a total of 132 clean sheets, including a record run of 14 consecutive clean sheets (1,311 minutes without conceding a goal). During his Premier League career he won 4 Premier League titles, 2 F.A. cups, one Champions League and a World Club Cup title.
5. - Pepe Reina
Rafa Benitez signed Reina in 2005 describing him as "The best goalkeeper in Spain." He had big boots to fill, after Jerzy Dudeks heroics in the final of the Champions League the previous season. He more than did his job, breaking the League record for consecutive clean sheets (8) and Liverpools record for most consecutive clean sheets in all competitions (11). He also broke the record for least goals conceded by a Liverpool goalkeeper in the first 50 games of his career, conceding just 29 goals.
Reina continued to perform, breaking Liverpool records as he went. He became the quickest goalkeeper in Liverpool history to keep 50 clean sheets, doing this in only 92 games. He won three Golden Glove awards in his first three seasons at Anfield. He then went on to become the quickest Liverpool goalkeeper to reach 100 clean sheets, doing so in 198 games.
To date he has played 262 games for Liverpool in the Premier League, keeping 122 clean sheets. He has won an F.A. Cup, a League Cup and a European Super Cup in his time at Liverpool.