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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The Premier League players struggling to reclaim their England place

adam lallana

England produced one of the biggest surprises of the international week by coming from a goal down to beat Croatia 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday.

It looked as though the Three Lions were going to be relegated when they trailed with 12 minutes to go, but late goals from Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane ensured that Gareth Southgate’s side qualified for next summer’s Nations League semi-finals.

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Dyche is much more than a ‘Ginger Mourinho’

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Meant as a term of endearment, calling Sean Dyche the ‘ginger Mourinho’ is belittling to a man that’s achieved the almost impossible with Burnley.

The Clarets’ supporters have never seen anything like it in generations.

European football at Turf Moor, top 10 in the Premier League and on a shoestring budget to boot.

Such miracle work is on a par with anything the Special One has done with many more millions to work with.

It was 1961 the last time this part of Lancashire could watch teams from the continent in official competition as opposed to friendlies and testimonials.

Ten years before Dyche was even born!

They now face Greek giants Olympiacos for a place in the Europa League proper which shows just how far the club have come under the Kettering-born 47-year-old’s stewardship.

In the six years since he’s been first team manager at the club, he’s taken them back to the top flight, breaking all sorts of records on their way to promotion, including the best start to a season since they were founded in 1882.

Perhaps more remarkably is that they’re back in Europe after getting relegated back to the Championship and then surviving by the skin of their teeth in 16th after another promotion to the Premier League. Dyche has certainly moulded his side into so much more than a team of ‘hoofers.’

Their ball-playing ability is as good as any team on their day, as many of the perceived ‘bigger’ clubs have found out to their cost.

Hard work always gets its reward in the end, and Dyche is fully aware that what his team lacks in genuine star quality, they more than make up for in team spirit, effort and desire.

His main issue now is whether he has a squad that has enough depth to deal with the demands of a Thursday night game somewhere in Europe followed by a tough Premier League battle.

The bread and butter for the club remains the English top flight and that shouldn’t be sacrificed for a single-season sojourn around the continent, however appealing that is at first.

Getting Joe Hart as their new No.1 is a real coup for the club and the keeper, like Aaron Lennon and Robbie Brady et al before him, have all joined because they believe in the project that their manager is creating.

Of course, with success comes expectation, and Dyche has continued to deliver on that score.

But there is a ceiling.

Sooner or later, the wall will be hit and it’s at that point that the manager will need his board, staff, players and the supporters to stand shoulder to shoulder with him.

Despite being the custodian of his role for just six seasons, he’s already one of the longer serving managers in the Premier League, which is scandalous.

And yet, if his paymasters can have the foresight to allow him to keep building, then a blip here and there should make no difference at all.

Manager of the year was never a bad shout but because he’s not ‘fashionable,’ that was never going to happen.

However, it’s time Dyche was recognised for the excellent motivator, communicator and man manager he is.

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Southgate right to omit Premier League stars Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere from England’s World Cup Squad


With England’s World Cup squad set to be announced any time now (at the time of writing of course) the major news is that West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere have been left out of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad boarding the plane to Russia this summer. Speculation has been rife in recent months about the identity of the three goalkeepers Southgate would be taking to the World Cup with him, and it would appear that Hart is the one to miss out with Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope the three keepers of choice. This should of course bode well for the future, with Pope the oldest of the three at just 26.

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Joe Hart no longer the best English Goalkeeper?

Since 2012, Joe Hart has been England’s first choice goalkeeper. Three successive England managers – Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson and Gareth Southgate – have all showed great faith in the Manchester City goalkeeper over the course of the last seven years.

While he has largely repaid their faith, he is also prone to making errors, such as allowing Gareth Bale to score from a long range free-kick in England’s 2-1 win over Wales in the group stage of Euro 2016. Therefore, there is room for other goalkeepers to challenge Hart for a place in manager Southgate’s side.

Joe Hart

A few contenders exist.  Some have done so for a bit longer, whilst others are starting to establishing themselves as potential England candidates. Already with some playing experience for The Three Lions and perhaps part of a group of possible replacements for Hart are Jack Butland and Fraser Forster.

One name catching the eye of pundits and fans alike is Burnley’s backup goalkeeper Nick Pope who is taking advantage of the injury to Tom Heaton to stake a claim as a starter in the English Premier League. Pope remains a rather fresh face in EPL, with no prior experience at the top level, yet his recent performances for Burnley show he is worth keeping eyes on.

Another goalkeeper worth mentioning whilst he is gradually developing a good reputation is Jordan Pickford. Despite Sunderland being defensively susceptible last season, the 23-year-old Pickford excelled to earn himself a move to Everton.

