Teamwork makes the dream work

A brand new Barcelona No. 1, outsider for Premier League Golden Glove

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Erling Haaland bagging two targets on his Premier League debut; Aleksandar Mitrovic bullying Liverpool in his return to the English prime flight; Lionel Messi scoring an overhead kick within the first sport of the Ligue 1 season.

It is laborious to consider the 2022-23 season has already kicked off. It looks like simply yesterday that Manchester Metropolis gained the Premier League on the ultimate matchday of the season, and Actual Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt and AS Roma clinched some historic European silverware.

Now it is time to do all of it once more: to observe new groups write historical past, new gamers make a reputation for themselves and new tales come to life. To have fun the beginning of a brand new European soccer season, I’ve compiled a listing of a few of my goalkeeper predictions for the 2022-23 season — however with a twist. As a substitute of going the protected route, I’ve added somewhat little bit of spice to my predictions. From a star goalkeeper dropping his beginning place to a World Cup report getting damaged, listed below are a few of my boldest goalkeeper takes for the brand new season.

The prediction: After a brief mortgage spell at Galatasaray, Inaki Pena is again with Barcelona, changing Neto because the membership’s backup goalkeeper. However the promotions will not cease there for Pena. I predict that by the top of the 2022-23 season, Peña can have supplanted long-time starter Marc-Andre ter Stegen because the membership’s No. 1.

Why it’s going to come true: There was a cut-off date when Marc-Andre ter Stegen was undisputed as one of many world’s prime goalkeepers. However since his profession season in 2017-18, the German’s performances have dipped. His league save proportion has dropped every season since his Barcelona profession excessive of 79.7% in 2018, right down to 70.9% final season; he is did not preserve greater than 11 league clear sheets in every of his previous two seasons; and his anticipated league targets saved above common has been under zero for the previous three seasons.

He is additionally been concerned in some humiliating losses, such because the Liverpool comeback in 2019 and Bayern Munich’s 8-2 dismantling of Barcelona in 2020. Ter Stegen hasn’t been capable of finding his composure since these losses, and his incapability to bounce again has led to some followers calling for him to get replaced. For this reason I consider the 23-year-old Pena is poised to take over Barcelona’s beginning duties by the top of the 2022-23 season.

The Alicante native is likely one of the brightest prospects in Spanish goalkeeping. He is displayed nice agility and aerial dominance all through his improvement, and his fast footwork and steely composure have made him a superb sweeper-keeper for each the Barcelona and Spain youth ranks.

Pena shouldn’t be a completed product, nor will he be one by the top of the season. And in the intervening time, the beginning place is not Pena’s. However what occurs if Ter Stegen’s numbers do not enhance over the primary half of this season? What if his save proportion continues to dip? What if Ter Stegen continues to play on the degree that has plagued him lately?

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These are all authentic considerations, and if Pena impresses within the restricted Copa Del Rey minutes he is probably going to get, I can see Xavi Hernandez giving the teen an opportunity.

With Barcelona again in win-now mode after Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha’s signings (amongst others), they want a goalkeeper who can present them with the identical consistency, game-stealing performances, psychological stability and drive for fulfillment they relied on a couple of seasons in the past. That is one thing I am afraid Ter Stegen can not do (no less than, not over a full season, and definitely not within the Champions League).

The membership has to look forward to a future with out Ter Stegen as their first-choice goalkeeper, and by easing Pena into the No. 1 position by the top of this season, I believe they’d be setting themselves up for fulfillment in each 2023 and past.

The World Cup penalties saved report can be damaged this 12 months

The prediction: Within the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic matched the World Cup’s all-time penalties saved report when he stopped 4 penalties in seven appearances. It was an unimaginable achievement — however this 12 months, it is going to be bested. I predict a goalkeeper will break the all-time penalties saved report within the World Cup.

Why it’s going to come true: Penalties are a tricky factor to foretell in relation to main worldwide tournaments. Since most of those tournaments solely require a crew to play a most of seven video games from begin to end, goalkeepers do not are likely to face a variety of penalties. That is very true for the common goalkeeper, since most groups are likely to play 4 or fewer video games in a single worldwide match and may not qualify for an additional World Cup for years.

However even with that context, I can not shake off the sensation that 4 is a beatable quantity. The numbers additionally counsel that extra penalties are being taken at World Cups, resulting in extra probabilities for a goalkeeper to interrupt the report. We see this within the rise of the variety of World Cup penalty shootouts.

The report for many penalty shootouts in a single World Cup is 4, set initially within the 1990 World Cup. Three of the previous 4 World Cups have matched that mark, together with every of the previous two World Cups. This is not a World Cup-specific prevalence both. Although no Copa America has matched the shootout report set in 1995 (additionally 4), 4 of the previous 5 Copa Americas have seen three shootouts happen. In Europe, Euro 2020 matched the all-time single-tournament shootout report (additionally 4, seeing a sample?), and Euro 2016 hit the three shootout mark for the primary time since 1996.

