15th August, 1992 to the 15th August, 2022.
The English Premier League.
Thirty years on the button.
Let’s have it.
FACTS AND FIGURES CORRECT AS OF AUGUST 15th, 2022.
330. Nick Culkin — 1997–2002 — Manchester United
1 App (Sub)
Here he is, the big bad boss at the bottom of the list. And it might be a bit harsh as he didn’t really do anything wrong. He came off the bench, played a long free kick up-pitch, and… That was it. That was his Premier League career.
All of 7 seconds.
He did his job, kept a clean sheet, won the game, and all in 7 seconds.
He’s an absolute legend and not at the bottom of this list due to his quality, which the top division only got to see for a brief, shimmering moment.
FUN FACT: In 2014, he became the first ever player to feature for both Manchester United and F.C. United of Manchester.
329. Neil Cutler — 1999–2000 — Aston Villa
1 App (Sub)
A substitute appearance could have been the high point of Cutler’s Villa career. Who’d have thought that it would actually come just under twenty years later when he was appointed goalkeeper coach at the club?
If he wasn’t gonna be their goalkeeper, he was at least gonna decide who was.
328. Adam Rachel — 1996–1999 — Aston Villa
1 App (Sub)
Rachel came off the bench in a game against Blackburn Rovers after Michael Oakes had been sent off, but he couldn’t stop Tim Sherwood from netting a late winner for the Lancashire side.
327. Kiko Casilla — 2020–2022 — Leeds United
Lost to Brighton in his first Prem appearance in January of 2021, but would better his record at the end of that season while playing in victories over Southampton and West Brom, with a clean sheet versus the former. His performances didn’t need to be stellar in those cases, and they weren’t a division lower for the Yorkshire outfit either — but he sullied his career in England with more than bad performances.
326. Ralf Fährmann — 2019–2020 — Norwich City
After conceding a goal in their September 2019 fixture against Crystal Palace, Norwich subbed off Ralf, and then they never saw him again.
He cut his loan short and went off to Norway. They didn’t see him there much either. If at all…
325. Martyn Margetson — 1992–1996 — Manchester City
Having also made just the one appearance for his national side, the Welshman started the final game of the 92/93 season against Everton but got replaced at half-time having shipped three goals.
324. Jon Sheffield — 1994 — Swindon Town
A loan spell saw Sheffield become one of four goalkeepers that one-season wonders Swindon would use. He would concede 8 goals in his two games, in a 3–3 draw with his former club Norwich, and a 5–0 battering at the hands of Aston Villa.
FUN FACT: In the game against Villa, Sheffield became the first Premier League player to wear the number 40.
323. Daniele Padelli — 2007 — Liverpool
The highly-rated Italian joined Liverpool on loan from Sampdoria, and a permanent deal was seen as a signing for the future of the club. However, that didn’t pan out. The permanent deal was scrapped after a poor display against Charlton where he conceded two goals.
He wouldn’t find consistent football until 2013, when he signed for Torino.
322. Paul Rachubka — 2000–2004, 2010–2011, Manchester United, Charlton Athletic, Blackpool
He started his Prem career bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Manchester United in a 2–0 win over Leicester and ended his Prem career bleeding from the face in a 5–3 defeat to Everton.
Peak and trough.
Though he would be brought into the top flight full of promise, his few appearances did little to fulfil it.
321. Nick Colgan — 1992–1998, 2008–2009 — Chelsea, Sunderland
Ruud Gullit handed Colgan his debut, five years after he’d joined Chelsea. It wasn’t one to remember for Nick either, a 3–2 defeat against West Ham.
He went on to great things at Hibernian and Barnsley though, so all good.
320. Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson — 2020-present — Arsenal
1 App (Sub)
Replaced the dismissed Bernd Leno for the last 20 minutes of a clash with Wolves. Didn’t concede, but couldn’t help his side come back from a 2–1 deficit with nine men.
319. Diego Penny — 2009–2010 — Burnley
1 App (Sub)
In October of Burnley’s first-ever Prem campaign, Penny The Peruvian was needed off the bench just quarter of an hour into The Clarets’ clash with Wigan. The game was already 1–1, and Penny couldn’t stop The Latics from pressing on, earning themselves a 3–1 win in whatever the opposite of a game-changing performance is from the man himself.
Legend has it that Owen Coyle saw him on the ground outside Turf Moor and decided to sign him there and then. Because if you find a Penny, you pick it up.
318. Fabri — 2018–2019, 2020–2021— Fulham
He would start in goal for Fulham’s return to the Premier League in 2018, but would get lost in the shuffle among their 25 other goalies.
Might go down as the most unnecessary signing in Fulham’s history.
317. Will Norris — 2017–2022 — Wolves, Burnley
Just a minute for Will of the Wolves, who replaced Rui Patricio in the dying moments of a 1–0 win over Fulham. For Burnley, he would turn out in disappointing defeats to Liverpool and Sheffield United, where he made just as little an impact in his one minute as a wolf.
316. Gunnar Nielsen — 2007–2012 — Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City
1 App (Sub)
Just fifteen minutes for Gunnar, who came off the bench to play out a goalless stalemate with Arsenal.
FUN FACT: With his brief appearance, Nielsen became the first and, thus far, only Faroese player to ever grace the Premier League.
315. Giedrius Arlauskis — 2015–2017 — Watford
1 App (Sub)
With the scores at 1–1, Heurelho Gomes goes off injured and on comes ‘Arla’ for his Watford debut. Though he would concede a goal, his lads went up and got two, condemning Aston Villa to defeat.
He did look shaky and even referred to the 25 minutes he was on the pitch as ‘really hard, the hardest ten minutes of my life. It felt much longer than ten minutes.’
That’s because it was, Arla.
314. João Virgínia — 2019-present — Everton
1 App (Sub)
Coming on with his side 2–1 down to Burnley, the young Portuguese ‘keeper made a few important saves to give his team the best chance to come back. They didn’t though.
There were a few nervous moments peppered in, but he got away with them, and he has a jumping-off point now, with over half of a top flight app to his name.
313. Kristoffer Klaesson — 2021-present — Leeds United
1 App (Sub)
With Leeds 2–0 down against Wolves, the last thing Leeds needed was their talismanic goalie Illan Meslier coming off with an injury to be replaced by the thus far unused and untested Kristoffer Klaesson. But it was actually the first thing they apparently needed on the way to a monumental comeback victory that would eventually count in their survival from the drop.
You don’t need to do anything when you’ve got that kinda luck on your side.
312. Mervyn Day — 1992–1993 — Leeds United
Day was a legendary goalkeeper for Leeds in the latter half of the 80’s, but by the time the Prem rolled around, others had taken up the important mantle.
His lone appearances would come in the inaugural season of the league, a 4–0 loss to Manchester City in November, and a 2–0 loss to Everton in January. Not a reflection.
311. Jason Steele — 2007–2009, 2018-present — Middlesbrough, Brighton and Hove Albion
I swear this dude had a top flight appearance under his belt before November 2021. It seemed he was always in amongst in, but no, right on the cusp.
Since joining Brighton, Steele has suffered from the occasional bout of second-keeper syndrome, so when he had to step up for a game against Villa, a few would’ve been sweating. Despite the 2–0 loss however, Jason stood tall throughout and denied the Villans by hook or by crook, only succumbing at the culmination of the clash.
310. Doni — 2011–2013 — Liverpool
When Doni played in goal against Aston Villa in 2012, it was the first time in five years Liverpool had played someone other than Pepe Reina between the sticks in the league. And I reckon they missed him a bit.
A 1–1 draw with Villa wasn’t too bad, but a red card against Blackburn fecked it for him. His final two appearances were both 1–0 defeats (to Fulham and Swansea) and his stint was up, with some corners of Anfield rejoicing.
When they found out it was because he’d had a heart attack and was clinically dead for 25 seconds, a swathe of guilt followed.
309. Patrice Luzi — 2002–2005 — Liverpool
A 1–0 win over Chelsea. I’d leave it there too, not gonna get better than that.
308. Danny Coyne — 2003–2004 — Leicester City
The ageless Danny Coyne made his Premier League appearances for the one team in his career he struggled for. When he was able to get past Ian Walker into the team, he found himself involved in three defeats and one draw, conceding ten goals along the way. Powerless, but not poor.
307. Michael McGovern — 2019–2020, 2021–2022— Norwich City
The Northern Irish legend finally made his Premiership bow in the 19/20 season, though they were in disappointing defeats; 2–0 to Crystal Palace and 5–1 to Aston Villa. Not befitting of the man.
306. Martin Herrera — 2002–2005 — Fulham
A 1–1 draw with Spurs and a 2–2 draw with Southampton in his first year with The Cottagers, before spending the next two out on loan. Premier League appearances are definitely something to write home about, but I assume Martin’s wasn’t adjective-laden.
305. Steve Banks — 1992–1993, 2001–2003 — West Ham United, Bolton Wanderers
Turning out for Bolton in a 3–2 loss to Villa was the first and last we would see of Steve Banks, but his Blackpool career is what he’ll be remembered for.
304. Andy Collett — 1992–1993 — Middlesbrough
In the first season of the Premiership, Middlesbrough were relegated with a few games to go. This being so, towards the end of the season, they gave a couple of fringe players a chance and in came Collett, who was custodian for a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday and a 3–3 draw with Norwich City. Not a great ratio, but he can say that he’s unbeaten in the Prem.
303. Matt Murray — 2003–2004 — Wolves
Love this guy.
His lone season in the Premiership was hampered by injury, but he did manage one appearance as Wolves finished bottom of the table. This one appearance was the full 90 in a 5–1 defeat to Blackburn.
FUN FACT: Watched me perform in Guys & Dolls one time.
302. Kevin Stuhr Ellegaard — 2002–2005 — Manchester City
He just couldn’t cement himself at City. Four games, three defeats and a 0–0. And he only played 40 minutes of the 0–0. City also lost 4–2 within those four games, with Ellegaard coming off the bench for that one as well. He conceded all the goals there.
301. Peter Kurucz — 2009–2012 — West Ham
1 App (Sub)
Brought on as a sub fifteen minutes from time amidst a 4–0 thumping at the hands of Manchester United.
He didn’t concede any of the goals though, so he’ll always have that.
300. Vladimir Stojković — 2010 — Wigan Athletic
The adventurous Serbian was maybe a little adventurous for Wigan, as he went adventuring off his line a little often for their liking, but much to the delight of their opposition. Though he popped up with some stellar saves, he was at fault for too many goals, so that kind of cancels out the good.
He’s got some moments behind him, just not in the Prem.
299. Gerry Peyton — 1992–1994 — Everton, Norwich City, Chelsea, West Ham United
1 App (Sub)
A legend outside of the Premier League, Gerry joined Chelsea on a short-term loan and was called into action at half-time during a 2–0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
298. Lee Camp — 2013–2014 — Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion
I find it staggering that a goalkeeper the stature of Lee Camp has only made three Premier League appearances. And for Norwich.
Two draws and a defeat summarise Camp’s sadly lacklustre top flight career, but certainly not his career as a whole.
297. Simon Moore — 2019–2021 — Sheffield United
He did a hell of a job between the sticks for The Blades, being an integral part of the teams that achieved back-to-back promotions to the Premier League. In the top flight, he found himself displaced, though he did play in the 3–3 draw with Manchester United; a stunning comeback for The Red Devils, as well as in the reverse fixture. He’s now plying his trade in a league where his skills can be admired and appreciated once more.
296. Ruud Boffin — 2010–2012 — West Ham United
The Ruud one turned out against Blackburn Rovers and put on an eclectic display during the 1–1 draw. It’s like seeing a crazy fella at the shopping centre; you look over, furrow your brow, and then look away.
He did make over 150 appearances and score for his next club though, so… Swings and roundabouts.
295. Neil Finn — 1995–1998 — West Ham United
Neil Finn stepped up amid an injury crisis at West Ham, and in doing so became the Premier League’s youngest ever player, at just 17 years and 3 days. He’s since lost the record, but he hasn’t lost that pretty decent, number-peeling appearance, even if it was a 2–1 loss to Manchester City.
FUN FACT: Though he’s no longer the youngest ever Premier League player, he remains the Prem’s youngest ever ‘keeper.
294. Joel Pereira — 2015–2021 — Manchester United
In May 2017, Pereira would start and complete 90 minutes against Crystal Palace. He didn’t fill everyone with confidence, but he did keep a clean sheet in a 2–0 win.
That game is also notable for being Josh Harrop’s first, and only, Premiership appearance for Manchester United, and he bagged a goal.
293. Phil Morgan — 1994–1995 — Ipswich Town
Morgan made his sole appearance for The Tractor Boys in a 2–0 defeat to Leicester, with his side already relegated. He couldn’t do much, and wasn’t seen in the league (or many other grounds) again.
292. Carl Ikeme — 2003–2004, 2009–2012 — Wolves
1 App (Sub)
It was the final day of the 11/12 season when Ikeme finally had a walk about in the Prem. Coming on as a sub, he conceded one goal in a 3–2 defeat to Wigan with Wolves already relegated.
His career was magnificent throughout the divisions for Wolves, winning many awards, but his biggest win came in his battle against leukaemia, with the Nigeria international going into complete remission in 2018.
291. Kevin Dearden — 1992–1993 — Tottenham Hotspur
1 App (Sub)
By the first season of the Premiership, Kev had already been toiling for nearly half a decade trying to get into the Spurs first team.
His chance came when Erik Thorstvedt got injured against Forest and he heroically charged off the bench. He couldn’t help his side though, and they lost 2–1.
Dearden would not be defined by his defeat though, and he went on to have a stellar career, highlighted by top spells with Brentford and Torquay.
290. Joe Lewis — 2004–2005, 2013–2014 — Norwich City, Cardiff City
Brought in for cover during a Cardiff revolution, the impressive shot-stopper turned out for The Bluebirds in a 1–1 draw with Hull.
The appearance was really sandwiched between the highest points in his career; a legendary stint at Peterborough as one slice of bread, with a banging season for a doomed Blackpool and a handy time at Aberdeen that’s still ongoing as the other. The filling of Cardiff made this a flour sandwich though.
289. Stefan Wessels — 2007–2008 — Everton
The big German would go out winless in the Prem. Replacing Toffees icon Tim Howard, he would play in a 1–0 loss to Manchester United and then a 2–0 loss to Aston Villa a week later.
He’d be gone after one season.
288. Kristoffer Nordfeldt — 2015–2018 — Swansea City
Swansea never seemed to put all their confidence in Kris. Until they got to the Championship. In the Prem, he played in a 2–1 win over West Brom and a 1–1 draw with Manchester City and didn’t do enough to earn it.
FUN FACT: His first name is Bo. Bo Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
287. Zack Steffen — 2019-present — Manchester City
Stepping up with Ederson injured, the American with hair used the cup competitions to get secure, but needs just a little more time to be fine enough for the Prem. A 3–1 victory and a 2–0 victory are still victories though.
286. Patrick Foletti — 2002 — Derby County
The current Swiss national side goalkeeping coach went on loan to Derby and made his debut off the bench in a 3–0 win. He would start the next game and his side would score 3 again! But they would also concede 4.
285. Rami Shaaban — 2002–2004 — Arsenal
He might not have had to do much, but his Prem career started pretty well with his side orchestrating a 3–0 demolition of Spurs in a North London Derby. He went on to play in a 3–1 win over Villa before ending his Gunners career in a 2–0 defeat to Manchester United.
284. John Karelse — 1999–2003 — Newcastle United
John-boy would have a rough start to his Newcastle career with a 4–2 loss to Southampton, followed by a 3–3 draw with Wimbledon. Though his Toon career would end with a clean sheet at Highbury, so, every cloud, eh?
283. Colin Doyle — 2003–2006, 2007–2008, 2009–2011 — Birmingham City
A supporting character during Birmingham City’s yo-yo years, the hulking ‘keeper’s first three appearances came in August of 2007, playing in losses against Chelsea and West Ham, as well as a stalemate against Sunderland.
Four years later, he would triumphantly return to top flight action, as Liverpool battered he and his side 5–0.
He was composed, but he was far from solid.
FUN FACT: Bradford signed Doyle from Blackpool in 2016 by triggering his release clause, which was set at the mighty fee of £1.
282. John Keeley — 1992–1993 — Oldham Athletic
The Brighton legend was given a run out by Joe Royle in a game where The Latics battered Middlesbrough 4–1. Pretty good going. But not good enough to earn more than one appearance.
281. Scott Howie — 1993–1994, 1998 — Norwich City, Coventry City
A cover for when Canaries legend Bryan Gunn was suspended and a no-show at Coventry, his two games came in stalemates with Liverpool and Swindon in February 1994.
280. Gavin Bazunu — 2018-present — Manchester City, Southampton
After impressive performances out on loan at Rochdale and Portsmouth, The Saints had seen enough, snapped him up, and installed the 20-year old as first choice in the Prem, getting him some vital minutes. These minutes have thus far been filled with a barrage of shots on his net, and he’s saved more than he’s conceded, so, if not top marks, maybe a passing grade. He’ll soon settle in and display that dominance and presence that he did down the divisions, with a baptism of fire being better than getting left out in the cold.
279. Tony Caig — 2000–2001, 2003–2006 — Charlton Athletic, Newcastle United
The Carlisle United legend would make just one appearance for his first Prem side, though it was a 2–1 win over Derby.
FUN FACT: I won a ‘Best Performance’ award at one of his training camps. I was like 15 and it could easy remain the best moment of my life for all time.
278. Ryan Allsop — 2015–2018 — Bournemouth
Ryan made his Premier League debut at home to Everton, his side 2–0 down when he came off the bench at half-time.
The game finished 3–3.
What an inspiration.
His other game for The Cherries was a 1–1 draw against Leicester and Bournemouth scored in the first minute.
Maybe there’s somet to this lad…
277. Andy Goram — 2001 — Manchester United
The Rangers legend joined the English champions on loan for the latter half of the season, appearing in a 4–2 win over Coventry and a 2–1 loss to Southampton, putting in cultured performances.
FUN FACT: He is the only goalkeeper on this list to earn the nickname ‘The Goalie’.
FUN FACT: When Goram won the 2002 Scottish Challenge Cup with Queen of the South, he became the first player to collect a full set of winner’s medals for the four Scottish football competitions.
FUN FACT: Due to his schizophrenia, Rangers fans coined the now iconic chant ‘There’s only two Andy Gorams’.
FUN FACT: He played professional cricket for Scotland between 1989 and 1991.
What a fun guy.
276. Ben Amos — 2008–2015 — Manchester United
Benny boy always looked as if he was gonna break through at Man U, but it never came to fruition. He could just never quite reach the door. He played in all the cups and trophies and shields, but there was always someone in front of him for league games.
Well, except once. He took his chance at the end of January 2012 and kept a clean sheet in a 2–0 win over Stoke.
That was all that came and he moved on three years later.
275. Ricardo — 2002–2005 — Manchester United
A penalty concession ratio to games played of 1:1 during his time in England, though he did save the one he faced in his Prem appearance, denying David Dunn during a 3–1 win over Blackburn.
