After yet another Heurelho Gomes gaffe on Saturday, when he dropped an easy catch from Simon Davies’ shot into his own net, the English media have been calling him ‘The Worst Goalkeeper in Premier League History’. I disagree and have come up with my own list.
Goalkeepers are the most maligned, under-appreciated players on the pitch. They also arguably make the most difference to a game. Good goalkeepers can make the difference between a team staying up and being relegated. Antti Niemi kept Southampton up for years and Middlesborough have Mark Schwarzer to thank for keeping them up during some bad periods.
However bad goalkeepers have detrimental effects on their team. Many of the keepers I have listed either played for teams that were relegated, or spent time battling relegation. Also, with a few exceptions, they did not have long spells at these clubs.
About the list
I have tried to avoid players who didn’t play too many games but made one huge mistake, so no Massimo Taibi as he was a pretty good goalie who made one of the worst errors ever Also Julian Speroni and Ricardo have been omitted for the same reason. Also error prone keepers like David James and Mark Crossley have been eschewed as they have on the whole had decent careers.
10) Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur): He was an excellent keeper in Holland, and you don’t become bad overnight but surely Redknapp is losing patience with the increasingly error-prone Brazilian. That goal against Fulham was really bad.
9) Steven Bywater (West Ham United and Derby County): Reckoned he would be an England player by now as Kirkland and Green are ‘nothing special’. Lost his place at the worst club in the history of the Premier League speaks volumes about his ability.
8) Paul Gerrard (Everton): Highly rated keeper when he joined Everton and was touted as the replacement to the legendary Neville Southall. Instead he was the reason the Everton signed Thomas Myhre, Richard Wright and Steve Simonsen.
7) Matteo Sereni (Ipswich Town): One of those maddening players who showed flashes of brilliance amidst long periods of truly bad performances. Recently conceded a goal for Torino after a Catania player mooned him, I’m not making that up!
6) Mike Hooper (Liverpool and Newcastle United): Won lots of medals with Liverpool without really contributing anything to the cause himself. Spent most of his career as a not-so-reliable backup and showed why he wasn’t a regular starter when he did play.
5) Zeljko Kalac (Leicester City): If you’d have told Leicester fans 13 years ago that the hapless Kalac would be playing for AC Milan and would have won a Champions League medal you would have been laughed out of town. Basically had a career because he is tall!
4) Kelvin Davis (Wimbledon and Sunderland): Was a decent keeper for Wimbledon but was atrocious for Sunderland. Was one of the worst players in one of the worst teams ever. Remembered for conceding a 45-yard goal from Matt Taylor and having a fan run onto the pitch to confront him.
3) Harald Wapenaar (Portsmouth): Made 8 starts for Pompey and conceded a whopping 15 goals. Always seemed to find himself in the wrong position when a cross or shot came in. Made Shaka Hislop seem solid and reliable.
2)Tony Warner (Fulham plus many other clubs!): Career backup who spent 6 years at Liverpool without playing once. Was finally given a chance in the top-flight for Fulham but showed why he was a backup. He was a good shot stopper who had really poor judgement leading to increasingly regular (and funny) errors.
1) Andy Dibble (Manchester City): Conceded a famous goal against Nottingham Forest when Gary Crosby headed the ball out of his outstretched hand as Dibble was looking upfield. Whilst backing up Tony Coton at City he was overlooked for a starting place in favour of the 43-year-old John Burridge (The EPL’S oldest ever player) when Coton was injured!
Are there any players you think I’ve left off, or any that I’ve wrongly included? Comment below.