At Everton he trains with the assured Dutchman Maarten Stekelenburg, who provides healthy competition for Pickford and can play a role in his progression. Pickford has represented England at every level from U-16’s to U-21’s.

At present, Hart remains England’s no.1, but his hold on the position is not as strong as it once was.  He has the opportunity to earn a spot to play at his second World Cup finals by doing well for West Ham.  Additional incentive exist for him to do so, from the way Pep Guardiola set him aside at Manchester City to his struggles with Torino in Serie A.

Perhaps an even greater motivation for Hart is the presence of goalkeepers such as Butland and Forster, along with the emergence of Pickford and Pope. Nevertheless, the greatest incentive of all, for any footballer, would be to participate in a World Cup tournament so Hart needs to step up for the Hammers in order to secure his place in England’s squad for Russia 2018!

Hart’s becomes key player for Torino

Euro 2016

Mutually beneficial, is the best means by which to describe Joe Hart’s loan move to Torino.

The 29-year-old goalkeeper is being afforded the opportunity to play regular first team football, which he would not have otherwise received at his parent club Manchester City this season.

Furthermore Hart is optimising that opportunity by rewarding Torino’s management for the belief they have shown in him with the deliverance of a series of assured performances.

Influential figure for Torino after shaky start

In five appearances for the Turin-based club, Hart has kept two clean sheets, whilst marshalling his defence competently, as the 64-times capped England internationalist’s adaptation to playing in Serie A continues to progress extremely well.

Although Hart made a mistake on his debut for Torino, during their 2-1 away defeat to Atlanta, whereby he failed to properly deal with a corner, which enabled Andrea Masiello to score, since then the former Shrewsbury Town player, who previously served loan spells with Tranmere Rovers, Blackpool and Birmingham, has exerted an altogether calming and positive influence upon Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side.

In doing so, Hart has helped Torino climb from 12th to 7th, following their defeat to Atlanta at the Stadio Atleti Azzuri d’Italia, as they have embarked upon a four game unbeaten run.

After playing out goalless draws with both Empoli and Pescara, as Hart displayed excellent concentration and focus during both games to efficiently deal with the few threatening situations which he faced, Torino then beat Roma 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Despite being unable to stop a Fransecso Totti penalty, which was the 40-year-old’s 250th Serie A goal for Roma, Hart produced a series of fine saves, whilst denying his former Manchester City teammate Eden Dzeko on a number of occasions.

Aside from Hart, another player who performed exceptionally for Torino in their win over Roma was Iago Falque.  The 26-year-old winger who is on loan from Roma scored twice to consign his parent club to defeat, as Hart enjoyed his maiden win in Serie A.

The confidence which Torino’s players withdrew from beating Roma was abundantly clear as they earned a second successive home Serie A victory, by overcoming Fiorentina 2-1.  Once again, both Falque and Hart were influential figures in their team’s success.

Whereas Falque scored one and provided an assist for Torino’s other goal, by setting-up Marco Benassi to composedly finish beyond Ciprian Tatarusanu, Hart showed great agility, alertness and perception to make an instinctive save from Borja Valero.

Padelli resigned to the role of Hart’s understudy

That stop, combined with this excellent distribution, capped another accomplished performance from Hart, who has firmly established himself as the Torino’s first choice goalkeeper, ahead of Danielle Padelli.

The 30-year-old was an ever present for Torino in Serie A last season, under Mihajlovic’s predecessor Giampiero Ventura who is now the manager of Italy’s national side.  Nevertheless for the foreseeable future, Padelli appears destined to play the role of understudy to Hart, given that the goalkeeper whom Pep Guardiola deemed surplus to his requirements at Manchester City has become a key member of Torino’s team.

Set to star at both club and international level

Subsequently his fine form for Torino has been recognised by England’s interim manager Gareth Southgate, with the 46-year-old naming Hart in his squad for the forthcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.  As the only non-English Premier League based player among Southgate’s 23-man party, Hart will compete with Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton, to add to his international cap haul of 64.

Since earning the last of those caps by helping England to open their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win over Slovakia in Bratislava, Hart has seamlessly settled into an ever-improving Torino side, for who he is next due to play against Palermo after the international break.

It is testament to Hart’s ability as a goalkeeper that he has so efficiently adjusted to the demands of Serie A, after having no prior experience of playing club football outside of England.

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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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Has Joe Hart played his final game for Manchester City under Pep?


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola finally played Joe Hart last night in what was in effect a dead rubber as City qualified for the Champions League proper after their 1-0 win against Bucharest.

