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.



  • Capricorn2049

    Whilst the defence in front of him are consistently erratic at best, season after season there are few teams that concede more than Newcastle. 
    “Erratic at best,” thats a compliment, The defence is collectively hopeless

  • Barnesay

    Why did the mackems pay £3m for Pamtillimon when he was out of contract? Krul’s position here is about right, he’s been dreadful for last couple of seasons, doesn’t come from crosses and kicking is worst in the league, such as the clearances against QPR, Spurs and ManU that led directly to goals and cost us points. We concede far too many goals from headers inside 6 yard box when if he would shift his feet he could get a punch on a cross. If there’s decent money on offer this summer take it. Don’t know if Darlow is ready, not having seen him play, so maybe bring in an older head for a year or 2 before he is ready

  • NottsToon

    Darlow is not ready to be our number 1, I watched him a fair bit last season. Doesn’t command his area or marshall his defence particularly well at all, but he’s still young.

  • toonterrier

    Before they started rating the goalkeepers maybe they should have looked at the defences. Put Krul in an Arsenal or Chelsea strip and he would shoot up the table. Ok he makes the odd mistake but the majority of goals conceded Is because of second rate defending. Hopefully it will change next season if we bring in the players we need..

  • amacdee

    When I think back to the number of times I watched Willo and Colo abdicate responsibilities, in terms of marking their targets, I can well understand why TK is so low down that list. Everyone knew we needed a commanding central defender last season and the need is now stronger than ever

  • Kev82

    Krul has not been great and has made a couple of errors but he has been badly let down game after game by the rubbish in front of him, get a better defence and his form will pick back up.

  • Barnesay

    Lads, no matter how bad the centre halves are (and Colo/Willow wouldn’t make the Prem top 20) there is no excuse for a keeper not being able hit the half way line with a clearance from a backlpass (Spurs and QPR) or not come for crosses knocked in from the touch lines.

  • AndrewCowley1

    Krul has been poor for some time now and it’s time for a change.

  • Big Al 1967

    In the summer Tim desperately needs to work on his kicking game by building up strength and muscles in his legs. Have taken to watching some of the Women’ s World Cup and it is noticeable that the female keepers either kick it the same distance or further than Tim can.