He went on to have a cracking time at Osasuna and was even capped twice by Spain.
274. Lenny Pidgeley — 2003–2006 — Chelsea
Pidgeley would come off the bench for his debut, a 1–0 victory over Charlton, and would make his only other league appearance for The Blues exactly a year later, a 1–0 loss to Newcastle. This means he was on the pitch each time Chelsea were awarded the Premier League Trophy in these seasons.
FUN FACT: During his 2005/2006 season with Chelsea, he was given the number 40 shirt, referencing when he was on loan at Watford and Chelsea beat The Hornets 4–0.
273. Mark Halstead — 2010–2011 — Blackpool
1 App (Sub)
Just over 24 minutes is all Mr. Halstead was given when he came off the bench, his side 3–0 down to Chelsea. He must be a small-amount-of-luck charm because the game finished 3–1.
272. Lee Harper — 1994–1997 — Arsenal
He was always gonna be kept out the side by David Seaman. Harps made his appearance in a game at Highbury against Southampton and did manage to keep a clean sheet in a 2–0 win, but it wasn’t long before he was moved on to more game-time at QPR.
271. Luke Daniels — 2008–2009, 2010–2015 — West Bromwich Albion
1 App (Sub)
Daniels stepped up for The Baggies when Ben Foster got injured. Though he only had 13 minutes, Daniels made some important saves and earned a 0–0 draw for his side against Everton.
A few cup appearances would follow in which he was just as impressive, but he would soon be moved on, and has now found success at Scunthorpe and Brentford.
FACT: While on loan at Shrewsbury, Daniels appeared in 2009 League Two Play-Off final, conceding a 90th minute winner from Gillingham’s Simeon Jackson.
270. Joel Coleman — 2017–2019 — Huddersfield Town
He’d never let The Terriers down before, and despite conceding a goal, Coleman played well and made some important saves in his side’s 1–1 stalemate with Southampton.
A tiny ray of light at the end of their torrid relegation season.
269. Jake Kean — 2009–2012, 2015–2016 — Blackburn Rovers, Norwich City
Injuries to Paul Robinson and Mark Bunn saw Kean make his bow, and the powerful player contested the full 90 in a 2–1 loss to Chelsea, performing admirably in defeat.
268. Jed Steer — 2011–2016, 2019-present — Norwich City, Aston Villa
Steer would be in goal as Villa succumbed 1–0 to Burnley late in the 14/15 season, and would have to wait over four years for his next appearance, a 2–1 loss to local rivals Wolves. He was shoved in for a 3–0 defeat against Chelsea at the start of last season as well.
Just always seems to be the bridesmaid despite his impressive form down the pyramid.
267. Lance Key — 1992–1996 — Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham Athletic
He wouldn’t appear in the league for The Owls, and would only appear on loan for The Latics. His second appearance was a 3–1 loss to Newcastle, but the week before, he kept a creditable clean sheet in a 1–0 win over Chelsea.
He went on to be a lower league legend with Kingstonian and Histon, and now manages the latter.
266. Steve Mautone — 1996–1997 — West Ham United
The Aussie ‘keeper with an impressive CV kept a clean sheet in his appearance, a 2–0 win over Nottingham Forest.
In his retirement, he’s had a hand in training Glen Moss, Mitch Langerak and Michael Petkovic among others.
265. Bailey Peacock-Farrell — 2019–2022 — Burnley
Thrown in at the deep end with a game against Manchester City, the Northern Irish international was powerless to stop a Light Blue romp. He had a few bright moments, but this was a City side out to show off, and BPF was overwhelmed by their power. In his three further games that season, he would play in defeats against Manchester United, Newcastle, and former club Leeds, giving him a pointless record so far.
He’ll have more time from noo though — when, not if, he comes back.
FUN FACT: May have ignored my friend in a Barnsley nightclub. It’s alright Bailey, I’d ignore him too.
264. Joe Murphy — 2002–2003, 2004–2006 — West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland
Boom. Russel Hoult gets sent off, Joe comes on. Michael Owen steps up to take the penalty. Murphy saves.
First touch as a Prem player and you deny one of the legends of the league.
He would go on to have a legendary career of his own, most notably at Scunthorpe, where he made over 250 appearances and achieved promotion twice.
263. Jan Mucha — 2010–2013 — Everton
One of Slovakia’s heroes in the 2010 World Cup, Mucha joined up with The Toffees immediately afterwards, but would have to wait nearly three years for his first league appearance; a 3–1 win over Reading. His finest performance would come in the next round of games, which saw Mucha turn in a great showing in a 2–0 win over Manchester United.
262. Jakob Haugaard — 2015–2018 — Stoke City
Three Prem seasons at Stoke, and all five pop-ups popped up in his first.
Brought in as a spiritual Danish successor for Thomas Sorensen, the two-metre ‘keeper just didn’t look settled and he never played in a league win, only managing to play in one Stoke win in all competitions. Out of 11. And that was his first game.
Conceding four on two occasions in his five league games, The Potters quickly found other custodians that they felt better suited them.
261. Roberto — 2019–2020 — West Ham United
It all went wrong at all the wrong times.
If you see a highlight video of this guy when he was in Spain, one thing becomes clear: Roberto is a great shot-stopper, but he is a risk-taker and certainly not the greatest agent of security out there. His opponents while he played in London exploited that and sent him running off his line all the way back to Spain.
260. Jan Laštůvka — 2006–2007, 2008–2009 — Fulham, West Ham United
His Premier League career was apparently adorned with sarcastic applause from his own fans, so… I mean, he got applause at least, right?
259. Kostas Chalkias — 2004–2005 — Portsmouth
His month in the South Coast sun started off well, a 2–1 win over Middlesbrough. His other four appearances were all defeats. He was at fault for a fair few of the goals as well.
Maybe I should have put in that his first appearance for Pompey was in the F.A. Cup… A loss to Southampton. Maybe he was cursed from the off…
258. Harald Wapenaar — 2003–2005 — Portsmouth
One win and clean sheet and then four losses with no goals for Pompey. Wapenaar wasn’t at fault for the form, but he wasn’t in the form that Shaka Hislop was in, and the man from Trinidad (by way of Hackney), kept him out the side.
257. Jimmy Walker — 2005–2010 — West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur
The man with movie star good looks turned out for West Ham in losses to Portsmouth and Liverpool, as well as a win against Manchester City, turning in average performances each time.
As is so often the case, the leading man made his name at Walsall, and returned to continue his legacy where he knows he can.
Might be the weirdest Spurs signing ever n’all.
256. Rhys Wilmot — 1994–1996 — Crystal Palace
Wilmot had already made his name in the EFL when he came back to the top division. His six games for The Eagles were largely unsuccessful, both for him and the team. Only four points from eighteen left Wilmot on the bench and out a season later.
255. Marlon Beresford — 1998–2002 — Middlesbrough
He won on his first Prem appearance, but never again. No clean sheets and and only one victory was accompanied by some average performances from the ‘keeper in the top flight.
254. John Burridge — 1993, 1994–1995 — Newcastle United, Manchester City
The oldest player in Premier League history made four appearances in April and May of 1995, two draws and two defeats with one clean sheet at home to his former club Newcastle.
This man played for 29 clubs in a 30 year career and deserves his place in Premier League history.
FUN FACT: Before a game against Newcastle in 1982, Kevin Keegan bet Burridge £100 that he wouldn’t play the game in a Superman outfit. Obviously desperate for the hundred quid, 22,500 fans watched as Burridge played the 90 dressed as Krypton’s favourite son. His side got promoted that season.
253. Tommy Wright — 1992–1993, 1994–1997, 1999, 2000–2001 — Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City
His first three games for Newcastle were fine. When he was called back six years later, his three appearances were not fine.
In his only Prem game for Forest, he put in a good show and kept a clean sheet, points there.
And then his only Prem game for Manchester City was a 1–0 loss. To old club Newcastle.
Bit of bad luck across his playing career really, but the skilled ‘keeper did at least make for a skilled manager.
252. Darren Ward — 2004–2005, 2007–2009 — Norwich City, Sunderland
Ward’s Prem debut didn’t go too great, a 4–0 battering at the hands of Charlton while in goal for Norwich. But that fateful afternoon in November 2004 would not be his last hurrah, for he returned! Three years later, with Sunderland, he was back in the first team with a 1–0 victory!
Over Derby. Everyone was doing that.
This was followed by a 2–0 loss and a 1–1 draw and that was him done with the Prem.
251. Les Sealey — 1992–2001 — Aston Villa, Manchester United, West Ham United
Sealey’s four walkabouts came for The Hammers, and they couldn’t have gone much worse for his side. Les didn’t play poorly in any of the games in the two year span, but lost them all nonetheless, with West Ham scoring only one goal in response and that was from Rio Ferdinand. What?
Sealey was the West Ham goalkeeping coach when he tragically passed away as the result of a heart attack in 2001 at the age of 43. From then, Hammers goalkeeper Stephen Bywater wore (and I’m sure still wears) the number 43 in his honour.
250. Marek Rodák — 2013–2014, 2018–2019, 2020–2021, 2022-present — Fulham
Kinda harsh on Marek here.
He’s stuck with Fulham through all their tribulations, being pinged out on loan numerous times, and then finally got his chance in between the sticks, impressing as they gained promotion from the Championship. Then, after one game, he’s dropped for the new shiny toy. I always find that rough, but Rodák’s too good to play second fiddle, and he proved it upon Fulham’s return, displaying a fine sense of his side in a good show versus Liverpool. He’s grabbing his chance against stiff competition and holding his own.
249. Danny Ward — 2012-present — Liverpool, Leicester City
The Welshman’s most impressive moments lie in Scotland and Yorkshire, but when it comes the Premier League, his two appearances for Liverpool count. In his first, he turned in an impressive display as his side ran out 2–1 winners against Bournemouth. But against Swansea, he was considerably less impressive as The Swans won 3–1. It was in Wales as well.
His Prem career for Leicester got off to a similar start with victory on debut, this one a thumping of Watford, 5–1. He looks set to move forward with the starting spot since Kasper ghosted The Foxes, so his time is now.
248. Freddie Woodman — 2014–2016, 2017–2022 — Newcastle United
A starlet at youth international level as well as an SPL season and a few Champo seasons, Woodman can now prove himself in the top flight. And he will. He literally just will. No doubt.
That future will seemingly not be with Newcastle though — after a few defeats in which he couldn’t inspire, Woodman has dropped back down a level to star once more. He’s in the Champo to watch, but as for the Prem, it’s no Woodman, no cry.
247. Jak Alnwick — 2011–2015 — Newcastle United
The first Alnwick boy (that stopped by second) started off well! A 2–1 victory over Chelsea. This was followed by three defeats, but then another win! And then a draw to finish it all off.
Jak didn’t look too comfortable, almost as if he was called up too soon. His game against Chelsea was lucky and perhaps didn’t merit further game time. But there’s no doubt he’s ready now, and going forward, it seems he’ll have ample platform to shine.
God bless those Alnwick boys.
246. Ian Andrews — 1992–1994 — Southampton
Three losses, two wins. Conceded in three games, clean sheet in two. The epitome of a mid-table goalkeeper who didn’t have much responsibility. In other words, early 90’s English football.
245. Andy Marriott — 1992–1993, 1999–2001, 2003 — Nottingham Forest, Sunderland, Birmingham
Like Beresford, but spread across 3 clubs. The talented Welshman just couldn’t stick in the top flight as he won on his first appearance, but would then lose on his next six outings, over the course of ten years. And not a clean sheet in sight.
244. Jason Kearton — 1992–1996 — Everton
He strived and he strived for a clean sheet. Five games in and nothing but a butt-tonne of goals conceded. Thirteen to be exact.
Then came the trip to Aston Villa in December 1994. Everton might have failed to score, but so did Villa. The clean sheet was his.
Then he left Everton forever, making his legend down the road at Crewe.
243. Jason Brown — 2000–2001, 2006–2011 — Charlton Athletic, Blackburn Rovers
I remember Jason Brown existing in a time when it seemed like the reserve goalkeeper was just the manager’s mate. Now, that is obviously wrong, and I can’t explain why I think that.
His best years were with Gillingham, as he never truly shined while covering the net for Blackburn.
242. Ron-Robert Zieler — 2008–2010, 2016–2017 — Manchester United, Leicester City
When he was called upon as cover for Kasper Schmeichel at Leicester, Ron initially oversaw good form. And then bad form. And then alright form. With he himself doing the same.
Having covered all the bases, he went back to Germany after a season.
Completed it, mate.
241. Ben Alnwick — 2005–2012 — Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur
Another Alnwick boy with six appearances.
For The Black Cats, Benny played in five consecutive defeats, however, he did impress, specifically in a 3–2 loss to Spurs during which, he saved a Robbie Keane penalty. He obviously impressed Spurs, because they bought him. He would only play one game for them between his numerous loan spells, and that was the last day of the 09/10 season, a 4–2 loss to Burnley, where he didn’t display his previous shine.
240. Caoimhin Kelleher — 2019-present — Liverpool
He looked shaky on the few first team appearances he made in cup competitions for ‘Pool, but he stepped up in the 20/21 season and looked assured as his side romped to victory against Wolves. He had made obvious strides of improvement regarding his presence and handling and could easy rocket up this list in the coming seasons, especially if assured performances against Brighton and Chelsea are anything to go by.
239. Dorus de Vries — 2011–2012 — Wolves
One could assume that Dorus made his top flight appearances with Swansea, but nah. He jumped ship to Wolverhampton just before the Swans’ ascension. Wolves were relegated that season.
His four games included a 2–0 loss to Manchester City, a 3–2 loss to Wigan, and a 0–0 with Everton. There was another draw, and it finished 4–4. Who was that against? Who else? The team he will go down in history for; Swansea City.
238. Paul Smith — 2003–2005 — Southampton
One win, two losses, three draws, and an unremarkable stint on the South coast. No, for remark, look at Smith in the EFL, as he never really got a chance to shine up top.
237. Marco Ambrosio — 2003–2004 — Chelsea
He was a suitable replacement until he wasn’t.
The Italian journeyman did a job for Chelsea, including impressive displays in each leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal. But that ain’t the Prem. He put on some good shows, but at the end of the day, he just wasn’t elite enough for The Blues.
236. Lewis Price — 2007–2008 — Derby County
This was a difficult season to be a Derby player. And a Derby fan. And a citizen of Derby.
If you were a goalkeeper, it must have been like staring down the Terminator. Price was lucky enough to claim one of Derby’s 11 points that season, a 1–1 draw with Manchester City.
235. Orestis Karnezis — 2017–18 — Watford
You know when a back-up ‘keeper comes in and it seems like they’ve totally forgotten how to play football? That is Karnezis’ Premier League career.
He inspired terror in his own fans whenever the ball approached him and made them long for the days of Heurelho Gomes.
He did look a good blocker though, displaying a solidity that saw him capped 49 times by Greece, but those moments were few and far between and would often repel out into the danger zone anyways.
234. Mark Travers — 2017–2020, 2022-present — Bournemouth
A dream debut followed by two games to forget for the Welshman, who still has plenty of time. Focusing on the positives, he was an absolute wall against Spurs on his top flight debut, as his side ran out 1–0 winners. He’s started the 22/23 season with bags of first-team experience under his belt now, and we could be looking at another lad set to rocket up this list going forward.
FUN FACT: At 18 years old, Travers scored on his senior debut, playing for Weymouth, securing a 3–2 win over Bishop’s Stortford.
233. Robin Olsen — 2020–2021, 2022-present — Everton, Aston Villa
Kinda brought in to give Jordan Pickford a kick up the arse, The Swedish international played in a 2–1 defeat to Newcastle United, having a solid, but by no means sparkling, outing before a relatively chill evening victory against Leicester. He would go on to feature a few more times, putting on rigid, if unspectacular, displays before heading to Villa and being abused by pitch invaders in his only appearance so far. Don’t get that on Merseyside.
232. Steve Mandanda — 2016–2017 — Crystal Palace
The Marseille legend shocked a lot of folk when he left the French club after nearly a decade. But it was merely a holiday! To Croydon…
He was back in Marseille shortly afterwards.
Me too, Steve.
231. Lars Leese — 1997–1998 — Barnsley
One of Barnsley’s one-seasoners, he would be involved in only two league wins, and yet… He is hailed as a hero in the Yorkshire town.
He put in a tremendous display to aid The Tykes to victory against Liverpool, and some fans will simply never forget his performance.
FUN FACT: He is the subject of the book Der Traumhüter by Ronald Reng. The Dream-Shepherd.
230. Ian Feuer — 1994–1995, 2000, 2001 — West Ham United, Derby County
The man from Sin City.
Before we get to the really good stuff, he made three appearances for West Ham in April 2000; two victories (including a 5–0 over Coventry) were marred by a 1–0 defeat to Middlesbrough. The other two came for Derby and were unremarkable.
Now. His sister was married to Mickey Rourke, his dad toured with Diana Ross and was in Elvis Presley’s last shows, his mum had been an opening act for Sammy Davis Jr., he joined his local soccer team when cajoled by his mate who was the son of a gangster, he was banned from playing for a year when he was 15 for getting into a physical altercation with a linesman, and he played The actual feckin Predator in Requiem.
Anything else, Ian?
FUN FACT: See above.
229. Massimo Taibi — 1999–2000 — Manchester United
An expensive gamble for Sir Alex here. £4.5million was spent on Massimo, who immediately went and flapped at a free kick against bitter rivals Liverpool. Then again, United would win that game thanks to a series of saves from Taibi. He’d shown the light and the dark. He would continue playing in the first team, both draws, 1–1 and 3–3, but the game that saw him dropped was a demolition job, 5–0 at the hands of Chelsea.
228. Ian Ironside — 1992–1993 — Middlesbrough
The first Premier League season was kind to so many. Not to Ian Ironside. His performances weren’t the most pressing of Middlesbrough’s issues, but they didn’t help.
Not bad for a guy in a wheelchair though.
227. Iain Turner — 2003–2011 — Everton
I remember Iain Turner as always being like 5th choice ‘keeper for Everton. But apparently he made four appearances. His first two appearances were 1–0 wins, and that was followed up by a 2–2 draw. His unbeaten bubble was burst at the end of the 06/07 season when The Toffees were beaten 4–2 by Manchester United.
He was big and controlling and maybe incredibly erratic, because he never made more than twenty league appearances for a club.
226. Stefan Postma — 2002–2006 — Aston Villa
The Dutchman failed to cement himself wherever he went, and a series of average performances certainly didn’t help. There was potential there, and he showed that in his homeland, but in the Midlands, he just didn’t translate.
225. Marcus Bettinelli — 2010–2014, 2018–2019, 2020-present — Fulham, Chelsea
His first stint with Fulham at the top yielded nowt, and he was caught up in the influx of Cottager ‘keepers in the 18/19 season. He was arguably the most impressive of the bunch but was filled with an erratic energy that didn’t exactly inspire confidence.
