FORZA Data Decides 'Who Is The Greatest Premier League Goalkeeper?'

Legendary shot-stopper Edwin van der Sar has claimed the crown of best Premier League goalkeeper from the last decade, according to new research by sports equipment retailer Net World Sports.
FORZA Goalkeeper Gloves
FORZA Goalkeeper Gloves
WREXHAM, Wales - Nov. 9, 2017 - PRLog -- The 130-times capped former Holland goalkeeper came out 'top of the stops' in an analysis by the award-winning online retailer to mark the launch of its new range of FORZA goalkeeping gloves.

The award-winning sports firm studied the number of saves, crossed claimed, errors, clean sheet percentage, and minutes per goal conceded since the start of the 2006-07 season – when official records for such goalkeeper-specific statistics first appeared – to calculate its top 10 shot-stoppers.

Former Ajax, Juventus, and Fulham stalwart Van der Sar topped the rankings thanks to his phenomenal performances at Manchester United, including a world-record 1,311-minute spell without conceding a league goal during the Red Devils' 2008-09 campaign. He beat former Liverpool custodian Pepe Reina into second place with United's present-day number one David De Gea completing the top three.  Sneaking into the top 10 in ninth place, current England first choice Joe Hart was beaten by two rivals for his international shirt, Burnley's Tom Heaton in fifth and Jack Butland in eighth.

While Arsenal's former Chelsea keeper Petr Cech has kept most clean sheets over the period analysed (153), Van der Sar's record of 72 clean sheets in 148 appearances gave him the best shut-out percentage of 48.65%, while he also recorded the best minutes per goal conceded figure (122.20) ahead of Cech (106.82) and Reina (100.35).

At the other end of the scale, the struggles of his Sunderland and Everton teams are reflected by Jordan Pickford having the worst minutes per goal conceded rate, with the hard-pressed last line of defence picking the ball out of his net on average every 48.55 minutes. Playing behind two leaky backlines does ensure the England under-21 star is always in the action however, with his average of 4.37 saves per game the most since such statistics started being recorded.

Since 2006-7, veteran USA international Tim Howard has thwarted opposition strikers the most, his 992 total saves for Everton topping Ben Foster's 953, and Cech's 907, although the latter just pips the American to the title for total number of crosses claimed (551 compared to 538).

Currently back-up 'keeper at Huddersfield Town, Robert Green has blundered the most times, committing 21 errors that have led directly to a goal during his time at West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers. Stoke City's Jack Butland has proved to be a perfect performer, committing no critical errors in 52 games, while Burnley's Tom Heaton has virtually flawless handling too, having been credited with just 1 error in 77 Premier League appearances.

To launch the goalie gloves Net World Sports also traced some statistics back to the beginning of the Premier League era in 1992-93. Four-time title-winner Cech has kept the highest total number of clean sheets (198 in 412 games), has the best overall clean sheet percentage (48.06%), and the best minutes per goal conceded 114.80.

Well-travelled former England international David James has kept the second highest number of clean sheets (172 in 572 appearances) but also lives up to his unfortunate "Calamity" nickname having conceded the most Premier League goals (665) for teams including Liverpool, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, and Manchester City.

Watford's Heurelho Gomes and Liverpool's Simon Mignolet are the all-time Premier League penalty killers, 11 saves from 33 and 10 saves from 20 respectively, although its two former Chelsea stoppers who have the best penalty save success rate, Carlo Cudicini's 50% (4 saves out of 8 faced) followed by Dimitri Kharin's 44.44% (4 saves out of 9).

Chris Owens, Communications Manager for Net World Sports, commented: "There are some true goalkeeping greats from both the current era and years-gone-by in our list of top 10 stoppers, bringing together the combination of razor-sharp reflexes, reliable handling, and commanding presence needed to stop opposition strikers in their tracks.

"We're sure our new FORZA goalkeeper gloves, the Sicuro, Centro, and Mondo, will enable aspiring goalkeepers of all ages and abilities to command their penalty areas and follow in the footsteps of our top stoppers come matchday."

Chris Owens, Communications Manager
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