Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Ederson


A huge part of Manchester City’s Premier League title win has to come down to goalkeeper Ederson, full name Ederson Moraes who was like a wall in goal. This was evidenced in the fact that he kept 20 clean sheets, just one less than Liverpool’s Alisson.

While Alisson could arguably be seen as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season what is so impressive about Ederson’s season is that he cost £35m to City, half of what Alisson cost and basically Ederson seemed to match Alisson game for game. It will be a headache of course for the Brazilian national team who have arguably their best 2 goalkeepers in their history- but at the same time!

In the Premier League Fantasy rankings Ederson finished in 2nd place for the goalkeepers and got 130 points, just six less than Alisson. His value was the same as Alisson’s at 10m.

Personally Ederson had a fantastic season with Manchester City not only winning an historic league title which was the first back to back win for the club but also picking up the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup which means that Ederson became the first ever goalkeeper in English history to win a domestic treble.

Ederson started the campaign off in fantastic style earning 7 points when City beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates. Against Huddersfield he was set to earn zero points but he actually created an assist for Sergio Aguero as City won 6-1 and so earned 2 points, and thus became the first ever City goalkeeper to complete an assist.

Ederson’s best points total was 7 which he wasn’t able to beat and would be rare to do so but he got 7 points on no less than 20 times which included earning that amount on 4 games in a row towards the end of the season when City were picking off opponents seemingly by the same score line of 1-0.

The Brazilian has had to fight off challengers from Joe Hart and then Claudio Bravo to keep his place as the number 1 goalkeeper for City and one of those reasons isn’t just because he is one of the best shot stoppers in the game. It is no secret that City manager Pep Guardiola loves keepers who will quickly distribute the ball forward if they come into contact with the ball and keep the game flowing in a natural attacking way, and Ederson is one of the best goalkeepers in the business at doing that.

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Ter Stegen: Barcelona’s €12m bargain

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The term ‘safe hands’ is often coined for goalkeepers, but rarely has it been so justified than in Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s case.

The German, who firmly established himself as Barcelona’s No.1 after seeing off competition from Claudio Bravo, has proved to be one of the Catalans most astute signings of the last few seasons.

That’s because there isn’t a week that goes by without the custodian playing the fullest part in Barcelona’s victories. Continue reading

What’s gone wrong with ter Stegen?

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When Victor Valdes left Barcelona, there was genuine concern that the Catalans were never going to find anyone as good as he, and for a season or so it looked like those concerns were justified with Claudio Bravo never really winning the critics over.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen had appeared sporadically in the cup competitions but hadn’t convinced either.

Eventually, after a stuttering start and a few harsh lessons learned, the German began to come into his own. Continue reading

Etihad Stadium’s Expansion: Worth it or Futile?


etihad_stadium09English giants Manchester City have gone from strength to strength since 2008 when the club was acquired by billionaire Sheikh Mansoor with the constant struggle in the initial years’ largely forgotten by the supporters. The same opponents who deemed the prospect of acquiring 3 points against the Citizens as nothing short of a cakewalk earlier now shiver in fear at the prospect of battling it out against Pep Guardiola’s outfit.

This has been largely possible due to the finances pumped in at regular intervals by the owners who have ensured a regular flow of finances through thick and thin. At the same time, there have been astute investments at play as well especially in the transfer market. Manchester City opted to invest in quality acquisitions like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany during a stage when clubs were increasingly orthodox when it came to pulling off transfer deals with the benefits increasingly evident currently.

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Leroy Sane: the Erratic Genius


Football has emerged as an extremely lucrative career path over the years with the steady commercialisation of the game. Some of the best footballers ever- Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luka Modric hailed from poverty-stricken families before steadily rising up the ladder, enthralling the world with their brilliance. Such examples have been cited as an immense source of motivation by emerging footballers like Gabriel Jesus who confessed to drawing inspiration from superstar Ronaldinho’s meteoric growth over the years.

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John Stones: the next Kompany?