224. Ørjan Nyland — 2019–2020 — Aston Villa
Only seven games into his Prem career and he broke the unbreakable VAR. That had to count for something… Right? Apparently not, as he had his contract terminated by mutual consent early in the 20/21 season.
223. Alan Blayney — 2001–2005 — Southampton
Right, a 2–1 loss to Southampton and a 2–2 draw with West Brom ain’t that great. And while a 3–3 draw with Newcastle might not sound that much better, when you make the save of the century in that game, and that game is your first ever Premier League appearance; that’s something to write home about.
222. David Button — 2008–2012, 2018–2021 — Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton and Hove Albion, West Bromwich Albion
After more than showing his worth playing in the EFL for Brentford, not to mention being loaned out by Spurs thirteen separate times, Button put in four decidedly vital, albeit shaky, performances for Brighton, keeping one clean sheet and conceding five goals against some tough opposition.
221. Kevin Pilkington — 1992–1998 — Manchester United
A dependable back-up who never got his chance to break through, his league career would really get going at Mansfield and Notts County in the EFL.
220. Martin Taylor — 1996–1997 — Derby County
A win, a loss, and a draw. Balance.
Conceding 3 goals in 3 games. Balance.
Probably a Libra.
His Wycombe heroics will be his legacy, but he can always say he’s been up top.
219. David Martin — 2006–2010, 2019–2022 — Liverpool, West Ham United
None for Liverpool, and he might not have been bothered. When he played for West Ham, just like his dad, he shed tears of pride and joy, and that’s what it’s all about.
He came in at a vital time, when West Ham needed to steady their defence, and he had a major role in that.
218. Gavin Ward — 1994–1995, 1997–1998 — Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers
Two wins. Out of seventeen.
Gavin did not get the rub of the green here.
He wasn’t inept, and was in fact a bit of a block. He just needed to be a bit more of one. But he was dependable and can always dine out on the fact that he beat Chelsea. And lost to Leeds.
217. Aidan Davison — 1995–1996, 1999–2000 — Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City
The crackin’ ‘keeper was called upon to try and save Bradford City, with his only prior top flight experience being a decent two games for Bolton.
Davison did what he could and did it well, but when you’re still on the receiving end of a 6–1 battering and a famous 5–4, it’s safe to say that things didn’t go too great.
216. Daniel Bachmann — 2012–2020, 2021–2022 — Stoke City, Watford
The big Austrian finally got his chance after a long wait, post-showing off in the Champo and the Euros. He’s still growing into his role, and while he had a full season, he tussled with Ben Foster for the starting role and ultimately lost the majority vote. He was a big blocker, but initial evidence displays a lack of finesse to go along with some big reflexes for the big man.
215. Stephan Andersen — 2004–2007 — Charlton Athletic
The alright Dane played well until the going got tough. Then he got going.
Seemingly always getting replaced on the team sheet by a different goalie every week, Andersen’s chances to shine were limited, though when he did pop up…. He was okay. His legacy will lie elsewhere and he will not be remembered for the fact that as soon as he joined The Addicks, the club went on a downward trajectory from which they are only now recovering.
But he can always dine out on the fact that he beat Chelsea. On penalties. In the League Cup.
THEY PUT A STRONG SIDE OUT
214. Carlo Nash — 1997–1998, 2000–2001, 2002–2005, 2007–2014 — Crystal Palace, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic, Everton, Stoke City, Norwich City
This guy obviously gave one hell of an interview… And then really relaxed in training.
There’s not a whole host to remember from Carlo, mind. He was a strong, dependable ‘keeper who had his rash moments, but aside from that, he’s pretty much the eternal back-up.
213. Sieb Dijkstra — 1994–1996 — Queen’s Park Rangers
He was impressive, just not in the Prem. That’s mostly because he didn’t get a chance though. Minor injuries and managerial departures hampered his progress, and misplaced loan spells didn’t help.
He could’ve been a major player in the top flight, but for now, he’s just a player. Still impressive, mind.
212. Andy Petterson — 1993, 1998–1999 — Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic
His 1993 debut went fine, a 2–1 win for his side and a decent performance from himself.
Five years later, he would make his next ten appearances and would continue to be decent. Not great, just decent. Fine. Good.
He is now a sensational coach, so he just keeps getting better. Imagine what he’s gonna be like when he’s 90.
211. Brian Horne — 1992 — Middlesbrough
The inaugural September of the Premiership was a fine one for Middlesbrough, recording two wins and two draws in their first four games of the month. These would be the first and only four games of a goalkeeper on an emergency loan from Millwall, one Brian Horne.
Certainly an impressive cameo, leaving on a high.
210. Vince Bartram — 1994–1998 — Arsenal
Impressive spells at Bournemouth and Gillingham sandwiched his understudy days at Arsenal, where he shot his load early, making all of his appearances in his first season with The Gunners. Early form wasn’t bad, but he did play in a run of five defeats for the London giants, including losses to Manchester United (fair enough) and QPR (come on now).
The man who shot his load early was never gonna get past Seaman.
209. Henrique Hilário — 2006–2014 — Chelsea
Yeah, this is the best mate era. It’s like this guy was bred to be a third choice ‘keeper.
That being said, he lost only three of his twenty Prem games and can count himself as a part of squads that didn’t concede many goals.
Obviously still can’t be arsed to move off the bench though, as he still works at Chelsea as a coach. I’m guessing they just forgot he was there when he retired actually.
208. Álvaro Fernández — 2021–2022 — Brentford
The Huesca loanee filled in with first choice David Raya out injured and probably went above and beyond what was initially expected of him. Unlikely to normally get a look-in past David Raya, Álvaro excelled in his shot-stopping particularly and held down the fort with aplomb.
207. Richard Lee — 2005–2007 — Blackburn Rovers, Watford
He’s a Football League legend, but ultra-fit Richie Rich’s Premier League bow came with a freshly-promoted Watford side who would finish dead bottom.
Lee did what he could, but it was a season of bad luck for all The Hornets at the back. And at the front. And in the stands.
206. Declan Rudd — 2011–2014, 2015–2016 — Norwich City
A hell of a back-up for Norwich to be able to call on, just never really got to show it in the top flight. Rudd’s sharp reflexes bailed Norwich out many a times and they did the same wherever he went. As it stands though, his Premiership career is best remembered for when he conceded five goals against Liverpool in that cracking 5–4.
While starring for Preston, Rudd would sadly have to retire due to a knee injury aged just 31, but here’s to hoping he can pass on some of his expertise to the next class.
205. Ben Roberts — 1995–1997, 1998–2003 — Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic
This lad deserved more than eleven appearances, I reckon. The current Brighton goalkeeping coach delivered a solidity when he went out on that pitch, but he just couldn’t keep his spot amidst blind ambition and promising youngsters.
204. Nick Hammond — 1993–1994 — Swindon Town
One of Swindon’s four goalkeepers of their apocalypse, Hammond put in shifts like the others, and had the same outcome on the other side. He probably came out shinier than his team though.
203. Alan Fettis — 1996–2000 — Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers
The Northern Irishman never played for either of these teams in their pomp and so couldn’t reap the delicious rewards that went with that. He did still reap plaudits however, being praised for his bravery and agility. It would be just down the road in Hull where they’d truly take to him though.
202. Anders Lindegaard — 2010–2016, 2017–2019 — Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion, Burnley
David de Gea might be the sole reason that this man didn’t have more of a Premier League career. An agile shot-stopper, he lacked a presence that Sir Alex clearly craved, and would be kept out of the team by that and by injuries.
I’d go as far as saying that those five years with United damaged him as a ‘keeper in the long run if form is anything to go by, as he never quite got back to the heights he achieved pre-Red Devils.
201. Matt Duke — 2008–2010 — Hull City
The Bantams and Brewers legend played back-up for The Tigers and looked shaky during his time in the Prem. He displayed lightning reflexes alongside poor decision-making that wouldn’t largely be a reflection of the rest of his career.
200. Sergio Romero — 2015–2021 — Manchester United
What a name to bring off the bench. With nearly a century of caps for Argentina, Romero was mainly a cup specialist for The Red Devils, making 54 appearances outside of the Prem. He’s an exceptional goalie, but his English top flight career will not be his legacy.
199. Andreas Isaksson — 2006–2008 — Manchester City
The former Sweden number one was capable of pulling off a miraculous save, but couldn’t exactly boss his area, offering fairly minimal presence.
Injuries kept him out to begin with, and Nicky Weaver’s form would continue the trend. Though it would be a gem of a goalie named Joe Hart that would end his stint in Manchester and not the 8–1 thrashing at the hands of Middlesbrough as some may have you believe.
198. Bernard Lama — 1997–1998 — West Ham United
This insane ‘keeper is genuinely one of the best French players of all time and could catch a butterfly with those hands. The 1998 World Cup winner showed up at the Boleyn Ground the season before he won his medal and displayed his class as well as his erratic side.
I’d have thought he’d be a perfect fit for East London.
197. Chris Day — 1995–1996, 1999–2000 — Tottenham Hotspur, Watford
The Stevenage legend was underrated by Spurs, and after a quick spell in Croydon, Mr. Day was in the Prem with The Hornets. It wasn’t their finest of seasons, but Day looked bright, and was particularly impressive in 1–0 victories over Liverpool and Bradford.
196. Ben Hamer — 2006–2008, 2014–2019 — Reading, Leicester City, Huddersfield Town
Leicester may not look back on Hamer fondly from the Kasper Schmeichel era, but perhaps they should, as he provided good cover while The Dane was injured. Benny wasn’t brilliant with his feet at the King Power however, and perhaps that’s what created the mistrust and his eventual replacing.
He looked as if he’d learned at Huddersfield though, and seemed a cut above his old self. He and the other goalies shined with The Terriers, but they were the only position that had the chance to.
195. Pegguy Arphexad — 1997–2003 — Leicester City, Liverpool
39 senior league appearances in total across his career, 23 of them in England’s top flight, and 1 apparently massive member. That he doesn’t like to talk about.
FUN FACT: Has more medals than appearances for Liverpool.
194. Espen Baardsen — 1996–2000, 2002–2003 — Tottenham Hotspur, Everton
He put in some good performances for Spurs, but they did gradually decline, and by the time he got to his final top flight appearance, he conceded four goals… Against Spurs. He clearly saw the decline too and retired at the age of 25.
He would reinvent himself as a businessman who does some business things and appears on business shows… Somet like that… He’s successful anyways, so happy days.
193. Paul Heald — 1992, 1994, 1995–2000 — Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Swindon Town, Wimbledon
A quite unremarkable top flight career came with the promise of potential that he never got to display. Most matches he would play in were languid or one-sided and he probably remains most famous for getting sent off and being replaced by Vinnie Jones one time.
192. Sergio Rico — 2018–2019 — Fulham
This guy is the Premier League equivalent of an accident child. He came along, and he isn’t what they wanted, but he stuck around anyways. They had plenty of kids already, kids that were better than this one, but he was still there.
Capable of some spectaculars, but not much else.
191. Alan Miller — 1992–1994, 1995–1997, 2000–2003 — Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers
His top flight career with all three of these clubs is quite hard to trace, more due to the anonymity of the games. He never seemed to have a hand in many memorable moments, and none of the games really seemed to go his way. His time in the second flight with West Brom is looked back on fondly, but anywhere up from there, his shine could not clearly be seen.
190. Loris Karius — 2016–2022 — Liverpool
Now hold up.
This is an example of a good goalkeeper just being unable to display it in the Prem. Mainz and Beşiktaş have seen such form. Liverpool did not.
He looked shaky and was prone to errors, though would make the occasional game-winning save. It wouldn’t be enough for Karius, and though his spell isn’t up at Anfield in 2020, a return might not be warmly received by the Liverpool faithful.
Potential sadly unrecognised.
189. Neil Moss — 1995–2003 — Southampton
This was like an artist doing an album for the money. Moss was a Bournemouth fan and was playing for them, then he went to be back-up at Southampton for eight years, his talent obvious but unused.
Then, he would make his triumphant return to his roots, his skill recognised, his legend confirmed.
FUN FACT: Had over 30 coins thrown at him by Millwall fans in 2007, which Wikipedia totals at ‘around £5’.
188. Keiren Westwood — 2003–2004, 2011–2014 — Manchester City, Sunderland
Another fella who falls in the category of ‘didn’t get a fair shake’. The Irishman excelled with Carlisle and Coventry and then joined the shit-show in Sunderland at just the wrong moment. When he played, he was great, but The Black Cats just preferred Mignolet or Mannone, and Westwood was soon deemed surplus to requirements. Their loss was Sheffield Wednesday’s gain.
To prove that it was Sunderland that screwed him, you need only look at Westwood’s record, attaining a Player of the Season award for Carlisle, Coventry and Wednesday, as well as a place in the PFA Team of the Season for each side as well.
It’s not all grim up North, just in Sunderland.
187. Stephen Bywater — 1998–2003, 2005–2006, 2007–2008 — West Ham United, Derby County
A loyal soldier for West Ham, he waited for his chances with The Hammers, and impressed when he was granted them with his no-nonsense style. Then he wanted an England call-up. Calling the likes of Paul Robinson, Rob Green and Chris Kirkland ‘nothing special’, he went about carving his own path into the national squad by joining Derby for their 07/08 Prem campaign.
Like buying a ticket for the Titanic.
He jumped overboard midway through the catastrophe, and though his form would remain impressive, he would never again show it in the top flight.
186. Simon Tracey — 1992–1995 — Sheffield United, Manchester City, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Wimbledon
In a career blighted by injury, Tracey was able to play in the top flight for each side he appeared for. His time there, however, was sprinkled with a few high points, but more low points as he stood in during times of self-destruction for his sides.
185. David Raya — 2021-present — Brentford
The first goalkeeper for the fiftieth unique Premier League side, and he looked as assured as he did coming up from the Champo and then some. A calmer head has emerged from his shoulders at the right time, and the global stage could be impressed with the Spaniard going forward after he shone in an injury-hit maiden campaign.
184. Matt Gilks — 2010–2011, 2014–2015 — Blackpool, Burnley
Literally one of the best shot-stoppers on this list. To watch him and to recognise his fundamentals; it’s a thing of beauty. I was sure a top club was gonna come in for him when Blackpool went down, and Burnley did eventually, but he could have been so much more.
He peaked wherever he was, and will continue to.
183. Matteo Sereni — 2001–2002 — Ipswich Town
Was fine for The Tractor Boys but was part of a side that plummeted from a fifth-placed finish to relegation. Though he wasn’t at fault, his style of play couldn’t mesh with his team-mates.
182. Andy Dibble — 1992–1996 — Manchester City
A ‘keeper both capable and calamitous in equal measure, as he could occasionally inspire catastrophe for his side. He’d deal with a lot of the debris flying at him, but if any lava flew his way, well… You can’t really blame him for not wanting to catch lava.
181. Jürgen Macho — 2000–2004 — Sunderland, Chelsea
The most macho player of all time, by name, and by moustache.
The big Austrian went to the beautiful Sunderland for three seasons, put in a blinder against Liverpool, and then went to Chelsea, where he was in the doctor’s office for 12 months.
He never really seemed to settle anywhere, though he was his country’s number one for their home Euro 2008 tournament.
FUN FACT: Peter Crouch nearly killed him. The lanky striker collided with the ‘keeper and made him swallow his tongue. Lord bless those medics.
Maybe not a ‘fun’ fact.
180. Tony Warner — 1994–1999, 2005–2010 — Liverpool, Fulham, Hull City
The ageless Anthony contained boundless energy but had the tendency to resemble a statue at times of pressure. Nonetheless, a fine footballing brain served him well and his confidence coming for crosses earned him acclaim, just mostly at Millwall. His time in the Prem will be remembered for some fine saves amongst other occasionally finer saves as well as times when he didn’t make saves.
179. Frode Grodås — 1996–1998 — Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur
The Nord went on a two-year tour of London and displayed confidence throughout. It didn’t translate to particularly memorable form, but his dependability did translate into a clean sheet in an FA Cup Final victory.
178. Jonathan Gould — 1992–1996 — Coventry City
Though his legend lies at Celtic, the path to Hampden was paved with a fine spell at Coventry, which may not have seen a tonne of outings, but the ones he managed were a fine precursor of what was to come in Scotland.
177. Andy Oakes — 1999–2002, 2004–2005 — Derby County, Bolton Wanderers
Another eternal back-up, we begin to see a trend which bleeds into an art. Is there a different way to train for a back-up? To keep yourself fresh? Oakes did just fine, but we certainly see that argument more today.
Oakes was fine in his role, dependable if not sensational, and will go down as a safe pair of hands.
176. Simon Royce — 1998–1999, 2000–2005 — Charlton Athletic, Leicester City
A top flight back-up after he left his role at Southend, Royce was already playing like a veteran, calm and composed. He was very capable of keeping out the shots, but he wasn’t a game changer in the Prem.
175. Stephen Pears — 1992–1993, 1995–1996 — Middlesbrough, Liverpool
His son was continuing the tradition at Middlesbrough, and shows the same agility and dependency his dad did. A bona fide Riverside legend, Pears was a constant for many years and had a sixth sense for positioning that aided Boro’s top flight pushes.
174. Radek Černý — 2005–2008, 2011–2013 — Tottenham Hotspur, Queen’s Park Rangers
The Czech looked secure at a time of tough transition for Tottenham and would be a powerful presence in a transformative period for The Hoops. It seemed he was never at either club to be the first choice, but was always more a problem solver, content to come in and clean up a mess, no questions asked.
173. Ian Bennett — 2002–2005 — Birmingham City
The dependable one always kinda seemed like a veteran of the game, with calmness forever beyond his years.
While in the top flight with The Brummies, Bennett played in a run of five wins (including four clean sheets) in what was the best presentation of his abilities, though he would never win another Premier League game after that.
172. Mike Hooper — 1992–1996 — Liverpool, Newcastle United
The capable ‘keeper was never anywhere to be first choice and that frustration would eventually show.
While on the bench for Newcastle, he was shown to be openly laughing as Newcastle conceded and he never played the game again.
Bad time for a joke, Mike.
171. Mark Beeney — 1993–1999 — Leeds United
A suitable back-up at Elland Road, Beeney would struggle to manoeuvre past two exceptional goalies for any game time.
He was apparently so hard-up for game time in his career that when he retired, the bitterness had manifested and the then 48-year old was named on the bench for Chelsea. In an under-21’s game.
170. Alec Chamberlain — 1992, 1999–2000, 2006–2007 — Chelsea, Watford
A legend wherever he was allowed to show it. A capable pair of hands everywhere. Like so many on this list, his top flight career won’t be his legacy, but his passion and drive at Watford is a big reason they got where they did, and a bigger reason why they achieved so much while he was playing for the club.
169. Júlio César — 2012–2013 — Queen’s Park Rangers
Did this actually happen?
Part of QPR’s over-reaching period saw the Brazilian Champions League winner join from Inter Milan. His class and experience was obvious, though it was veiled in a thick fog of… Well, QPR.
