Competition among goalkeepers is good news for Stoke



1st Team Goalkeepers: Thomas Sorensen (36), Asmir Begovic (25), Carlo Nash (38)

If ever the benefit of having two reliable goalkeeping options need an example, Stoke’s 2011/12 campaign was it. Asmir Begovic began the season in superb form and showed why rumours of interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United was more than the newspapers filling gossip sections. His agility and command of his penalty area stood out as positives and he complemented the Potters’ well organised defence perfectly.

Then came a dip in form. A series of less assured performances culimanted with a calamitous performance in Stoke’s surprise 5-0 defeat to Bolton at the Reebok. With the comfort of having a tried and trusted goalkeeper in reserve, Tony Pulis took swift action and installed Thomas Sorensen as his number one. It probably didn’t feel like it at the time, but it will stand to Begovic and ultimately his desire to improve will only improve Stoke.

Begovic is still young enough to be learning his trade. His natural ability is obvious and the lapses in concentration that result in some of his errors are likely to decrease as he gets more and more playing time under his belt. It’s easy to forget that last season was essentially his first as first choice for a Premier League team.

Sorensen is one of the most experienced Premier League performers still playing. It had looked like his career was in danger of petering out on the bench, but the move to Stoke has reinvigorated him. He’s not as spritely as he was when he was younger, but his confidence and assurance is of big benefit to the club. There will be a few errors for time to time, but they should be in the tiny minority in comparison to the positive contribution he makes to the team.

Carlo Nash is the third string option and he’s a good option to have should misfortune mean he’s called into action.

Stoke are 15/8 to finish in the Top 10 of the Premier League – BET NOW