2024703-1170x658While it is hardly a surprise these days to see defenders like Harry Maguire command reported bids worth £100million following noteworthy performances in the world cup, it was hardly the case till recently. Clubs were increasingly hesitant when expected to indulge in big-money deals for defenders who did not enjoy a proven track record with a largely orthodox approach at play.

At the same time, they were more than happy to invest a lion’s share of their finances behind attacking recruits who were considered safe investments in comparison. The underlying belief rested on the misconception that the acquisition of quality attackers had the ability to determine the overall fortunes in the long run, considering their commercial value with the defensive department deemed expendable in nature.

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Is Fernandinho in the mould of Patrick Vieira?


870529256Every football fan worth his salt will be well aware of the significant development that Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles played a key role towards heralding in modern day football. While modern-day football fans were quick to criticise the Frenchman for even the smallest of things during the last few years of his tenure, the game owes much of its current sheen to the exhilarating gameplay which Wenger encouraged despite resistance from the traditionalists.

In the 2003-04 season, Arsenal gave the footballing world a true glimpse into a team which was built on the back of a solid foundation with the defenders more than capable of snuffing out any attack and attackers who could conjure moments of brilliance singlehandedly. The side went on to finish unbeaten in the league throughout the season, emerging as the first outfit to threaten Manchester United’s hegemony.

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Guardiola continues to make bold decisions at Manchester City

Euro 2016

Thus far Pep Guardiola’s managerial reign of Manchester City has been characterised by extremely bold decision making in terms of both his team selection and reshaping of the club’s squad.

Quintet fall out of favour with Guardiola

In addition to only playing Yaya Toure in one of his team’s five competitive games this season, despite the Ivorian being consistently influential for Manchester City since joining them from Barcelona in 2010, Guardiola has also dropped Eliaquim Mangala from his squad, after deeming the 25-year-old, who the club signed from Porto for £32m in August 2014, to be surplus to his requirements.

Subsequently Guardiola has also allowed Mangala along with the experienced trio of Wilfried Bony, Joe Hart and Samir Nasri to leave the club temporarily, as the 45-year-old manager has acted decisively to redesign his squad, which he has strengthened by signing a quintet of players who each have the potential to become key players for Manchester City during the current season.

Guardiola’s new recruits

In total the club have paid out just over £117.1m in transfer fees, which has enabled Guardiola to recruit Claudio Bravo, IIkay Gundogan, Nolito, Leroy Sane and John Stones, as the Spaniard endeavours to engineer a team capable of winning both domestic honours and the Champions League.

City’s impressive start to the season

At present Guardiola is making excellent progress towards doing that, as in addition to enjoying a perfect start in the Premier League by winning their first three games of the season, City also qualified for the group stages of the Champions League courtesy of an emphatic 6-0 play-off round aggregate victory over Steaua Bucharest 6-0.

Hart heads list of departures

Despite playing in the second leg of that tie, Joe Hart has now been loaned out to Torino for the remainder of this season, with Guardiola making the bold decision of selecting Claudio Bravo and Wily Cabellero as his two main goalkeeping options for the current campaign.  After having made 348 appearances for Manchester City, for whom he signed from Shrewsbury in 2006, Hart’s future undoubtedly lies away from the club since Guardiola perceives the 63-times capped England internationalist as being unable to develop into the type of sweeper – keeper, which the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager desires to have in his team.

Three other players who are not to feature in that this season are Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri, who have joined Swansea City, Valencia and Sevilla respectively on season – long loan deals.

Guardiola ingeniously reshapes City squad

Those, along with Joe Hart’s move to Torino, were all completed on transfer deadline day, after Guardiola had signed each of his primary transfer targets.

Given that the Catalan has logically reshaped his squad over the course of this summer, by initially recruiting new players, before allowing others whom he deemed surplus to his requirements to leave.

In the process of doing so Guardiola has made some brave and bold decisions, but the early signs are that they will yield very profitable dividends for City during his first season in charge of the club.

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