He clearly took some QPR-ish-ness into his next World Cup outing…
168. Angus Gunn — 2017–2022 — Manchester City, Southampton, Norwich City
The literal son of a Gunn has shown glimpses of what his daddy gave him, but the legacy of his young career, currently, is a 9–0 battering at home at the hands of Leicester City. Ouch.
He was dropped immediately after and didn’t pop up again for The Saints. Which is just wrong. You couldn’t blame him for them. Nonetheless, he hasn’t avoided inspired form in his top flight career, and can count a cracking display against Chelsea on his CV. As well as relegation with Norwich.
167. Richard Kingson — 2007–2011 — Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, Blackpool
At one point branded ‘a waste of space’ by David Sullivan, the Ghanaian occupied so much of it that he never really stayed in one place long enough for it to be defined as occupied.
This erratic mad-lad will be remembered fondly, if not for his outstanding ability, then for his definition of the position, as well as his applied high-risk, high-reward goalkeeping.
He’ll go down in history for his country and for his sport.
166. Fraser Digby — 1992, 1993–1994 — Swindon Town, Manchester United
The number one that Swindon looked to most in their solitary season up top, Digby brought gravitas and experience to the role. He was a serial winner with The Robins, just sadly, everywhere but the top flight.
He and his washbag found success and notoriety in other places though.
165. Ádám Bogdán — 2007–2012, 2015–2019 — Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool
This lad gets a bad wrap. Two run-outs for Liverpool don’t go to plan and the fans were out to ruin him.
Klopp kept him around for a reason, and his Bolton performances were part of that. He’s gone on to have impressive performances for Wigan and Hibernian, so maybe it’s just you, Liverpool. I think you owe a few goalkeepers an apology…
164. Lionel Pérez — 1996–1997, 1998–2000 — Sunderland, Newcastle United
Mainly noted for his fracas with Eric Cantona, and being chipped by the same Frenchman, the fact that the rest of his moments pail isn’t surprising.
In fact, Lionel was a very capable ‘keeper and was the victim of pecking orders largely, perhaps being good, but just not good enough.
163. Stuart Taylor — 1999–2013, 2016–2018 — Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Reading, Southampton
He had promise, but his apparent desire to sit on the bench quashed that somewhat. From there, he displayed tremendous fundamentals and was a sure-fire back-up’s back-up, aflame with confidence and maybe a different kind of passion.
162. Juergen Sommer — 1995–1996 — Queen’s Park Rangers
Sommer would become the first American to play in the Premier League when he joined QPR just in time to see them relegated.
His agile and confident performances weren’t enough to change a game and perhaps his efforts, at times, simply weren’t enough.
FUN FACT: When playing in America in the early 2000’s, Sommer answered an S.O.S. call from one Sam Allardyce, then manager of Bolton, when all of his goalkeepers had been injured. Sommer heroically flew in to play the FA Cup tie, and promptly got injured during the game.
161. Kevin Miller — 1997–1998 — Crystal Palace
Seemed to do his best and most important work at other clubs such as Barnsley and Watford, as his straight-laced approach wasn’t enough to keep Palace up.
160. Claudio Bravo — 2016–2020 — Manchester City
He was Pep’s problem solver when he arrived at The Etihad. Then he just became Pep’s problem.
Unable to recapture form and style from previous sides, Bravo would soon be relegated to reserve, and though his career has certainly achieved legendary status for both club and country, his stint at Manchester City will be little more than a footnote.
159. Andy Marshall — 1994–1995, 2001–2002, 2003–2004, 2009–2013 — Norwich City, Ipswich Town, Wolves, Aston Villa
He came in at Norwich and was relegated.
He joined Ipswich and got relegated.
He went over to Wolves and got relegated.
He skipped over to Villa and would eventually have a 100% win-rate as a manager in the Premier League.
Funny how things work out.
158. Adam Federici — 2006–2008, 2012–2013, 2015–2018 — Reading, Bournemouth
The Aussie is an outstanding stopper. His displays saw Reading promoted to the Prem, advance deep into cup competitions and impress entire stadiums. Just so few of those came in the top flight.
That’s not to say he wasn’t good, he just wasn’t as impressive amongst other shooting stars. His sharp reflexes and defensive organisation pretty much sorted them out at one end of the pitch, and unless he was scoring, he didn’t have much say at the other.
157. Jon Hallworth — 1992–1994 — Oldham Athletic
Hallworth’s finest displays came before the advent of the Premier League, though he didn’t short change any fans. A player that gave his all, as evidenced by his spells with The Latics as well as with Cardiff.
156. David Watson — 1997–1998 — Barnsley
A man who spent his entire senior career with The Tykes was rewarded with game-time in their only top flight season thus far. He was unable to stop the inevitable, but he gave a decent account of himself.
FUN FACT: Watson was born in Barnsley, came through the youth ranks at Barnsley, and spent his entire senior career at Barnsley. He has had coaching positions at eight clubs since his retirement, none of them at Barnsley.
So yes, you can get sick of Barnsley.
155. Eldin Jakupović — 2013–2015, 2016–2022 — Hull City, Leicester City
This guy kind of trots around the area in a way that lulls you into thinking that he doesn’t know where he is or what he’s doing.
But it’s a lion’s den.
Once you’re in that box, you’re in his world, and he’s one step ahead.
A real unique goalie this one. Rare. But dangerous. That’s why he wasn’t brought out often. We couldn’t handle it.
154. Saša Ilić — 1998–1999, 2000–2002 — Charlton Athletic, West Ham United
The man who ended the play-off. He got Charlton promoted and then clocked off a little bit, his Addicks legend cemented. He was solid and his passion was forthcoming, but he was soon ousted from the number one hot-seat.
153. Ross Turnbull — 2002–2013 — Middlesbrough, Chelsea
When he and Brad Jones had to step up at Boro, they looked like solid replacements. Turnbull, specifically, was set to be second choice, but stepped up and looked a good ‘un.
That doesn’t mean he’s not one of the weirdest guys to have ever won the Champions League.
He suffered from a little bit of the reserve goalie lurgy, and he wouldn’t recover from there, but he’ll have performances to be proud of.
152. Nico Vaesen — 2002–2006 — Birmingham City
An impressive stopper for Birmingham and Huddersfield, Vaesen would put in memorable performances in the Championship for The Blues, propelling them to the Premier League. Injuries would keep him at bay for a while, but he came back with more impressive displays, by that point however, he had been largely displaced. His good judgment may have been lacking at points, but he’s made at least one hall of fame.
151. Victor Valdés — 2015–2017 — Manchester United, Middlesbrough
The Barcelona legend came into Manchester to play second fiddle.
He went to The Riverside to spearhead a dynasty.
The second fiddle status frustrated, and the dynasty never materialised. He did what he could from his positions, and looked competent throughout, but he rarely sparkled as he did in Spain.
150. Lee Grant — 2016–2022— Stoke City, Manchester United
It’s amazing it took Grant so long to show up in the top flight. He barely missed out with Derby at the turn of the century, would leave Sheffield Wednesday before a serious play-off push, seemed to leave Burnley as they went up, and would miss out by seconds with Derby, again.
Then an injury crisis crops up in The Potteries and you take your chance. Proving to the Premier League that all the hyperbole Championship commentators have been spouting isn’t misplaced.
An absolute boss at the back, Grant would take no prisoners with his gung-ho approach that encouraged others to follow his example. Most of the time…
149. Eike Immel — 1995–1996 — Manchester City
A Bundesliga mainstay until his time in Lancashire, where he joined just in time to be relegated. He was impressive, but clearly enjoyed the label of having conceded most goals ever in the German league and wanted to continue that trend in England.
148. Alexander Manninger — 1997–2002, 2016–2017 — Arsenal, Liverpool
An eventful spell with Arsenal saw him set a record for most consecutive clean sheets (6), win a Player of the Month award, win the FA Cup and league double, and be granted dispensation to attain a league winner’s medal despite not making enough appearances.
Despite this, he was ousted by Richard Wright as back-up and was soon out of North London. And despite his accomplishments, he was renowned for being a tad shaky, and the clean sheets can of course be attributed to The Gunners’ outfield defence as much as Manninger.
147. Mark Bunn — 2008–2014, 2015–2016 — Blackburn Rovers, Norwich City, Aston Villa
A Northampton standout, Bunn was on a roll when he joined Blackburn. He was capable of the odd sharp save, but he wasn’t given time. At Norwich, he gave a good account of himself and would settle into games as they went, occasionally making rash decisions, but often doing a good job cleaning them up. It’s just, he wasn’t John Ruddy.
As for Villa, well, they were in a shambles at that point and there wasn’t much he could do. He probably had their high point however, as he saved a penalty from Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez; in the season The Foxes defied the odds.
146. Alphonse Areola — 2020–present — Fulham, West Ham United
He joined a tricky club at a tricky time with a tricky approach to their goalkeeper situation. It’s like Fulham get up to the Prem and forget how many ‘keepers they need or even what they are. He arrived at Craven Cottage with a good rep and Fulham was a good chance for him to show his skills at the top level, but it was just a genuinely difficult place to be. Now West Ham, that’s a relaxing place to make a living.
145. Sam Johnstone — 2011–2018, 2020–2021, 2022-present — Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace
Didn’t get a look-in at Old Trafford, but was always on the cusp, so when he left for The Hawthorns, he was definitely ready.
A solid, no-frills goalkeeper can do wonders for a team’s confidence, especially when he can turn on the flair from time to time. He blends in with his defence, becoming a unit with them, and this leads to him not standing out, but you can’t just take a cog out and expect it to work. He was part of the West Brom jigsaw, and while it looks a difficult position to take over, Palace fitting Johnstone in will be the one of concern to the individual.
144. David Ospina — 2014–2019 — Arsenal
Ospina seemed like he was primed to be Arsenal’s next number one, then he had to Čech himself. Ospina did little wrong in his time with The Gunners, but it appeared as if the London club just wanted something a little bit more spectacular than this dominating and decisive goalie who went as far as being featured on the 2015 Ballon d’Or longlist (alongside Massimo Luongo(?))
143. David Stockdale — 2008–2014 — Fulham
Maybe the reason Fulham went through their goalkeeper turmoil upon their return to the top flight in the 18/19 season. Stockdale looked to have a crisis solved when they went down in 2014, cutting a very capable, if almost uncomfortable and unorthodox, figure. He was getting the job done. But then he left.
He would impress in the Championship, being integral for Birmingham and Brighton, leaving the latter just as he won them promotion to the top flight.
142. Steve Simonsen — 1999–2004, 2008–2010 — Everton, Stoke City
A universally underrated ‘keeper here, I reckon. Anywhere he was, it always seemed a replacement was waiting in the wings. This could be due to flip-flop form for The Toffees, but in the end, important stops made his spell an overall success. When he helped Stoke ascend to the top flight, he was pushed aside once more, though would pop in now and again with vital performances.
141. Darren Randolph — 2004–2007, 2015–2017, 2019-present — Charlton Athletic, West Ham United
Isn’t praised enough for what he can do and really deserves more credit for his reflexes alone.
He was revered in the Championship and in Scotland, but the Prem so rarely holds their goalies in acclaim.
140. Gerhard Tremmel — 2011–2017 — Swansea City
His legend was already made when he got to Wales, but he did himself no damage in the valleys. The German came in as an excellent shot-stopper with brilliant game-reading abilities and Swansea ultimately looked more assured with him on the pitch.
139. Jamie Ashdown — 2004–2010 — Portsmouth
The man Harry Redknapp loved to bench. Goalies came in and played poorly, and Jamie would always be there to pick up the pieces, but apparently, he couldn’t put them together. He was good, not spectacular, and while his handling wasn’t the finest, he did more than enough to earn his spot.
138. Paulo Gazzaniga — 2012–2021, 2022-present— Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham
The Man from Murphy. Mauricio’s Mate. El Matador. My goodness what a break this lad’s had.
- He was scouted for Gillingham by Wigan’s European scout to create one of the weirdest footballing statements ever. Not just for Wigan doing Gillingham’s work (not exactly neighbours), but Wigan having a European scout at all. I thought they shipped ’em all to Honduras.
- After 22 appearances in all comps, he was signed by Premier League side Southampton, and even he thought it was crazy.
- Would play Champions League football and be capped for Argentina while playing for Spurs.
I’m not saying that Paulo doesn’t deserve this, but it’s such a weird path that folk don’t bring up enough.
His reflexes and play with the ball at his feet are sound as owt, but his decision-making and general positioning can be troublesome at times.
137. Mike Pollitt — 2005–2013 — Wigan Athletic
Pollitt was a curious case for Wigan. For their first season in the top flight, he came in and played exceptionally, and was a big reason The Latics reached a cup final. There were even shouts of him to be called up for the World Cup.
But then he got injured. It wasn’t terrible, just kept him out for a little while.
When he returned, he was shipped out on loan and never really returned to the first team again.
These days, he might be most famous as the ‘keeper who conceded eight against Chelsea on the final day of the 09/10 season to see them take the title.
Such is the curious tale of Michael Francis Pollitt.
136. Raimond van der Gouw — 1996–2003 — Manchester United, West Ham United
As good as Sir Alex’s recruitment was for outfield players, he needed a few cracks to get it right for his goalkeepers. van der Gouw, however, is one who flies under the radar. Immensely experienced when he arrived at Old Trafford, he was immediately coaching the younger talent, and bringing a calm presence at the back whenever he was called upon.
It was like he had nothing to prove. He was composed and fundamentally sound and deserves more credit for the role he played in Ferguson’s team.
135. Brad Jones — 2001–2009, 2010–2015 — Middlesbrough, Liverpool
Seemed ready to step up for yonks, but was hampered by injuries (as well as Mark Schwarzer and Ross Turnbull). All the ‘keepers would earn big moves, and that was due to some heroic form at The Riverside, motherfucker. From there, Jones would suffer from a bit of second-keeper-syndrome, but would go on to Eredivisie glory with Feyenoord once his Prem career was done and his syndrome cured.
134. Kevin Poole — 1994–1995, 1996–1997, 2001–2005 — Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers
The man who played into his 50’s would turn out in his 20’s and 30’s at a difficult time for Leicester, who were struggling somewhat to cope with the top flight. Poole probably wasn’t in his finest form while with The Foxes, and while he played a role, it won’t be what he’ll be remembered for.
133. Joel Robles — 2013–2018, 2022-present — Wigan Athletic, Everton, Leeds United
Roberto Martinez was kind enough to give Robles the starting spot as soon as there was nothing he could do to prevent relegation to The Champo. But then he did also play him in the FA Cup Final success, and then give him a ring when he moved to Merseyside.
But no-one wanted to trust him after Martinez. His displays were only occasionally solid and he didn’t inject a tonne of confidence into the side.
A talented shot-stopper no doubt, but the directorial features of a ‘keeper that he needed for his time in the English top flight were lacking.
132. Neil Etheridge — 2008–2014, 2018–2019 — Fulham, Cardiff City
After fruitless spells across London, Neil impressed at Walsall and joined Cardiff, where he continued to shine, becoming the first Filipino to play in the Premier League. He saved a penalty in each of his first two games, won the Bluebirds’ Player of the Season award, and was generally outstanding in a relegation campaign.
The lonely Filipino will be back. Hopefully.
131. Gábor Király — 2004–2005, 2006–2007 — Crystal Palace, West Ham, Aston Villa
OOO, HE WEARS GREY SWEATPANTS
With that out the way, the panted one sweat his immense confidence and dominance across the Premier League and beyond throughout his career, especially for his nation, earning over 100 caps for Hungary.
But Mr. Sweatpants looked good in the top flight, and he and his sweatpants flew high in the sky with sweatpants. Sweatpants sweatpants, sweatpants sweatpants.
HE WEARS SWEATPANTS, WHAT A WEIRDO
So am I, no-one’s crowing about that.
Don’t let leg-wear overshadow a goalie with his own brand of attacking defence who could galvanise an entire back-line with just his name.
130. Jan Stejskal — 1992–1994 — Queen’s Park Rangers
One of four foreign goalkeepers to play on the opening weekend of the Premiership, Stejskal has been described as the best goalkeeper QPR have ever had. A dominant force who commanded his box, the 6'6" ‘keeper’s weaknesses were in his reflexes sure, but mostly with his communication, as he struggled with learning English.
Poor defenders being shouted at in Czech by a giant. Terrifying.
129. Peter Enckelman — 1999–2008 — Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers
He’ll seemingly always be remembered for his ‘howler’ in the Midlands Derby against Birmingham (that maybe shouldn’t have stood), but before that, he put in some impressive displays that kept the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City at bay.
He may not be recalled as one of Villa’s best ever, but they could have done a lot worse, even if Pete’s time in England certainly wasn’t shiny.
128. Willy Caballero — 2014–2021, 2021-present — Manchester City, Chelsea, Southampton
The ‘Gentleman’ provided stable cover at turbulent times for two top clubs in the Prem. And Southampton. Never suffering from the curse of the back-up, he was rarely spectacular, but often important, bringing a necessary calmness and knowledgeable ability to whichever team he was hossed into.
127. Matt Clarke — 1996–2001 — Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City, Fulham
Never in the Premier League’s elite sides, he would largely go unrecognised for The Owls and The Cottagers. For The Bantams however, he shone. Whether it be important saves or that cool demeanour even at impossibly tense moments, he was a bit of gold for a season there.
Some fans were even calling for an England cap for the man. It never materialised, but you were the people’s ‘keeper, Matt.
126. Karl Darlow — 2014–2016, 2017–present — Newcastle United
Darlow was brought up to the Prem for his cavalcade of fine performances in the Championship with Nottingham Forest. While he’s only marginally replicated that for The Toon, he still seems like one of the safest bets at a time when Newcastle have had anywhere between five and thirteen ‘keepers on their books.
125. Brian Jensen — 2002–2003, 2009–2010 — West Bromwich Albion, Burnley
One season was all it took for The Beast to write himself into Premier League lore. A genuinely impressive presence who wasn’t just throwing his weight around, but was utilising it for intimidation in the way he approached crosses and one-on-ones. It didn’t matter who you were, going head to head with Big Bad Brian wasn’t a challenge many attackers relished.
124. Kelvin Davis — 1999–2000, 2005–2006, 2012–2016 — Wimbledon, Sunderland, Southampton
A vital part of the Southampton squad that made the rise through the divisions, he wouldn’t reap the benefits in the top flight.
A penalty specialist, Davis had been with Wimbledon in their final top flight season and was part of the disastrous Sunderland 05/06 campaign, so while his legacy is one of undoubtable talent and commitment, he never got a great chance to display that in the Prem.
123. Clive Baker — 1992–1994 — Ipswich Town
I struggled to find a lot about Mr. Baker without stumbling across a lot of shit about Clive Barker, but I dannae wanna know about Jericho.
The correct Clive was a custodian who wasn’t scared to get in where the action was and could make himself a bloody git wall when he needed to. He oversaw successful spells for The Tractor Boys in the Prem, but held ’em through the hard times as well. And though he might be remembered more fondly at Oakwell, the wall did not tumble in the Prem.
