Which Premier League goalkeepers are the best…and worst?

It is almost certainly the easiest position on the pitch after a striker/goalscorer to measure their performance, at least up to a certain point.

Just as most strikers will be rated on how many goals they score,  with number of chances and other factors also taken into consideration.

Then the same applies to goalkeepers, factors such as saves made etc deciding which have been the stronger performers over a season.

Some great analysis by Sam Jackson at the excellent Sporting Intelligence website, has looked at deciding which were the best goalkeepers overall in Europe.

However, we are only highlighting one small piece of his research, which is his analysis of Premier League goalkeepers.

Sam has used his statistical analysis to eventually come up with a ‘Safe Hands’ rating (SHR) that considers the measurable parts of a goalkeeper’s job.

Basically, he has (go here for the full long explanation) combined stats on percentage of saves made from shots, plus how keepers deal with balls into the box. How many are caught, how many they punch and the overall mark coming from the success of the various ways they deal with the balls delivered.

The full rating for all Premier League goalkeepers are shown below, with the ‘Safe Hands rating’ shown to the right of the keeper’s name, all goalkeepers who played 15 matches or more last season were included, which explains why two Arsenal keepers feature:

premier league goalkeepersObviously Tim Krul doesn’t rate very well, finishing in 18th place from the 21 Premier League goalkeepers analysed.

Considering Newcastle conceded more (63) goals than every other club apart from rock bottom QPR, it is little surprise, Tim Krul playing in 30 of the 38 matches.

At the other end of the spectrum, Geordie (and former NUFC) goalkeeper Fraser Forster had an outstanding season, with Southampton conceding only 33 (half of Newcastle’s total!) goals, only Chelsea conceded less (32). If it hadn’t been for Forster picking up that serious injury late in the season, it’s likely the Saints would have remained the tightest defence.

With rumours of Tim Krul possibly looking to move on from Newcastle, the question could be posed of just how much of a loss he would be.

Whilst the defence in front of him are consistently erratic at best, season after season there are few teams that concede more than Newcastle.

Like a number of other players such as Fabricio Coloccini, Tim Krul has never reached the heights of his consistently excellent displays in 2011/12 when the team finished fifth in the Premier League.

I hate to say it, but on what I have seen of that lot down the road, the Sunderland keeper (2nd top in the table) has looked a much better player than Tim Krul in recent times.

Pantilimon also shows that the goalkeeping position can often be filled by a player who proves to be very good, for not very much money, the mackems only paying around £3m to Manchester City. Normally much more difficult to find bargains at the other end of the pitch as goalscorers speak for themselves when it comes to their goals tally.

I have to say as well that far too many Newcastle fans were too accepting of Geordie Fraser Forster’s departure for a couple of million, everywhere he had been on loan he’d had rave reviews and I believe he should have been encouraged to stay a bit longer and give Tim Krul a real fight for the shirt.

A lack of competition for the Newcastle number one shirt hasn’t helped Tim Krul’s progress, with Rob Elliot way off the quality needed and Jak Alnwick sadly having a nightmare time when he was forced into action.

Whilst all eyes are on Charlie Austin or whoever coming into the forward line, also worth keeping an eye on who is between the sticks at St James Park next season, and most importantly – how he performs.