One other quantity that appears to lean in favour of this prediction is penalty conversion proportion. For the reason that first shootout happened in a World Cup in 1982, solely 4 World Cups have seen gamers report a complete shootout conversion proportion under 70%. A type of World Cups was the 2018 version (66.7%), and two others had been World Cups that happened within the twenty first century (2006: 63.6%, and 2022: 68.4%).

Penalty conversion charges appear to be on the decline elsewhere too. Within the Premier League, penalty conversions have dropped considerably because the Nineties; and the 2021 Copa America had the bottom proportion of profitable shootout penalties (62%) since 1997.

Although these percentages embrace off-target penalties, I reckon it additionally has to do with enhancements in penalty information and gamesmanship in goalkeeping. Given the expertise right this moment’s goalkeepers have in addition to the numbers introduced above, I am assured this prediction will come true.

Premier League’s Golden Glove can be gained by a goalkeeper not representing a top-3 membership

The prediction: The Premier League Golden Glove is awarded yearly to the league’s goalkeeper who stored probably the most clear sheets in a particular season. Normally, this can be a goalkeeper taking part in for one of many season’s prime golf equipment. However this season can be completely different as a result of the award can be gained by a goalkeeper not representing a top-three membership.

Why it’s going to come true: To know simply how daring of a prediction that is, we have to perceive how unique the Premier League Golden Glove award is.

For the reason that award’s inception in 2005, the Golden Glove has been awarded 18 occasions. Over that point, 9 completely different goalkeepers have gained the award, representing one in every of simply 5 completely different golf equipment: Manchester Metropolis, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. Solely two goalkeepers — Pepe Reina in 2008 and Wojciech Szczesny in 2014 — have gained the award whereas representing a membership that completed exterior of the highest three that season and in each instances, their membership completed fourth.

Given this context, what makes me suppose issues can be completely different this season? First, though the winner has nearly at all times been a goalkeeper representing a top-three membership, the runner-ups, whereas nonetheless largely made up of goalkeepers from the highest three golf equipment, aren’t almost as unique.

Of the 54 goalkeepers who’ve completed first, second or third in a Golden Glove race, 23 of them represented a membership that completed exterior of the highest three that season. These embrace goalkeepers who had been taking part in for a membership exterior of the highest six, like Emiliano Martinez in 2021 (Aston Villa completed eleventh), Nick Pope in 2020 (Burnley completed tenth) and Fraser Forster in 2017 (Southampton completed Eighth).

Many of those goalkeepers got here in second place too. In truth, eight of the 18 Golden Glove silver medallists had been goalkeepers who performed for non top-three golf equipment. These embrace two of the previous three runner-ups.

Though the winners of the award have nearly solely been goalkeepers representing a top-three crew, the rostrum has a a lot more healthy dose of goalkeepers representing non top-three golf equipment. So it isn’t unreasonable to suppose one such goalkeeper might have a great 12 months and end the race on prime — particularly when you think about the present crop of proficient goalkeepers the Premier League boasts.

Up to now, a lot of the Premier League’s prime goalkeepers had been these taking part in for one of many league’s huge 5 or 6 golf equipment. Within the 2010-11 season, for instance, solely 5 goalkeepers hit the ten clear sheet mark — and of these 5 goalkeepers, 4 of them had been taking part in for a membership that completed within the prime six (Mark Schwarzer performed for Eighth-placed Fulham).

One other instance is the 2016-17 season, which solely noticed six goalkeepers hit the ten clear sheet mark. Once more, 4 of these goalkeepers had been representing a top-six membership (Forster performed for Eighth-placed Southampton and Tom Heaton performed for Sixteenth-placed Burnley).

Quick-forward to the 2020-21 season, although, and 13 completely different goalkeepers hit the ten clear sheet mark — a report within the 38-game Premier League period. These goalkeepers ranged from Premier League winner Ederson to Nick Pope and Robert Sanchez, whose golf equipment completed in seventeenth and Sixteenth.

A lot of these goalkeepers are nonetheless within the Premier League, in some instances with their similar membership, and I can see them not solely breaking the ten clear sheet barrier once more however difficult for the Golden Glove too. Final season, solely 4 clear sheets separated Alisson and Ederson from Lloris (whose Tottenham completed fourth). If a few bounces labored Lloris’ approach or in opposition to Alisson and Ederson, it would’ve been Lloris lifting the Golden Glove final season.

Throw in among the new faces we’ll see this season (reminiscent of Thomas Strakosha, now at Brentford) and I believe there is a respectable pool of goalkeepers exterior of the highest three to guess on to win the Premier League Golden Glove.

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