122. Márton Fülöp — 2004–2010, 2011–2012 — Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland, Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion
The Hungarian Cat. The reflexes of this man were mad. Though he was second choice throughout much of his top flight career, I can be sure that fans of his teams were not worried when their first choice was injured and Fülöp had to step in.
Sadly, the skilled goalie would lose his life in 2015, aged just 32. He was remembered by his former clubs as a great ‘keeper, and a great man, and his spirit would guide his nation through to their first major tournament in 30 years.
121. Maarten Stekelenburg — 2013–2014, 2015–2020 — Fulham, Southampton, Everton
It took him a while to roll round to the Prem, and when he did, boy, oh, boy… He was there.
He joined Fulham at the worst time and then followed Ronald Koeman around for a bit. And though he showed flashes of the ‘keeper that went to a World Cup Final, tinged with penalty heroics and heroic leadership, he was too often a bystander, a shadow of the player who turned out for Ajax and his national side.
120. Costel Pantilimon — 2011–2017 — Manchester City, Sunderland, Watford
Underrated at Manchester City, he took his chance at Sunderland and did a cracker job of steadying a shaky ship. That wouldn’t last though, and his time at Watford simply didn’t help his image.
It seems a case of wrong place, wrong time for the big Romanian, as his presence left many an attacker bamboozled, but once the sheen had gone, so had he.
Still should have played in the FA Cup Final against Wigan though. He’s taller than Hart, and would’ve saved Watson’s header. I SAID IT THEN, AND I’LL SAY IT NOW.
119. José Sá — Wolves — 2021-present
Came in to fill the void left by Rui Patricio and displayed the complete opposite sensibilities off the bat. He was erratic and never stood still, and it took him a few games to calm down. When he did, however, he saw things more clearly and was the stand-out of a Wolves side under new management. He’s still got moments of madness in him, but they work out more than they don’t.
118. Dean Henderson — 2015-present — Manchester United, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest
Steadily impressing up the divisions, he made his top flight bow in the 19/20 season and continued the form that had seen him climb from League One. His powerful stopping and commanding presence have been lauded and England could be considering his old-school/new-school approach for the national scene before too long.
This lad’ll soon rocket up the list, but he’ll have to get up the list at Old Trafford first. And if his first app for them was anything to go by (coming on at half-time 2–0 down to Southampton but winning 3–2), he’s a good luck charm that Man U could use.
Or Nottingham Forest, but whatever.
117. Alan Kelly — 1992–1994, 2001–2004 — Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers
A star for Sheffield United from 1992 onwards, but never really in the Prem. He was rarely in poor form, but the team was. He would peak at lower levels for The Blades, but his time in the Prem at least showed the player he was to become.
116. Rob Elliot — 2004–2007, 2011–2016, 2017–2020, 2021–2022 — Charlton Athletic, Newcastle United, Watford
A standout for Charlton, Elliot was probably called up to The Toon as a dependable back-up, but was soon thrust into the spotlight. This was probably for the better, as he put in quite a few memorable displays while his Charlton lightning was still rattling.
The pace might have been a lot to keep up with and he would eventually finish up without any kind of appearance in two seasons, but he could shine could Rob, take his performance in Newcastle’s 1–0 win against Bournemouth in the 15/16 season.
115. David Marshall — 2013–2014, 2016–2017 — Cardiff City, Hull City
Commanding and cat-like, Marshall was a combination of skills rarely seen in a goalkeeper. To me, he is one of the best ever in the Championship, and it’s just tough luck that he never reached full tilt in the top flight.
A true master and commander, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marshall would make a return to the top flight before he calls it a day.
114. Paddy Kenny — 2006–2007, 2011–2012 — Sheffield United, Queen’s Park Rangers
Neil Warnock’s favourite player is a lower league legend and he loves a party. When he first came up with Neil, he gave a good account of himself despite relegation. In his second spell up top, with QPR, he was famously on the wrong end of AGUEROOOOOOOOOOOO.
It seems he was never wanted by the Prem, and he didn’t need it to become a legend.
113. Keith Branagan — 1995–1996, 1997–1998, 2000–2002 — Bolton Wanderers, Ipswich Town
A wall who got to a League Cup final with Bolton, while helping them attain three promotions.
It’s clear his best years weren’t in the top flight as Bolton would occasionally struggle, but he was a safe pair of gloves, if unspectacular.
112. Erik Thorstvedt — 1992–1996 — Tottenham Hotspur
Ran a tight ship for Spurs and didn’t mind coming for crosses or competing in the air. Though he won’t go down as Spurs’ best goalkeeper, he was a solid option for their first foray in the Prem.
FUN FACT: He was the first Norwegian to play in the Premier League, as well as the first Norwegian to win the FA Cup.
111. Michael Oakes — 1992–1999, 2003–2004 — Aston Villa, Wolves
Almost an eternal deputy, he had a chance at Villa in the mid-90’s, but he would never feel truly settled in the role, and as soon as he was, he was replaced.
The same would happen at Wolves, when he stepped up after an injury to Matt Murray, and did well in what was a difficult season for them, but he would be replaced midway through in a signing that made no difference to the side’s outcome.
He’ll go down as a Wolves legend who helped the squad achieve the dream. Well, most of it.
110. Tomasz Kuszczak — 2004–2012 — West Bromwich Albion, Manchester United
Was really starting something for The Baggies the season they were relegated, the same season he made a definite save of the season against Jason Roberts of Wigan.
He would remain in the top flight by virtue of a transfer to Manchester United, and his sporadic appearances across the next six years would be in matches The Red Devils were expected to win regardless.
He kept his game up and would be on form when he left Man U for the Champo, but he was on the cusp of so much more before Fergie got his hooks in.
109. Allan McGregor — 2013–2015, 2016–2017 — Hull City
Could’ve been seen as a risky signing when he came to the KC, but he quickly put any doubts to bed with the solid displays that had become his trademark in Scotland.
He played a vital role in the Hull side that survived the Prem and reached an FA Cup Final, as well as Hull teams that would be promoted back to the Prem, but though he wasn’t flashy, he was a sensationally secure ‘keeper on The Humber, as he continues to be (and always had been) in Glasgow.
108. Chris Woods — 1992–1996, 1997 — Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Sunderland
Oversaw a particularly leaky time at Wednesday, with things not getting better on the South coast or in the Northern city.
He had impressive spells of keeping three clean sheets on the bounce a few times, but it was pre-Prem that saw him at his best as he was called up by England and attained several honours with Nottingham Forest, Norwich and Rangers.
107. Kevin Hitchcock — 1992–2001 — Chelsea
A common back-up, Hitchcock made sure that his role wasn’t just sitting on the bench. Tight relationships bred good mojo across the whole locker room, at a time when Chelsea were evolving into a real force. He went out of his way to support those ahead of him in the pecking order and that has led to a coaching career laced with high-profile gigs. He deserves that for the player and person he was, even if he wasn’t given enough of a chance at the former.
106. Nigel Spink — 1992–1996 — Aston Villa
Off the bench in the 1982 European Cup Final for only his second senior appearance for The Villans. Five years after he’d joined them.
And he played superbly, kept a clean sheet, and won ’em the trophy. Instant legend.
He would be revered forever whatever he did after that, but the fact that he went on to be one of their most recognisable and dependable goalies ever just lends to his legacy.
His peak may have been behind him when the Premier League rolled around, but he was still giving everyone the what-for with commanding aerial displays and sharp reflexes.
105. Bruce Grobbelaar — 1992–1996 — Liverpool, Southampton
The legendary Hell’s Kitchen contestant was towards the end of his career when the Premier League rocked up, though that didn’t stop him from making his mark. In fact, he was out of the team most of the time at his own behest, as he wanted to play games for Zimbabwe.
However, when he came back to reclaim his place, his time would on the pitch could be marred by poor form as well as clashes with his own team-mates.
After an injury, claims of match-fixing overshadowed his Southampton spell, but he maintained his form, as he always seemed to.
The rough and tough Zimbabwean and his eccentric yet effective style will never truly be overshadowed, and he’ll go down as, arguably, Liverpool’s greatest ever goalie; just not in the Premier League era.
104. Nicky Weaver — 2000–2001, 2002–2007, 2009–2010 — Manchester City, Burnley
Joined Man City at the wrong time, and then left them at the wrong time, having a lot of fun along the way.
Weaver will always be a lower league legend for The Citizens, and he’ll be fondly remembered at Hillsborough and The Valley as well, but his time in the top flight was a time of struggle for his sides, until it wasn’t! But then he left.
His displays were largely solid, and in his final season, he showed impressive form to keep out Andreas Isaksson and really go out in style.
103. Robert Sánchez — 2018-present — Brighton and Hove Albion
Calmness personified since he quite surprisingly stepped up to the plate. His debut saw him stand up to the likes of Kane and Bale and remain solid, unflappable almost, and those qualities have only improved with game-time. He makes smart choices, as if he has more time to think about them, and that has, and will continue, to take him very far.
102. Tony Roberts — 1992–1996 — Queen’s Park Rangers
The man who made a million and one appearances for Dagenham and Redbridge had a solid spell in the Prem as well. Maybe the most agile wall one will ever see, he could pretty much scare onrushing attackers into giving up the ball. He didn’t lie down easy and swiftly came out of a premature retirement to play well into his 40’s, all with a splint holding his hand together. Just what you need as a goalie.
FUN FACT: He is the only goalkeeper to be sent off in the FA Cup for a foul in the opposition box.
FUN FACT: One of three goalkeepers to score in the FA Cup.
101. Sander Westerveld — 1999–2002, 2005–2006 — Liverpool, Portsmouth, Everton
Had a bright start that didn’t really stick.
Ran a tight shop early doors, aiding Liverpool’s return to the Champion’s League, but then he made a few errors and the confidence in him never came back.
His latter spell at Portsmouth and Everton could well have been effected by this as he failed to make an impact, but he’ll always have 99/00…
WHEN OUTFIELD PLAYERS DON THE GLOVES
Rocked it. Tried to punch the shit out of everything that came his way. Crosses, shots, players.
Man of the match award was more for sympathy I reckon. 3–0 loss.
Went in net twice for Leeds, once coming so close to keeping out Fergie’s Red Bastards. It was also the game that prompted Keegan to go off on his ‘LOVE IT’ rant at Ferguson.
7/10 — for inspiring a legend
Saw a game out and maybe caught a cross, I dunno.
Was called upon frequently by Neil Warnock, so much so that Neil didn’t name a substitute goalie on the bench. Phil took to the net at least four times and once in the Prem, keeping Arsenal at bay with some fine aerial displays as well as one or two stellar saves.
Pretty much stayed as a defender, sliding out occasionally to tackle as Manchester United beat Spurs 4–0.
Saw out a game, didna do a thing.
In a Welsh Derby no less! Great time for it and he kept ’em at bay as he tried to make a catch, couldn’t, so seamlessly turned it into a parry over the bar.
Made an immense punch to keep Newcastle out. And sometimes that’ll do.
Obviously thought he could jump higher when he dived to make a save on a free kick, but he made the save. Looked alright.
Didna do owt, but looked like he was having fun.
Few minutes at the end of a game, saw out a draw while doing nowt. Looked spiffy though.
100. Kepa Arrizabalaga — 2018-present — Chelsea
Any world-record signing is going to be scrutinsed closely. And maybe all that pressure started to rub off on Kepa. Maybe he didn’t fit into the new manager’s game. Maybe the English game was too much of a change. Maybe all of the above.
Kepa is a talented ‘keeper and we’ve seen that in his reflexes and distribution. When it comes to decision-making (like whether or not to leave the pitch when told to) it can be up in the air.
He has clearly gained some sort of reputation, and that can be a lot more damaging than bad form, but will he be in the top flight long enough to spin it back round?
99. Bobby Mimms — 1992–1996 — Blackburn Rovers
Was an important part of the Blackburn side that returned to top flight football with a mission; and with all of the fresh signings coming in, Mimms kept his place through all of it with dominant defensive displays.
He would soon be a victim of another big signing and as second choice, he was one game shy of a title medal in Blackburn’s Prem-winning season.
He was a classy ‘keeper hard done by and the fact that he was once Blackburn’s most-expensive signing is at least some evidence of his quality.
98. Jonas Lössl — 2017–2021, 2022 — Huddersfield Town, Everton, Brentford
Maybe the most solid addition The Terriers could make on their maiden voyage in the top flight. And as their stay went on, perhaps a lone bright spot. Huddersfield were only thrashed less because of this guy, and he’ll be underrated because of that.
97. Vito Mannone — 2006–2017 — Arsenal, Sunderland
He was like a Keystone Cops ‘keeper when he first rocked up. Except everything worked out. He saved stuff with his face, he was successfully flopping around like a fish, he’d go running about and just end up in the right place; and it just seemed to confuse the opposition into fluffing their lines.
Since his debut he has showed stellar form with the likes of Reading and Minnesota, and if he was to come back to the top flight now, he would be a proper force, like.
96. Magnus Hedman — 1997–2001, 2006–2007 — Coventry City, Chelsea
A fit that never seemed to at Coventry, he stepped into a void left by a departing goalkeeper and was never fully accepted by the Highfield Road faithful due to several un-eye-catching performances. This would come to a head when a fan invaded the pitch to have a go at him; something you should ne’er do, by the way.
Magnus didn’t last much longer, and apart from a short return to play back-up at The Bridge, Maggie and his gloves were sent packing from the Prem.
Despite his apparent attitude, Hedman could be an effective ‘keeper. His presence might have left a lot to be desired, but his shot-stopping ability was recognised on an international level, and his saves, while occasionally too Hollywood for their own good, more often than not did their job.
FUN FACT: He was awarded the Guldbollen in 2000, the award for the best Swedish (male) football player of the year, making him the sixth and most recent goalkeeper on the 75-year list. The other goalkeepers are Kalle Svensson (1952), Bengt Nyholm (1961), Ronnie Hellström (1971, 1978), Jan Möller (1979), and Thomas Ravelli (1981).
95. Illan Meslier — 2020-present — Leeds United
The young Frenchman has shown class beyond his years while stepping up to the plate at Elland Road. He’s immediately won over fans with his pinpoint distribution and reading of the game, and if (hopefully) no-one else comes a’ knockin’, the 20-year old could be breaking records down the line, especially now he’s worked through some choppier waters.
94. Jack Butland — 2013–2018, 2020-present — Stoke City, Crystal Palace
When you’re getting an England call-up in League Two, you might be a big deal. Though he would still have to wait for a breakthrough. When it came, he was solid and every bit of the ‘keeper that 52 scouts had watched at one game when he was a youngster. But his good form coincided with Stoke’s dip and with injuries and relegation, he would only complete two full(ish) seasons in between the sticks in The Potteries.
Some opinion would turn against him in the Champo, but they won’t change a solid ‘keeper whose fundamentals can be so good that it’s bloody terrifying.
93. John Filan — 1995–1999, 2005–2007 — Nottingham Forest, Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic
The Aussie ‘keeper impressed with his aggressive style at Coventry, and would continue to do so at Blackburn, but it was his commitment at Wigan, his passion as they rose through the ranks that really showed how good he was. An injury as they reached the top flight was rough, but he came back and oversaw some staggering form for the new boys as he kept five clean sheets out of six in October and November.
He’s a Wigan legend, and definitely a goalkeeping legend as well.
92. Thomas Mhyre — 1997–2001, 2002–2003, 2005–2007 — Everton, Sunderland, Charlton Athletic
He was set in at a few English clubs as a back-up after injury halted his initial first-team run with Everton. Then it would be a few mistakes, and all confidence was gone. It would take him a while to bounce back, and injuries wouldn’t help, but he aided Sunderland to the top flight, and when Charlton needed him, he stepped up, going ten hours without conceding at home to turn The Valley into a fortress. He would soon be dislodged once more though, and that would spell the end of his run in England.
It seemed all spells he had were harshly brought to a close, as an excellent on-field presence went underrated for his skills.
91. Roy Carroll — 2001–2007, 2007–2008 — Manchester United, West Ham United, Derby County
The man’s got a hell of trophy list and I bet his little black book ain’t short on entries neither.
A cracker with Wigan, his form got him picked up by Fergie and his Prem career was away. He was constantly battling for that first-team spot that was never secured, and it saw him hopping around, sometimes even paying his own way to achieve what he wanted.
It was after his top flight career that he would light up once more, with great spells in Denmark, Greece, and Northern Ireland, but his Prem career certainly wasn’t a bust, a story of a man who was never held to ransom and played the game right. Apart from when he’s dropping shots into his goal and then pretending he didn’t. He played it wrong then.
FUN FACT: Won a trophy in his only game as manager, leading Barnet to victory over Stevenage in the Herts Senior Cup Final as caretaker boss.
90. Édouard Mendy — 2020-present — Chelsea
Has stepped in and settled a quakey back-line for The Blues. Even if Kepa wasn’t in form that was that bad, the controversy surrounding him can cause rifts and issues with confidence. Mendy has taken all of that and put it behind him, where no-one can touch it. Because no-one can get beyond him. He commands the defence only when he needs to, and it worked wonders as he produced a quietly excellent start to his Prem career, then settled in to standard form, before excelling again come the 21/22 season. Chelsea may have found their next long-long-term starter between the sticks.
89. Bernd Leno — 2018-present — Arsenal
There’s been something off about Bernd Leno since he’s joined The Gunners. Whether it’s that he joined a club on a downswing, so hasn’t experienced the success of his predecessors, or the fact that he seemed to be waiting ages for a big move and then it came to this, I dunno.
Whatever your feelings about him, he does play an underrated and undervalued game, and that’s with all the service he pays the cameras as well, busting out Hollywood save after Hollywood save.
He’s the school try-hard, only, he should be getting more attention.
88. Craig Gordon — 2007–2012 — Sunderland
At one point, the most expensive goalkeeper in Britain, Gordon came with a lot of expectation, and initially, he delivered. But he would soon be another whose Prem career was cruelly ended by injury.
His reflexes were an absolute marvel and any time he returned to the side, a calm would come with him, and anyway, he’d already proved himself at Hearts, and continued after Sunderland to impress at Celtic, and once more at Hearts.
Add to this, his ‘save of the century’ against Bolton, where he seemed to jump from behind the attacker to keep a shot out on the line, and his CV don’t make bad reading.
87. Julian Speroni — 2004–2005, 2013–2019 — Crystal Palace
Got to the Palace first team in time to be relegated, but then it was on him to grow into the team and help ’em navigate the Champo, which he did, with eventual success.
The four-time Palace Player of the Year award winner would go on to help settle his side back in the top flight with the miraculous hair and miraculous displays that had become his trademark, and though the ponytail was gone, Samson he was not, and his power remained, as his unaging skill would be called upon time and time again to help Palace out of a tight spot.
FUN FACT: Speroni was the last player born in the 70’s to play in the Premier League.
86. Gary Walsh — 1992–1997, 1999–2001, 2005–2006 — Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Bradford City, Wigan Athletic
The nearly-man for a lot of clubs, putting in strong performances when called upon; normally in times of injury.
His major roles were as part of a freshly-minted Middlesbrough team that came close to a shock first season up top but fell away and as a member of the Bradford City side that survived heroically, though his best moments for The Bantams would come a division down.
