It’s not quite all over bar the shouting, but it’s not a million miles away. With the season coming to an exciting conclusion, there’s still plenty of time for crucial saves, vital errors and debate, but it’s about time to decide who is the Premier League Goalkeeper of the Season.
It’s not necessarily about the best goalkeeper in the league, but rather which keeper has played the best throughout the season. Here’s a look at the short list.
I’ve stated before that I think Wojciech Szczesny has had a brilliant and hugely under-rated season for Arsenal. Van Persie has got the goals, but the young Pole’s presence, leadership and saves made the resurrection of Arsenal’s season far easier than it could have been.
Mentioning David De Gea in the discussion about the best goalkeeper in the league prior to Christmas would have been an early sign of lunacy, but he has fought back strongly to be a key player in Manchester United’s title charge. It’s a great story of resolve and determination, but enough to be goalkeeper of the year – that’s up to you.
Across Manchester, City’s title push has stuttered in recent weeks, but the form of Joe Hart throughout the season can’t be overlooked. He has matured and combined with his undoubted reflexes and agility, become one of the world’s elite.
Tim Krul is another keeper to add maturity to ability this year. Alan Pardew rightly gets the credit for the Magpies’ surprisingly forceful challenge for European football, but again, it was the contribution of Krul’s many point blank reaction saves that made Newcastle a winning team as opposed to one that was easy on the eye, but didn’t pick up the points they deserved.
Michel Vorm is certainly up there as a candidate for buy of the season, but is he the goalkeeper of the season also. His form, particularly early on when Swansea were finding their feet in the league, was crucial in earning the points and giving them to confidence to believe they belonged in the top flight. Similar things have to be said about John Ruddy for Norwich.
Brad Friedel is better known to followers of the Premier League, but the standards of his performances for Spurs has been outstanding. He defied gloomy predictions (mainly mine) to make a huge contribution to Tottenham’s season.
Ali Al Habsi must has numerous entries in the competition for save of the season. The Oman international has pulled off some breath-taking saves for Wigan this campaign and has earned his team a fair smattering of points. Some may like more consistency from him, but if it’s enough to get the Latics another season of Premier League football, then he’s clearly done something right.
Vote, have your say and if you’d like to make the case for anyone I’ve omitted, we can debate it in the comments section.