The Summer Of The Goalkeeper


It’s been a big summer for goalkeepers. First off goalies like Keylor Navas, Guillermo Ochoa, David Ospina, Tim Howard and Manuel Neuer all excelled at the World Cup in Brazil. Now quite a few keepers of the gloves have found themselves new homes too after high profile summer transfers.

Goalkeepers are funny animals. They are usually quite crazy and out there. But they are also the players that have huge targets above their heads. They can save teams and win points but their mistakes can cost their sides too and those errors are usually highlighted to the nth degree.

They could be waiting minutes on end to get involved. The main tools they need is an agile body, strong mind and their goalkeeper gloves!

At the best clubs they have a few keepers ready to battle it out for the top spot.

Chelsea have brought back big Belgian Thibaut Courtois (who was on-loan at Atletico Madrid) to take on Petr Cech. Both are world class keepers and it will be interesting to see how Jose Mourinho chooses to rotate between the two and if he’s able to keep both men happy at the club.

At Real Madrid, it looks like club legend and captain Iker Casillas is seeing his career being wound down. The Spanish captain had a hoorid time in Brazil and he has even more competition with Costa Rican sensation Keylor Navas joining from Levante. Sells man Navas will hope to dethrone Casillas once and for all.

With Victor Valdes (who is still a free agent) leaving the Nou Camp this summer,  Barcelona have decided to call in two new boys and have them vying for the gloves. Twenty-two year old German Marc-André ter Stegen has won the first battle, getting the number one jersey but Claudio Bravo has experience on his side. The veteran will also hope his time in La Liga will work in his favour.

Adidas poster-boy Manuel Neuer will return to Bayern Munich a World Champion. He will also return to the Allianz Arena knowing that he can’t rest on his laurels after Bayern brought in Pepe Reina from Liverpool. Many have said that the only reason a player becomes a keeper is because they can’t use the ball with their feet. I think we can all say that Neuer has blown that myth away!

Most people who watched the Community Shield encounter between Arsenal and Manchester City would have noticed City new-boy Willy Caballero. Pundits were quick to point out he was poorly placed for a few of the goals Man City conceded. I would add a note of caution not to judge the player on that performance alone. The Argentine has been brought in because Manuel Pellegrini knows and respects him. Hopefully he’ll push Joe Hart all the way and make him even better.

At Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has been great this summer in adding more competition to his squad. In between the sticks has been no different with Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina coming in to challenge talented shot-stopper Wojciech Szczesny. Ospina joins the London club after proving himself in Ligue 1 with Nice. His arrival will hopefully mean stronger competition for the Pole Szczeny, and with both goalies improving as a result.

All these deals show that clubs are desperate to get it right with their goalkeeper. Lets hope 2014-15 proves that the keepers really are mad but also sublime!

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