Another fella who too often fell by the wayside, or seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, he was a big man with good reflexes who proved valuable, but just not valuable enough to some.
85. Manuel Almunia — 2004–2012 — Arsenal
I know Watford fans love him, but Arsenal fans might not remember him as fondly. Despite early unrest between him and Arsenal’s previous number one, he found his way into the team and proceeded to see-saw for the next five years. In one game he would save a penalty or display such confidence you’d think he was the king of his area, and then in the next game he’d be found floundering. Then, not content with game-to-game, he could make miraculous saves and organise his entire side, only to forget how to catch moments later.
There was never a strong run of good form, but there wasn’t a bad run either, but you could be sure of entertainment in Almunia was between the sticks. Or fear if you were an Arsenal fan.
84. Michel Vorm — 2011–2020 — Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur
Quickly got himself over as a penalty maestro at The Liberty, and would further endear himself to fans with commanding displays that could control a game. Since then, he suffered from some major bouts of second-keeper-syndrome, but you could always tell that the class was there behind the rust.
83. Emiliano Martinez — 2012-present — Arsenal, Aston Villa
He was called upon a few times by The Gunners in the league, and he did a progressively finer job. Rarely spectacular, but he got the job done with some sparkling fundamentals, notably his ability in the air.
But The Gunners weren’t willing to promote him permanently, and now he’s in The Midlands, taking his chance to show how good he really is — he’s added that spectacularity (that he’s likely always had), and become such a shit-chatter seemingly out of nowhere that it’s (currently) delightful. International caps and acclaim have been rightly received, but he’s still got space to ascend into.
82. Richard Wright — 1994–1995, 2000–2008, 2012–2016 — Ipswich Town, Arsenal, Everton, West Ham United, Manchester City
Yes, he was exceptional at Ipswich, and did a fine job at Highbury and Goodison Park, but a legend is only as legendary as his most legendary legend, and this Manchester City stalwart’s spectre will hang over the Etihad for years to come as new goalkeepers try to escape his enormous shadow.
A force for Ipswich, he found himself with Arsenal and Everton, but inconsistent form for the former and freakish injuries for the latter (including falling through his loft on Friday the 13th and falling onto a sign warning him to stay away from where the sign was) made for two spells that didn’t amount to much.
It will be his leadership and heroics at Portman Road that he’ll ga doon in the annals for.
81. Craig Forrest — 1992–1995, 1997–2002 — Ipswich Town, Chelsea, West Ham United
The only Canadian on this list and also one of only thirteen foreigners present on the first game-day of the re-branded Premier League (along with three others on this list).
Though he may be remembered for being on the wrong side of a 9–0 thrashing, Ipswich fans (and a few Man U fans) will definitely remember his almost impossible heroics to regularly deny opposition, flying down to feet without fear and then proceeding with distribution that was a touch ahead of its time.
80. Rui Patricio — 2018–2021 — Wolves
Part of the Portuguese revolution in Wolverhampton, the national team number one made his first ever transfer to the luscious shores of the Midlands, and since then, he has shown why he is held in such high regard.
An immediate calming influence, Patricio efficiently and easily (no language barrier) controls his back line while displaying necessary spectaculars when he is rarely called upon.
He came to Wolves a veteran, but the old wolf still has a few more tricks.
79. Fabian Barthez — 2000–2004 — Manchester United
Manchester United’s search for a replacement for a certain Dane came to many stops along the way. When it was the turn of World Cup Winner Barthez, it looked a match made in heaven. And his first season was just that; tremendous confidence and stunning reactions kept United in several games and helped them to the title, but as he went on, mistakes crept into his game, and his expanding confidence would be punished. He would still prove effective but his clutch on the first team loosened and he would soon be replaced.
The legacy of Barthez is undeniable, as his trophy cabinet attests, but how he has paved the way for the goalkeepers of today could be his true legend.
78. Hans Segers — 1992–1996, 1998–2001 — Wimbledon, Tottenham Hotspur
A solid ‘keeper who fit right in with The Crazy Gang. Sometimes you need a goalkeeper who takes a chance and Segers was one who didn’t need an invitation to do just that. He was capable of some sparkling play, but it was often overshadowed by off-field antics and/or inconsistent team form, see Wimbledon’s 3–2 defeat to Everton.
77. Steve Harper — 1993–2009, 2010–2015, 2016 — Newcastle United, Hull City, Sunderland
An understudy who understudied for so long, he was repaid with many a trot out on stage. Most often in matinees, but there came a time when he was required to speak the lines more often, and he was the only one they trusted. Rarely a difference-maker, but a magnet for shots, Harper will be remembered for his loyalty over his highlights, perhaps as well as getting beaten by Xabi Alonso from the halfway line.
76. Bryan Gunn — 1992–1995 — Norwich City
Outranks his son here, if only at the moment.
By all accounts, a cracking guy on and off the pitch, lauded by the likes of Alexes McLeish and Ferguson for his leadership and character. He loved the game and the game loved him, he loved the fans and the fans loved him, and when he was giving them the performances that he was, you can understand why. He was a natural goalkeeper who didn’t slow down with age, and anytime he wasn’t in the side, The Canaries form would normally suffer.
He added something special to the side, before and after the re-brand, and is certainly up there with their best players of all time.
75. Tony Coton — 1992–1997 — Manchester City, Manchester United, Sunderland
A constant for Watford before the Prem came about, he would be the same for Manchester City in their tumultuous early years of the re-brand. And they’re glad he was. He was constantly impressive, he was constantly a safe pair of hands, and he was constantly a firm hand on the tiller. He steered them to impressive finishes and he would even flourish at the end of his career, impressing for newly-promoted Sunderland before injury brought the curtain down.
FUN FACT: He is a five-time Club Player of the Year award winner across his spells at Watford and Manchester City, as well as being the 2nd man inducted to the former’s Hall of Fame.
74. Boaz Myhill — 2000–2003, 2008–2018 — Aston Villa, Hull City, West Bromwich Albion
One of the best gobshites to grace the league.
I can still see his jersey billowing in the wind as he flew with all his might to make another save. With Boaz, you had a goalie who would give everything every game. This was especially evident at Hull, where his passion inspired impressive performances against Bolton, Spurs, and West Ham to name but a few.
73. Dmitri Kharine — 1992–1999 — Chelsea
When Chelsea took a punt on a young Russian goalie, he stepped in midway through his first season to deliver decent, if unspectacular, performances. Nothing to write home about. But the punt was gonna pay off, they could feel it at Chelsea, so he was first choice for the 93/94 season and the punt was proven a success, as Kharine would show off his reflexes and presence to hold down the spot for seasons to come.
72. Adrián — 2013-present — West Ham United, Liverpool
Currently going through a spell of second-keeper-syndrome, his time at West Ham had no such difficulties. No, the difficulties were far different.
He has admitted himself that he always wanted to play as a striker, and with his eagerness and obvious ambition to come out of his goal as high up the pitch as he could in every game, he wasn’t shy about his dreams (as no-one should be, but there’s a time and place).
He loved a reflex save as much as he loved a trip out and provided excellent cover at a difficult time for The Hammers. Though aren’t most times difficult times for them?
71. Vicente Guaita — 2018-present — Crystal Palace
Came in as a ‘keeper when Crystal Palace fans probably thought they didn’t need one. The incumbent was getting the job done, but Guaita came in out of nowhere and has consistently posted some of the best stats in the league.
He’s made a difference for The Eagles. Lightning quick reflexes have lit up Selhurst Park, and if he could combine his skills with the previous Palace number one, they’d have a near perfect ‘keeper on their hands.
70. Artur Boruc — 2012–2020 — Southampton, Bournemouth
Already in his early 30’s when he got the Prem, I don’t even think Boruc had reached his peak. Whenever he stepped into a team, he earned his place, and overeagerness might have been his major weakness, with Artur getting ahead of himself and letting passion take over on more than one occasion. But he went on, gaining promotion to the Prem with Bournemouth and then playing two solid seasons as first choice, his killer agility helping make Bournemouth an institution in the top flight for half a decade.
69. Marcus Hahnemann — 2001–2002, 2006–2008, 2009–2012 — Fulham, Reading, Wolves, Everton
Continuing the run of fine Americans between the sticks in the Prem, the chrome-dome’s spell at Fulham was nothing to crow about. No, it was his departure to Reading that held the magic as he helped them rise up through the divisions to the promised land where he and his mates would flourish, finishing eighth in their debut season, keeping the third most clean sheets along the way (13).
Hahnemann’s imposing style suited the English game well, and his abundance of confidence when dealing with attacks, partnered with the trust he had in his defence (specifically at Reading), made for a ‘keeper who gelled with his teams very effectively.
68. Martin Dubravka — 2018-present — Newcastle United
A lad who came in under a bit of a veil, with not many knowing much about him. Well they know now. With his consistently good numbers, he has been a key part, if not the key part of Newcastle’s squad for nearly three years now. With the reflexes of three cats and the (goalkeeping) bravery of four lions, he seems to thrive off being busy, and is therefore the perfect man for Newcastle United.
67. Ali Al-Habsi — 2006–2013 — Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic
What a player this guy was. Got a slight look in for The Trotters, shining in the UEFA Cup against the likes of Bayern Munich, but when he got to Wigan, he became a sun.
Any type of shot, any angle, any speed, any height, you were never sure if you were gonna beat him. He had a lot to do and he could do it all. He’ll go down as one of The Latics’ finest ever players.
66. Fraser Forster — 2006–2009, 2010–2012, 2014-present — Newcastle United, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur
One of only eight goalkeepers to win a Premier League Player of the Month award (there have been 251 handed out) and Southampton’s consecutive-clean-sheet record-holder, Fraser Forster has had a cracker career down South, as well as North of the border.
It is that time with Celtic that he is measured against though. For my money, one of the best Scottish top flight ‘keepers of all time, he came back to the Premier League with one hell of a reputation that was always gonna be hard to live up to. By and large though, he has lived up to it; he’s remained near impossible to beat one-on-one, his agility is crazy for a man of his size, and his command has mostly held fast.
But that’s what a few mistakes can do. A drop of confidence knocked him right off his game and he was only off the bench for The Saints in times of crisis — still impressive, just as he was for Celtic when he rocked up there again and tore the house down, as expected.
65. Tom Heaton — 2005–2010, 2014–2015, 2016-present — Manchester United, Burnley, Aston Villa
Had a period of being the bride, but he seems to forever be swiftly back to bridesmaid. It’s been the case in the Champo, and the Premier League has followed suit. With Burnley, injury allowed Nick Pope in ahead of him, and Nicky wouldn’t let go. Then with Villa, another injury saw Emi Martinez take over, and the former Arsenal man was very determined to keep his seat.
There is a place for Heaton as we have seen displays from him that defy logic, with reflexes and saves that he makes look more dramatic than anyone else can. He’s just gotta find it, if he wants it.
64. Paul Gerrard — 1992–1994, 1996–2004, 2006–2007 — Oldham Athletic, Everton, Sheffield United
A career blighted by injury may have knocked his stats, but it couldn’t dull his talent. A Joe Royle favourite, he proved himself secure, even if he was rarely a difference-maker in games as a whole.
As reliable as a Berocca after a night out, he did enough to get his side’s through to the next game.
63. Ed de Goey — 1997–2003 — Chelsea
Safe and sound this fella. His league form might not be what he’s most remembered for, as he won nearly every other trophy, but he was a highly-rated goalie and part of a cavalcade of quality at the Bridge. He kept his feet on the ground and proved that you didn’t have to be flashy to win all the plaudits, not that he couldn’t turn it on when he needed to, flying down at feet or across his goal like a flash out of nowhere.
62. Mart Poom — 1996–2003, 2005–2007 — Derby County, Sunderland, Arsenal
The six-time Estonian Footballer of the Year with the best name, Mart Poom seemed to achieve cult-like status wherever he went. In fact, he was so revered at Derby that he was not booed at every game. Wow.
The big lad was a force in the air and one-on-one and provided many memorable saves, but of course, his best moment came a division down when he scored on his debut for Sunderland against former club Derby in the final minute, in what was called ‘the best goal ever scored by a goalkeeper in the 90th minute on his first match against his former club’. I wonder if he’s lonely in that club…
61. John Ruddy — 2005–2010, 2011–2014, 2015–2016, 2018–2022 — Everton, Norwich City, Wolves
Patiently waited until he couldn’t wait anymore. And when Norwich gave him the first-team place, he immediately displayed his class with powerful, unfazed performances that earned him a call-up to the England team.
Wolves could rest easy knowing this guy was their back-up. Now, he’s the second tier’s blessing.
60. Mat Ryan — 2017–2021 — Brighton and Hove Albion, Arsenal
Brighton’s step up to the big time needed some big time signings to go along with it, and none of those have proved as effective as this fella. First off, he missed like seven games — if he was available, he was in’t net (on the South Coast anyways), secondly, he seems unfazed by anything, and thirdly, good goalie, innit.
Whether it be a one-on-one shutdown or a flying save from a dipping volley, Ryan has swiftly proved himself as one of the custodial elite, and another that finds themselves starring for a side out of the ‘Big Six’ and not having it harm their legacy. A dip in stats did see him dropped and moved on, but even with his ‘downturn’, I know many teams who would’ve capped him still.
59. Alex McCarthy — 2007–2008, 2012–2013, 2014-present — Reading, Queen’s Park Rangers, Crystal Palace, Southampton
Seemed to be the next great goalie at The Madejski before moves to QPR and Palace didn’t return any pleasure. But his promise was delivered upon, and though it took him a while to fully cement himself, McCarthy has made himself near-irreplaceable with his top reflexes and calm, commanding approach. Gone are any tentative wanders off the line, as they are replaced by confidence regarding any attack on his area. Just tell people when you’re injured, Al. Can I call you Al?
58. Aaron Ramsdale — 2017-present — Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Arsenal
I don’t think a lot of people expected Aaron to be a starter for The Cherries in the 19/20 season. With Boruc and Travers at the club, he looked destined to be third choice. But he went in with a point to prove, and displayed a talent to be fulfilled. Sharp saves and aerial dominance are two major strings to his bow, but there’s a lot more space in that quiver, and while a spell with The Blades led to back-to-back relegations, his road is to be long, and a starring role with The Gunners where he has displayed all of the aforementioned and more proves just that.
57. Pavel Srníček — 1992–1998, 1998–2000, 2003–2004, 2006–2007 — Newcastle United, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth
His career on The Toon started tumultuously and sporadic runs in the team didn’t provide the inspiring form everyone was hoping. It would be four years after his arrival, when he seemed to be the perennial back-up, that he got another chance and finally made the impression he wanted. But his time at Newcastle was up regardless, so Wednesday cashed in, and Pavel made sure to show Newcastle what he could do, holding them to a draw on his debut for The Owls. Some mad form later (including a double penalty save) and he’d be off again, with only short spells about England from then on.
Srníček died in December 2015 and is remembered as a great goalkeeper, yes, but as a good man first. He had close friends in the game whom he trusted and he was loved by so many. When he returned to Newcastle United for a bit of back-up late in his career, he actually got some game-time and walked out to a raucous reception from his adopted home.
Pavel is a Geordie.
56. Dave Beasant — 1992–1997, 1998–1999, 2001, 2003–2004 — Chelsea, Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham
In the Prem, Beasant was already a legend. His time with the Crazy Gang had elevated him to cult-like status with many football supporters, and his time with Chelsea and Southampton, though inconsistent, regularly reminded fans of his outstanding ability; full of confidence and swagger, with the talent to back it up. Playing well into his 40’s, no-one could stop Dave, and it took a large bottle of salad cream to strike him down, but not keep him down.
FUN FACT: As their goalkeeping coach, Beasant was on the bench for Stevenage against Carlisle United in October 2014. He was 55. Fine wine, eh?
55. Russell Hoult — 1996–2000, 2002–2003, 2004–2006 — Derby County, West Bromwich Albion
I dunno why I always picture this guy with a moustache.
The West Brom legend earned his status as a promotion specialist for The Baggies, and a bit of a penalty maestro as well. Voted into their greatest squad of all time in 2004, Hoult was a big reason for West Brom’s survival in the Prem, and even drew the attention of the national side. A lot of lads involved in Brom’s great escape deserve credit, and Hoult’s name could well be at the top.
54. Wojciech Szczęsny — 2009–2017 — Arsenal
A necessary replacement in a lot of fans’ minds. A stellar spell on loan at Brentford had primed Wojciech, and if anyone thought he wasn’t ready, he soon proved them wrong, proving himself as the safest pair of hands at The Emirates. A hotly passionate player, and a truly imposing force, a weakness of impatience and occasional loss of command are really the only things that could unravel him.
53. Thibaut Courtois — 2011–2018 — Chelsea
Looked the real deal as a permanent replacement for Petr Čech, but those were (are) some mighty big shoes to fill. The bar was far too high and he was always gonna be judged on his mistakes, as goalies mostly are already.
On his day, Courtois was more than dependable, with lightning-safe reflexes, a sensationally rare and valuable commodity that many don’t realise they have until it’s gone.
52. Kevin Pressman — 1992–2000 — Sheffield Wednesday
Pressman’s Wednesday career is remembered for his longevity, as well as his commitment, and his efficiency when it came to penalties (saving them and scoring them).
But his finest moments would come in cup competitions, not saying that he never played a great Prem game, but they were few and far between. He was a solid ‘keeper, but he could never seem to get on that roll, despite his obvious confidence. Mistakes and rashness could take over, and he just occasionally felt out of place.
He was a good goalie at an important time for The Owls, though while he was a safe option, he might not have been the best option.
51. Jerzy Dudek — 2001–2007 — Liverpool
Swiftly installed as number one when he arrived, Dudek was immediately impressive, even earning a nomination for UEFA Goalie of the Year alongside Khan and Buffon. His speed and bounce-back-a-bility were commendable and vital for his side in high league finishes and, of course, Champions League glory.
He must have been something right to be The Pope’s favourite player. Or something wrong…
50. John Lukic — 1992–2001 — Leeds United, Arsenal
One of a very elite group of players to have Premmed it in four decades and perhaps the greatest English ‘keeper to not be capped by his country.
Achieved legend status at Leeds in his pre-Prem spell, he did the same at Arsenal, still pre-Prem. Then came his second spell at Leeds and the final Pre-Prem league title, and he went from legend to… Well, better legend before heading back down to Arsenal to do the same thing for them.
Just a solid goalie who loved a one-on-one and could dominate in the air, his longevity was impressive, but the fact that he kept it up all the way through is real testament. Hang on…
49. Antti Niemi — 2002–2005, 2006–2010 — Southampton, Fulham, Portsmouth
The Greatest Scot never to get a cap for the national side. Already a star North of the border when he graced the Prem, Niemi brought that stardust with him to the South coast, putting on dazzling performances against the big boys, leading to them all wanting to sign him. He kept The Saints afloat for as long as he could, but when they went down, he would leave and join Fulham. His form would never reach the heights that it did for Southampton, but the opposition knew they had a test, and he was a big reason his side didn’t go down once again.
48. Chris Kirkland — 1998–2012 — Coventry City, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic
Despite being likened to Bambi in his early career, he still went for a British record fee for a goalie when he joined Liverpool. On Merseyside, his career was stop-start with injuries interrupting runs in the team that were receiving mixed reviews. Spells on loan would also be hampered by injury.
With Wigan, he became the right set of gloves between the sticks. He picked up a club Player of the Year award, but he would often fly under the radar due to Wigan’s general form. They conceded a lot, but should have conceded a lot more. They concede four, Kirkland stopped them from conceding eight. They concede nine (as they did), Kirkland stopped them from conceding sixteen (which they could’ve).
Not a brash goalie, The Cap came forth with an unexpected dominance of his area, and is a fella that can damn fitness for rough breaks. I hope yer reet, Chris.
47. Brad Guzan — 2008–2017 — Aston Villa, Middlesbrough
Stepped in at a tricky time for Villa when he could have easily taken a lot of flack for his side’s form (and he probably did). But the American had the confidence to overcome it while putting in performances that gave an often dire team some hope. Aerially dominant and always capable of some Hollywood, Guzan might not be remembered as one of Villa’s finest due to the their overall form at the time, but he’s a big reason they didn’t succumb sooner.
46. Scott Carson — 2003–2004, 2005–2009, 2010–2011, 2019-present — Leeds United, Liverpool, Charlton Athletic, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City
Dribs and drabs here and there along with some inspired loan spells led to Scott Carson betting on himself when leaving Liverpool to join Brom. Then he properly proved his chops. He was a safe pair of hands and could really get the team moving, so the team followed suit, and West Brom had some of their best ever seasons in the top flight.
He may yet get a chance at Premier League glory, all he has to do is injure those ahead of him in the Manchester City pecking order and hope Kyle Walker doesn’t step up again.
45. Mark Bosnich — 1992–2003 — Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea
Perhaps the most abrasive of Chelsea’s strong line of goalies, but wouldn’t you be in pursuit of time in the Premier League? He was focused on his game and though he had troubles at Manchester United and Chelsea (including clashes with Fergie), his quality at Villa cannot be denied as he hit the top of his game, seeing him selected for his national side. In a crap season for Villa (94/95), he was a bright spark, saving numerous penalties and probably saving them from relegation. This would see him be the centre-piece during an overhaul and he went from great to fantastic the next season as he drove Villa to a top-four finish.
His issues are well-documented and he may not yet be forgiven in some grounds around the country, but his talent was undeniable.
44. Nick Pope — 2016–present — Burnley, Newcastle United
He’s had to wait for his opportunity after initially taking it away from another. He played a barnstormer in the 17/18 season before injury and Joe Hart ruled him out completely for the 18/19.
Come 19/20 and with Heaton gone and Hart out of form, Pope was ready to step up and take the reigns. And didn’t he just. He took all the reigns and then some. Playing his way into a team of the season, Pope displayed a solidity and rigidity only previously seen in China, Berlin, and Jericho.
He looks set to keep these attributes up as his career goes on, and while Burnley may not be able to rely on him for some time, the top flight can.
43. Wayne Hennessey — 2009–2012, 2013–present — Wolves, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Nottingham Forest
He may not know much about World War II, but he knows how to tend goal.
Stepping up to the challenge due to an injury crisis, he impressed in the Championship when starting out for Wolves and would see them promoted, where he largely nailed down the starting position for a difficult three seasons. Injury would interrupt his career here, but after two years, he would resume in the top flight, impressing at Crystal Palace.
He’s had the chance to improve while playing at the highest level, taking his raw skills and honing them, with his presence and ability to get down for a big man being undeniably impressive. He may not have gone about everything in his career the right way, but the Welsh international would be a solid bet for any squad in the Prem.
FUN FACT: Was part of the Stockport County team that set a League Two record by winning nine consecutive games without conceding a goal. These nine games were Hennessey’s first at senior level.
42. Alisson — 2018-present — Liverpool
A common feature on this list is ‘a ship that needs to be steadied’ and Alisson can be yet another from the list to don a sailor’s cap. One of many signings from Klopp that calmed things down, Alisson was important in what was a problem position for the club. A lot of switching in and out, along with fan backlash had left their two senior goalkeepers near blacklisted, so Klopp had to get on the phone.
Over four years later, and it ain’t a phone call he’s regretting as Alisson has displayed effectiveness in every area, be it distribution, playing out, one-on-one, goalscoring, or the spectacular, the list goes on, and as it grows, so does Alisson’s legacy at Anfield.
41. Steve Ogrizovic — 1992–2000 — Coventry City
Oggy is a Coventry legend and one of four players to have played in four decades. The Sky Blues’ number one for a decade and a half, he displayed poise and athleticism to hold down his spot. He was a fella who played for the team, for the club he cared about, and that’s evident in his post-career with the club as well as his induction into their Hall of Fame.
Unlucky not to be called up by England, and lucky not to be kidnapped in Kazakhstan.
40. Maik Taylor — 1997, 2001–2006, 2007–2008, 2009–2011 — Southampton, Fulham, Birmingham City
The man who forever looked middle-aged acted the age he looked as he seemed to approach every game with the experience and poise necessary. Taylor calmed his defences with the way he dealt with anything that came at him, specifically crosses, and any manager could rest easy knowing they had Maik holding down the fort in defence.
39. Carlo Cudicini — 1999–2012 — Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur
Fought off tough competition to take the first-team spot at Stamford Bridge, and he fully deserved it due to some spectacular and important performances. His excellent positioning and instincts saw him win awards and plaudits and it took a special Czech to displace him from the side.
An important spell at Spurs late in his career helped steady a ship, but it will be his days in blue that hold him in history as part of, if not towards the top of, a dynasty of Chelsea ‘keepers that could be the finest of all time for the Premiership.
38. Jens Lehmann — 2003–2008, 2011 — Arsenal
His first Arsenal spell was ONLY FIVE YEARS!?
When I was growing up, he was Arsenal’s guy, and maybe it’s the fact that he’s always looked about 65, but I just assumed he’d been there his entire life.
Five years really blew my mind.
Five years of fierce competitiveness and fiery passion that brought out the best and worst in Lehmann produced medals of all shapes and sizes, and the few errors he made do not overshadow the contribution he made to the London club, as he nears the top of the list of their finest ever ‘keepers.
FUN FACT: Holds the Champions League record for most consecutive clean sheets with 10. Ten straight nights of not shitting the bed; some of us can only dream.
37. Heurelho Gomes — 2008–2014, 2015–2020 — Tottenham Hotspur, Watford
An auspicious start to his Prem career, no doubt. Perhaps the most auspicious start of anyone on this list.
A slew of mistakes and generally… Weird behaviour didn’t swiftly endear the Brazilian, but after a brief spell out of the team, he returned as a new man, making legendary saves and putting on outstanding performances against the likes of Sunderland, Bolton, Chelsea, and Arsenal that, honestly, go underrated, perhaps due to his prior erratic form. He was key in Spurs’ run in the Champions League, but would be displaced when errors returned.
When he rocked back up to the Prem with Watford, he looked settled, a new man once again, and helped them retain their Prem status with secure performances (along with some more stellar saves), until Marco Silva decided to replace him.
Top bloke, top ‘keeper.
36. Simon Mignolet — 2010–2019 — Sunderland, Liverpool
A hero at Sunderland, prowling around his area like a Black Cat does and throwing himself into the danger area like a Black Cat doesn’t.
His reflexes were admirable, and would often make up for some questionable positioning or poor distribution. This form saw him picked up by Liverpool, where he slotted in nicely as number one for a season or two, only for the pressure to begin to mount. And once that’s started, it can all be over just like that. Astonishing reflexes remained, but his positional errors and mistakes with crosses were beginning to be punished, and he wasn’t bouncing back like he used to. He would soon lose his spot and a while later, he was gone from the Prem.
An ideal goalie in many ways for Sunderland, where exposure and lower expectations saw him able to impress, but through The Shankly Gates, you’ve normally got less opportunity to get it wrong, but also less opportunity to get it right.
35. Ederson — 2017-present — Manchester City
In the midst of a minor goalkeeping crisis, Pep Guardiola took a second and then signed a guy who folk had probably seen a a bit of, but, by and large, a lad who English football fans had little idea about.
Pep was confident, and we should have been too, as he came in with only a modicum of pressure and delivered solid performance after solid performance, complete with 10,000 yard dropkicks.
Since his debut nearly five years ago, he has been a constant for The Citizens, guiding them to titles with calm and confident goalkeeping, yes, but also with his goal involvement at the other end.
34. Paul Jones — 1997–2004 — Southampton, Liverpool, Wolves
Overcoming a back injury to play for the club you support is a dream come true, and Paul Jones lived just that, if only for a few games. But while his Liverpool career might have been a personal highlight, it was at Southampton that professional highlights came. The big one was at the start of 2001, where he cracked a Premier League record of seven clean sheets on the bounce, not conceding for 667 minutes, shutting out clubs like Spurs, Man City, and Leicester for the first few months of the season.
An unexpected agility and a special flair for shot-stopping saw him hold down the fort in mid-table for a long spell.
33. Luděk Mikloško — 1993–1998 — West Ham United
Forced his way into the team and never looked back, holding his place down for the better part of a decade. The man with the huge drop-kick was a Hammer of the Year and of our hearts when he famously denied Manchester United the title on the final day of the 94/95 season with a sensational performance. But this was one of many, and Mikloško was a big ol’ staple in the West Ham side that secured their place in the top flight.
32. Neil Sullivan — 1992–2004 — Wimbledon, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea
Always looked a meat-and-potatoes goalie to me, and his consistency was testament to that. But with his major qualities, he was a very different player. A proper wall, he was one of those guys who made the goal look smaller, obviously helping him out in one-on-one situations; but as well as that, his leap was tremendous, and he was a regular thwarter of corners and crosses. His reading of the game and style of play saw him play into his 40’s and while team honours would arrive lower down the divisions during his cracker spell with Doncaster Rovers, international call-ups and Player of the Season awards were testament to his ability in the top flight.
31. Tim Krul — 2006–2009, 2010–2016, 2017–2018, 2019–2020, 2021–2022 — Newcastle United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Norwich City
Now a master of mind games, the Dutch international started small at Newcastle garnering a few impressive European fixtures, as well as a few equally impressive loan spells. With those, he was eventually thrust into the squad and he flailed those lanky limbs like there was no tomorrow, at least threatening to get to everything that came his way. He would grow as Newcastle number one and it would be injury that led to an understated end to his stay at St. James’.
It would then take him a while to get back to full time Premployment, but he did so, in a relegation season with Norwich, where he won the club’s Player of the Season award. He would do the same two seasons later, only without the POTS award, so the decline is obviously mighty.
He’s a presence and he always make sure he is, and that everyone knows it.
30. Mark Crossley — 1992–1993, 1994–1997, 1998–1999, 2000–2007 — Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Fulham
Reliable. So reliable, he can stop a Le Tissier penalty. Yeah, big time.
When a player is a club favourite, there is a reason, and consistent reliability is a big one. Real meat and potatoes style football just does it, especially for a goalkeeper. I ain’t saying he didn’t make any mistakes, in fact, he even scored the Prem’s first own-goal, but that’s part and parcel, everyone makes mistakes.
Crossley displayed commitment and poise, and a commitment to poised consistence. And even the best intentions can hold you in good stead, so Crossley, with his talents, was always gonna be fine.
29. Dean Kiely — 2000–2007, 2008–2009, 2010–2011 — Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth, West Bromwich Albion
He’ll go down in the folklore at The Valley, where I’m sure even now they talk about his save-rate, consistently one of the highest in the Prem during the early-2000’s. He should (and could well be) renowned for his ability to do pretty much everything a goalkeeper should do to a high standard; with solid fundamentals, lightning reflexes, as well as confidence in himself and his positioning, you can see why he’s the in-demand coach these days.
28. Asmir Begović — 2005–2020, 2021-present — Portsmouth, Stoke City, Chelsea, Bournemouth, Everton
He came in at a tricky time for Pompey, but after a series of impressive loan spells (particularly at Yeovil), it was clear that it was Begović’s time to shine. And it was, for a short time before Tony Pulis got his man. He would soon be installed as number one in The Potteries and settled in as a solid replacement to pass the torch to. He and his defence would have tremendous spells, going several games with no (or very few) goals conceded, but could then turn around and concede twenty goals in two games or somet, such was the inconsistency of the side. But his quality was obvious, his speed and agility for a big man saw Chelsea bring him in, but he was no cup goalie, and a move to Bournemouth revitalised him and he was key in some major results for The Cherries, specifically a win over Chelsea.
Though his professionalism has been called into question at times, there’s no denying the respect he has for the position and his fellow professionals.
FUN FACT: At one point, held the record for scoring the longest goal ever for Stoke against Southampton, booting it 91.9m from his own box into poor Artur Boruc’s net.
27. Shaka Hislop — 1995–2002, 2003–2006 — Newcastle United, West Ham United, Portsmouth
A late Trinidad and Tobago international, Shaka Hislop was an extremely agile goalie with a tremendous reading of the game. After forcing his way into the team at Newcastle, he was part of the side that finished as runners-up, and often goes overlooked in that role. When time came to move on, West Ham would snap him up and he was Hammer of the Year right off the bat, but injury would derail his push and he returned to a side in turmoil.
So he took a wee trip, down to Portsmouth in the Champo, and he delivered some Prem quality as he was in the team of the season and went right up, holding off competition for two seasons to hold down his place and keep Pompey in the Prem.
Knocking on and back at West Ham, we was a vital part of the side that came close to FA Cup glory (that darn Stevie G), but his proudest moment would come outside of the top flight, as he put in a characteristically sensational performance and kept a clean sheet against Sweden in Trinidad and Tobago’s first-ever World Cup game.
26. Jordan Pickford — 2011-present — Sunderland, Everton
A Sunderland stalwart and a lone bright spark in a depressing season, demand for his solidity was high. Everton paid out and got their man and despite an error here and there, he’s been an impressive signing. With reflexes that just seem odd and a psychological game that’s as effective as it is simple, it seems the only one who can beat Jordan Pickford is himself.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that he can reach the very top, both domestically and internationally, and with faith in him, he’ll get there soon.
25. Ian Walker — 1992–2002, 2003–2004, 2005–2007 — Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers
This guy could well be the definition of a ‘safe’ choice between the sticks. I don’t think he’s many folks’ favourite goalie and he could well be the definition of why people don’t wanna play the position. Even his own fans were having a go at him at one point.
That doesn’t dispute his importance. He was safe at a time when safety couldn’t be taken for granted, and while not as spectacular as some names on this list, he was a man in charge of his area who could bust out the acrobatics when he needed to.
He was a (word of the day) solid custodian by all accounts, and it seems his lot in life is to be eternally underrated. You don’t just clock up more than 300 Prem appearances without having somet about ya.
24. Kasey Keller — 1996–1999, 2001–2005, 2007–2008 — Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Fulham
Has genuinely succeeded in some way, shape, or form everywhere he’s been. Be it at Under-20 level for his country, in Spain, in Germany, in England’s lower divisions, internationally, and in the Premier League.
He made himself a part of the teams he played for, he forced his way in and made his presence known. Once you were in the box, even one-on-one, there was no less a guarantee than if Double-K was running at ya. From winning the League Cup with Leicester to playing every minute over consecutive seasons with Spurs, literally saving The Saints, and then aiding Fulham in defying the odds to escape relegation when he seemed to come out of nowhere, he would even have time to head back to the USA late in his career to pick up some trophies.
Another cracking American ‘keeper to get to the Prem, and maybe even on the podium…
23. Lukasz Fabianski — 2007-present — Arsenal, Swansea City, West Ham United
He’s come a long way from ‘Flappy-hands-ki’, hasn’t he? Rarely a favourite at Arsenal due to nervous performances, Swansea snapped him up and immediately installed him as number one, which was just what he wanted. The trust in him must have been a catalyst because he began to display form that surprised everyone, and it swiftly became expected.
For Swansea and West Ham, Lukasz has displayed a near-unrivalled bravery and the ability to fly anywhere in his goal, be it up, down, or side-to-side, to maintain his clean sheet, and with his distribution becoming a progressively bigger and more impressive part of his game, he has aided two sides in defence who have sorely needed it.
22. Robert Green — 2004–2005, 2006–2011, 2012–2013, 2014–2015, 2017–2019 — Norwich City, West Ham United, Queen’s Park Rangers, Huddersfield Town, Chelsea
An underrated psychological player, Green was a neat penalty specialist across all his clubs. From when he was a bright spark in Norwich’s poor 04/05 campaign, to a five-year spell up top with West Ham, where he would prove an important part of the side, producing numerous outstanding displays (often against the big sides) that saw him rely on his underrated agility and presence.
He’d rock back up with QPR, where we saw a lot of his quality in distribution, and where his legacy would be compounded. He was a goalie who was there when you needed him, a ‘keeper who could put up with being busy 24 feckin’ 7 and come out the other side holding his noggin high.
Just dannae talk to him about South Africa. And don’t talk to me about it neither. A real harsh exclusion based off one mistake. Though not Capello’s only mistake.
21. Hugo Lloris — 2012-present — Tottenham Hotspur
The three-time Ligue 1 ‘keeper of the season always seemed destined for a big move, and Spurs seemed the best fit for him. A team that often demanded, but was missing, leadership and consistency at the back. Hugo has gone a long way to delivering that for the North London side. Tall and slim, he still makes himself difficult to navigate one-on-one, forcing the attacker into a decision rather than waiting and relying on his reflexes, which he could do, cos they is cracker, mate.
He is a natural commander and has come closer than a lot of goalies to mastering his penalty area.
20. Kasper Schmeichel — 2005–2009, 2014–2022 — Manchester City, Leicester City
A great Dane, but not the greatest. At least, not yet. Though there are a lot of similarities, almost as if they… I dunno, trained together? Maybe, I’m not a journalist.
Kasper has grown into a full voiced commander at Leicester, who takes measured chances and can turn himself into a wall quicker than anyone I’ve ever seen. He uses his speed well, and his agility, and he commands his team from the back, earning the armband for The Foxes on many an occasion.
His confidence in himself is well-placed, and any shadow he may have been playing in doesn’t linger anymore, and hasn’t for a long time.
19. Joe Hart — 2006–2021 — Manchester City, Birmingham City, West Ham United, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur
Gosh, did this guy have to wait.
A few apps here and there, only to be taken out again, it had to be that AMAZING loan spell at Birmingham that sold anyone who was doubting him on his ability. Like, Birmingham would have literally finished half a table lower if not for Joseph.
So he got his chance for The Citizens after they’d tried to find a constant, and he was it. He was what they were looking for. Fantastic reactions, paired with when-necessary leadership was what they needed and he morphed himself into that, and it led to a Golden Glove and a Premier League trophy.
Then he was out the team. He wasn’t the best with the ball at his feet and it cost him, so he went out in search of the first-team football he deserved, and… He didn’t deserve it. The mojo had gone, he looked shaken, and while his reactions were still sharp, his confidence seemed misplaced, his decision-making shot.
These days, the days of it not being his day are gone. North of the border with Celtic, he is proving to a new league exactly what he’s all about.
FUN FACT: His first name is Charles.
18. Edwin van der Sar — 2001–2011 — Fulham, Manchester United
A highly-rated ‘keeper in Europe, he happened upon Fulham, where he had the chance to get exposure and show off his talents while busy. Then Fergie knew he had a winner. A real all-rounder, Edwin brought a calm to any team he was a part of, and not just in his manner, but in his gameplay. He would pick out crosses and organise defences and, well, do his job well. He would make it so his side were difficult to score goals against. Simple.
He wasn’t worried about any part of his game, and could play with his feet, crack out some stellar reflexes, or read a game, on top of the aforementioned skills.
Here’s an unpopular opinion, mind.
After a season or two at Man U, his best days were behind him. His time at Ajax had seen his peak, and yes, he won the UEFA Goalie of the Year in 2009, but I don’t think he should have done. He still had his organisation and calmness, and he could still react; but his positioning would often be off, and when his back line was penetrated, he wasn’t often a difference maker as the last line. This is not to poo-poo his abilities, that were still largely present, but as far as Premier League ‘keepers go, he wasn’t always the cream.
17. Pepe Reina — 2005–2014, 2020 — Liverpool, Aston Villa
This Merseyside hot-head might have drawn attention for his expressive antics, but he could play football as well, and should be renowned as one of the best, if not the best ‘sweeper-keeper(s)’ of the 2000s. He was rapid off his line and was so unpredictable with his movements that he just had to be successful most of the time. A three-time Premier League Golden Glove winner, he commanded his defences to this, and while central defenders can often be the most responsible for tight defences, Reina perhaps deserves the most while he was at Anfield, acting like a director for the numerous Reds defenders, as well as a supporting artist for his attacking mates.
Love him or loathe him, there’s no denying his importance in Liverpool’s ascension to eventual Champions.
16. Tim Flowers — 1992–2002 — Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, Manchester City
Worked his way up via loan spells and sporadic appearances to become first choice with The Saints, and then, after all the work, it was undeniable that he was one of the finest in the country. His move to Blackburn saw him cement this as he would regularly keep two, three, or four clean sheets in a row to help deliver a Premier League trophy.
He was a safe, confident pair of hands and a presence that attackers found immense issue with. Perhaps the biggest testament; only eight goalkeepers have won Premier League Player of the Month, and Flowers is the only one to win it twice.
(not so) FUN FACT: Flowers was the final manager of Macclesfield Town, appointed on 28th August 2020, but the club would be dissolved on 16th September, before he could manage a game. See ya soon, Macc.
15. Thomas Sørensen — 1999–2015 — Sunderland, Aston Villa, Stoke City
Oh, he were a pair of safe hands, wannee?
Cracking a record in the Champo during his first season with The Black Cats by keeping 30 clean sheets in his 45 games, he was already a feckin’ world-beater in lots of folks’ eyes. Pair that with a pretty stellar initial turnout for a side that would slide and the Dane earned a move across the league.
Villa got him and it’s as if they’d ordered a fleet of security who set up his ropes around the area, and didn’t let anyone in if they weren’t on his bloody list. He ruled his zone, and he let everyone know it.
After missing out for a bit, he had a resurgence at Stoke, and guided them to Prem survival before stepping aside, but for the better part of a decade, Big Tom was a consistent, reliable presence in the top flight, and might go down as one of its most underrated stoppers.
14. Neville Southall — 1992–1998, 1999–2000 — Everton, Bradford City
A sparkling personality in and out of the game, Southall might be the most attentive and committed fella on this list. The way he forever improved his game, seeking out new ways down left-field avenues that few might have even thought of, let alone done; and then his dedication, playing well into his 40’s and coaching beyond that. A man of unbreakable morals, and a giant of a man in every sense, his Prem career still stands out.
A drive to be the best led to him being a legend at Everton before the Prem rolled round, but when it did, the drive was still there. An imposing force of a player with the finest instincts, he could back himself safely every game, and fans would have no fear; they would be safe in Big Nev’s hands.
Just a real top bloke and a real top ‘keeper.
13. Tim Howard — 2003–2016 — Manchester United, Everton
Sensible. That’s the word. Sensible.
He didn’t need to unnecessarily fly around to be effective and he proved that when you save it up, it’s only necessary every now and again. Or was it that such was his power that he never needed to? He seemed to do the equation for the best approach in a second flat in his noggin and then snap into action; like a well-programmed machine.
Alarmingly good one-on-one and an honourable professional, Howard will best be remembered for his spell at Everton, but when he first arrived in English football, he rocked a killer season with The Red Devils and had one of the finest solo seasons of any United goalkeeper in the Prem.
A true inspiration, Mr. Howard continues the run of fine ass American goalies in the top flight. But is he the finest of all?
FUN FACT: Holds the world record for most saves in a World Cup match, with 15 against Belgium in 2014.
FUN FACT: He was the 2nd American to collect a winner’s medal for the FA Cup, when Manchester United won in 2004. The first was Julian Sturgis, who won his with Wanderers in 1873; the second-ever FA Cup.
12. David James — 1992–2010 — Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City, Portsmouth
Aye, the most capped Prem ‘keeper of all time is Calamity himself. Don’t make much sense, right? Well, he didn’t actually make that many mistakes. Probably more than most on this list, but he’s played more games, so that’s bound to happen. And he never had a bad run of form, he never made consistent mistakes, his recovery from them was probably one of the strongest parts of his game. That, along with instilling confidence in not just his defence, but his team; and his leadership vastly improved with age as he peaked with Manchester City and Portsmouth, being a regular saver for the England squad in that time.
He was rarely shaken and was forever ready to take a chance. And he’ll rank the same here as he did on Strictly.
11. Ben Foster — 2006–2020, 2021–2022 — Manchester United, Watford, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion
I don’t remember when the turnaround came. Like he was good when he went on loan to Watford in 06/07 for a run-out in the Prem, and then when he was at Man U, he was fine, if unspectacular. Then at Birmingham, I mean, he was important, he had a lot to do, he looked better, but it wasn’t until a season or two into his spell with West Brom… He just seemed to kick it into a higher gear. His reactions looked sharper, his leadership was unquestionable, his overall confidence in everything he was doing was remarkable, because he just never seemed to get it wrong. He made himself a vital part of his teams, he evolved with the game and turned into one of, if not the most reliable goalkeeper in the top flight.
Yes, he’s been relegated four times and to some people that should mean he doesn’t have a crack at the best of the best, but when you are as natural at what you do as Ben Foster is, was, and seemingly forever will be, it’s damn-near a lock.
FUN FACT: One of only three men to win the Alan Hardaker Trophy (Man of the Match in the League Cup Final) twice, and the only man to do so with different clubs.
10. David de Gea — 2011-present — Manchester United
Remember when this guy arrived? Ya know, and it was like he didn’t know how to use his hands, or he just didn’t want to? He was all legs. If he could’ve kept that up, I’d be a big fan.
But he didn’t.
He just needed time. And with experience has come… Fantasticalness.
Those legs have come in handy as his footwork is now confident and secure (if not his distribution), his reflexes and agility have, at times, been the undisputed best in the world, and his smooth athleticism overall has turned him into a brilliant blocker.
Though his form has been called into question in recent seasons, even I can’t deny that he has produced some of the finest saves and performances in Premier League history, and in Manchester United’s pantheon of Prem custodians, he’s towards the top.
Not bad for a lad who’s apparently farsighted.
9. Mark Schwarzer — 1997, 1998–2016 — Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea, Leicester City
Career-wise, this guy was longer than a piece of string. He became the oldest player for both Chelsea and Leicester (where he helped out successfully), and is also his country’s oldest player, as well as their longest tenured with over 20 years of service. But his Prem career was made by the side of a river and in a cottage that’s craven.
When he rocked up in Middlesbrough in 1997, I’m sure the fans knew exactly who he was. No. But they would. Like a big tree planted in the goal mouth, he remained consistent, and was rewarded with an undisputed spot in the side. And when I liken him to a tree, I mean it. He looked so stiff, but not in a bad way, ‘cos if a tree falls onto a ball, it ain’t gaan into the back of the net. And this tree had the anticipation to begin falling at the right time or throw its branches to the right places. His spell at Middlesbrough might have been longer, but his time at Fulham coincided with an upturn for the club, and he saw himself at the centre of a mini-revolution.
Fulham would pop into Europe (coming just short, in an amazing run), they were in the top-half of the table, and Schwarzer was key as they went, gaining a Club Player of the Year award in 2008/09, while being hounded along the way.
A tremendous presence, specifically one-on-one, and a decent penalty boss, Schwarzer turned struggling clubs into extremely capable sides, not single-handedly of course, but he was a large contributing factor. It says a lot that clubs like Juventus, Bayern, and Arsenal were after him during his spells with lower-ranked sides, and that Chelsea held him in such high regard during his short support stint at The Bridge, and they paint a picture of a consummate professional who made all the right moves and played the game with a cracker spirit.
FUN FACT: Was part of two separate title-winning sides in consecutive seasons (Chelsea in 2014/15 and Leicester in 2015/16). The first player in the Premier League era to do that.
8. Paul Robinson — 1997–2012, 2016–2017 — Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers, Burnley
It took Paul Rob a while to establish himself as the number one at Elland Road, though along the way, he did manage a few appearances in their run to the semi-final of the Champions League, specifically one game against Barcelona where he kept Rivaldo at bay single-handedly. But by the time he’d locked down a spot in the first-team, troubles had set in, and he would concede 75 goals in the 03/04 season as Leeds were relegated.
But Robinson had shown a spark. He had displayed his athleticism and his control. He was a bloody inspiration on a sinking ship.
And so Spurs snapped him up and he was along for the ride; the race for top four, and he showed he belonged, with confident and commanding displays that showed off a powerful ‘keeper.
Slipping form saw him lose his spot though, and almost within moments, he was gone, shipped off to Blackburn in like a three-way swap or somet. In Lancashire, he was back on his toes, slapping away most that came close to him. He was what Blackburn needed and he showed that his reflexes weren’t blunted and his experience was valuable as he aided Blackburn’s survival for as long as he could, despite being treated like damaged goods.
He was a player I was happy to see rock up again when he turned up at Burnley. He reminded me of how good he was and just what he could do, and that was a bit of everything given the chance. Tired of throwing buckets of water off a sinking ship, he hopped aboard the lifeboat, and he steered it to safety for a while, before one wrong turn landed him on another sinking ship that he couldn’t save, despite his non-stop efforts. I guess it was just good to see that he made it back to land.
7. Peter Schmeichel — 1992–1999, 2001–2003 — Manchester United, Aston Villa, Manchester City
Probably the OG of star goalies in the top flight, I think he’s gotta hold the title of ‘Greatest Dane’ at the moment.
Schmeichel Senior was able to stand out at a time when ‘keepers regularly didn’t, and was a trailblazer in leading from the back, commanding his back-line. He also made himself look amazing. He wasn’t busting out Hollywood saves every game because he didn’t have to; as a big man with a big reach, he was safe and secure, probs blocking the odd one-on-one to keep his reputation gaan, but then he’d need to fly, and this agility seemed to come out of nowhere as he sprang to wherever he needed to be. It was so sudden, like the ground beneath was launching him.
His supreme confidence could be a weakness as well, and ventures off his line occasionally cost him, but frankly, the risk was worth the reward, and The Greatest of Danes was a cut above, and soon transcended the position.
6. Nigel Martyn — 1992–1993, 1994–1995, 1996–2006 — Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Everton
The first million pound man from the mouth of the goal.
Martyn endeared himself to tonnes of folk at Palace, despite their struggles to stay in the top flight, and he would become the record fee-setter yet again, when he went to Leeds for £2.25 million in 1996. And at Leeds, he was rewarded for his stellar form. Sure, there were no trophies, but there was constant game-time at the highest level, where he could make a telling contribution and difference to the title race year-in, year-out. He wasn’t a stranger to runs of four or five clean sheets on the bounce and by the time he got to Everton, trophyless, awardless, and goldless, he was a legend for goalkeepers everywhere. In his late 30’s, he was still doling out top performances as if he hadn’t aged a day, almost single-handedly halting Everton’s slide towards relegation, and even going out in his retirement game flying about and earning a draw.
Nigel Martyn is an immense shot-stopper, pure and simple, who has been named in plenty of Leeds, Palace, and Everton greatest teams of all time, while being lauded by the managers he worked for. A player in the vein of Neville Southall, he nailed down everything he did, and you weren’t going wrong if you were bringing Big Nige along.
5. Brad Friedel — 1997–2000, 2001–2014 — Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur
Gosh, when he started playing in the top flight, he still had a bit of hair.
Liverpool might have been a rough ride for him, as although he impressed, he struggled for starts and went over to Blackburn, where he shone brighter than a Mathlete in a fractions factory.
After getting them up to the Prem, he aided his side to a League Cup Final (which they won, with Brad picking up man of the match), and top flight survival, where he put in numerous outstanding performances, getting himself likened to Superman by none other than Gordon Strachan.
The season after that was more of the same (bar the League Cup stuff), only this time, his consistency was rewarded with a spot in the Premier League Team of the Year, and there is something special about a player when the Premier League take notice of a mid-table ‘keeper and don’t just award it to the ‘keeper who won the league or the Golden Glove winner, so he had to be doing something spectacular to make them look round.
From there, he’d proven himself as one of the finest ‘keepers in the league, and at Aston Villa and Tottenham, while not needing to show half the heroics he did at Ewood Park, he still showed off some shock reflexes and a chillness that turns to burning passion faster and more appropriately than anyone else I’ve ever seen.
Brad The Brain was one of the first inductees into the Blackburn Rovers Hall of Fame in 2019 (beating out a lot of their title winners), and it won’t be long before he’s in the Premier League one.
4. Jussi Jääskeläinen — 1997–1998, 2001–2015 — Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United
I bet it was a delight for any Bolton manager to rock up to work and know that you had one eleventh of the team reliably sorted because Jussi was there, dedicated to the craft and the club.
He had authority for days and was just undeniable as Bolton’s number one. With his loose fit jersey and his rolled up sleeves, he had the reflexes of an electric fence and they never seemed to dull; case and point, he joined West Ham at the age of 37 and was immediately installed as their number one, and the same went when he signed for Wigan three years later. He can probably still go today.
Ageless and timeless, his imprint is gonna be on the top flight for a long time to come. And if his son gets there, even longer.
3. David Seaman — 1992–2004 — Arsenal, Manchester City
You can talk about players having speed, but what about necessary speed? David Seaman was the best at necessary speed. He was quick off his line, but then he’d wait, without losing momentum, until the right moment to pounce and that took balls (in a footballing sense). But this necessary speed was just one string to his bow of judgment. He was the finest judge in between the sticks in the world, hands down. Or hands up, to catch the oncoming shot. Whether it be crosses, shots, one-on-ones, whatever, his reading of the game, his anticipation, was second-to-none, and when you nail that down, he didn’t even need to be that agile or that good with his positioning, but he was! He could’ve sat back and been a good goalie based off his reading of the game alone, but he honed the craft itself and became one of the best in the world. Now, his agility still wasn’t the best, and his handling and positioning could be off, but again, everyone makes mistakes, and since he could see what was gonna happen before it happened, I think it’s worth the trade.
2. Shay Given — 1994–2017 — Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Stoke City
Being a back-up in the title-winning Blackburn squad seems a good start, but with Shay unable to crack the team, the real impression was made in the Champo, on loan to… Sunderland; where he kept 12 clean sheets in 17 games to earn them promotion to the Prem. Then Kenny across town noticed and brought him into Newcastle. The rest is history.
His run of games in the early 2000’s, often playing in every Prem game, coincided with three top-five finishes for Newcastle, and a Prem Team of the Season inclusion for the Irishman, who had successfully held off competition from Steve Harper due to his fantastic anticipation of play and (no offence intended) surprising agility. He stood tall and looked brave in the face of oncoming attacks. On his day, he was unbeatable, and for any ‘keeper that day might come once a season; for Shay, it could be every other game. Given’s performance could be a catalyst, an inspiration for the entire team, and though he would leave amidst turmoil to join Manchester City, he’ll always be a legend on The Toon.
His time with The Citizens presented a chance to challenge for the title again, and his form didn’t dip. Many goalkeepers move and see their form take a hit, but as if he was born to do this, he just rocked on, doing what he does best.
He would soon lose his place and move around a larl bit, never recapturing the form that made him immense in the 2000’s, but it could easy be, that in that decade, for every season, he was the best of the best.
FUN FACT: Given is the only Irishman who doesn’t know where Dublin is.
1. Petr Čech — 2004–2019, 2020–2021 — Chelsea, Arsenal
This is it.
Go and watch any video of the man, even the one of him playing the drums, because that demonstrates tremendous timing and calculation. Any highlight reel of this man will show you a damn demon between the sticks. From when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge and seemed to genuinely be able to stop anything, to when he had to readjust due to a fractured skull that COULD HAVE KILLED HIM so implemented a more grounded style that seemed to fit magnets into his gloves, to not conceding for over 1000 MINUTES, to 200 CLEAN SHEETS in the Premier League, to coming back onto the books as a back-up in 2020 just in case he was needed! And these are just some stats and facts, the talent and skills of the man were a genuine joy to watch and I’ll go as far as saying that he defined certain styles of the position, or certainly redefined them.
He could do everything, and importantly, he knew when to do everything; he didn’t just break something out because that’s how his team played, he would break it out when it was beneficial, advantageous, and right.
He’s a commander, an all-rounder, an on-pitch (and probably off-pitch) genius, and the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the Premier League.
So yes, this was not the greatest goalkeepers to ever play in the Premiership, it was The Greatest Premier League Goalkeepers (who have played in a game) — subtle difference.
To play at the highest level is an honour, and these 329 individuals can say that and will keep that with them for all time. No matter where I’ve ranked them, how many minutes they played, or how they played during those minutes, the fact of the matter is, they were good enough to get there.
And for those who didn’t make it; legends like Lonergan, or Ankergren, and folks who didn’t get a chance to get off the bench, this league ain’t the be-all and end-all, mate.
It can be a thankless position, so here’s my thanks. To y’all, and to all those who didn’t get there or haven’t got there yet.
The bar is Petr Čech, the clean sheet target — 202.
But it ain’t all about clean sheets. There’s so much more to it, so much you just have to eye up — this really is a position you have to see to judge.
There are still some climbing and there are thousands to come in the future — we’ll see ya there.
Again, this ranking ultimately does not matter. I had fun researching top flight ‘keeps and just wanted to show it (and them) off a bit. It’s a position I love and if I need to show that by organising things, hierarching things, then that’s just how this tribute has chosen to manifest. There’s so many more to admire as well, and so many more who’ve brought me enjoyment in this game — so maybe more on them down the line.
Keep it streets ahead,