City had won the first leg 5-0 and so this game was just a formality. It gave then Guardiola the opportunity to play Hart a regular keeper for City through the years who the Spaniard had deemed surplus to requirements when he arrived. Hart’s replacement is already in town in the form of Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo.

Did Guardiola then play Hart to give the City man his final farewell to the fans at the Etihad? It does look that way. Hart has been linked to a move to Everton, and Guardiola in playing Hart just said to every other team in Europe- well he can’t play for you, at least this season given now that Hart would be cup tied. Everton of course are not in the Champions League and so a move could be more likely.

Hart’s body language also said to say it all that he was saying a fond farewell to a club and fans that had served him so well. Fans and critics are still in shock at his treatment from Guardiola, Hart is of course England’s number 1 goal keeper and was well respected within the City camp.

But this is Guardiola we are speaking about and the general thinking is that the ex Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager knows what he is doing. City have got off to a solid start to the season too- two wins from two games and sitting at the top of the Premier League and now they have advanced to the Champions League- everything for now is perfect for the club and so there is little to complain about.

For Hart some will wonder if the keeper deserved a bigger club than Everton, but it seems evident if yesterday was his last game that Hart would know he couldn’t play in Europe and actually preferred to stay in the Premier League.

Whilst Everton may not be challenging for league honours they do look like they are going in the right direction with new manager Ronald Koeman and are always good for a great cup run and trying to finish in the top six in the league for European football next season. Hart will have moved from a mega rich club to an historic one with values and that can’t be all that bad.


Unfortunate injury crisis threatens to unravel Manchester City’s season

Joe Hart

Manchester City suffered defeat to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday night, and lost more than pride in Turin with goalkeeper Joe Hart coming off late in the 1-0 loss with a hamstring injury. The English international was replaced by Willy Caballero in the 81st minute, and is expected to miss this weekend’s Premier League clash with Southampton. With the Sky Blues having picked up only three wins from eight in the top flight, Hart’s absence couldn’t come at a worse time.

“He has a hamstring problem. We hope we don’t lose him, but if for some reason he cannot play I have trust in Willy Caballero. It is impossible to know how serious Hart’s injury is. He has a problem with his hamstring. He has been carrying a problem in his back for the week,” said Pellegrini in the aftermath of this week’s defeat to Juventus. The 28-year-old joins a growing number of players currently sidelined for the Sky Blues, and so many absences could greatly hamper their chances of success this season.

Manchester City’s injury list

  • Joe Hart (hamstring)
  • Pablo Zabaleta (knee)
  • Eliaquim Mangala (knock)
  • Vincent Kompany (calf)
  • Samir Nasri (hamstring)
  • David Silva (ankle)
  • Wilfried Bony (hamstring)

Manchester City have suffered a dip in form in the last two months, losing three and drawing two of their last eight games, and have been beaten twice in their own backyard during this time too. They were leading the way until November, and are now two points adrift in third. Having so many influential players out of action certainly isn’t helping their cause, with the Sky Blues having lost three of the four Premier League games Vincent Kompany hasn’t made the matchday squad this season. It’s perhaps no coincidence that City have won seven, drawn two and conceded one goal in the seven games they have had the Belgian international at the heart of the defence.

Losing Joe Hart, who has been largely outstanding between the sticks for club and country, is a big blow. Caballero doesn’t come close to the England international, and without Kompany in the defence either, opposition sides will be looking to take advantage of all the absentees. Playmaker David Silva was scoring or creating one goal on average per league game before he picked up lengthy injury, and Zabeleta’s absence has seen Sagna very inconsistent as his replacement.

In attack, Bony struggled for goals while Aguero was out of action, and for a short time Pellegrini was without the pair of centre-forwards due to injury. Manchester City have dropped points in four of their last six games in all competitions, and have half a team currently sidelined. Could it cost them the title?

Where does Manchester City’s Joe Hart rank among the world’s best goalkeepers?

Joe Hart

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart delivered an outstanding performance in the Champions League in midweek as the Sky Blues won 2-1 away to Borussia Monchengladbach. The English international saved a first-half penalty, and produced a number of incredible saves to keep the Germans at bay on Wednesday night to cap an impressive start to the season between the sticks.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini was full of praise for the experienced goalkeeper after the game, singling Hart out after his performance ensured the Sky Blues stayed in the game when their backs were against the wall. He said: “’Joe made three very important saves, saved a penalty, and after that also made brilliant saves. His performance was very important for us.”

Hart, 28, kept seven consecutive clean sheets early on in the campaign for club and country, while pulling off saves others would have seen fly past them. With the likes of David De Gea having started the season late due to his failed move to Real Madrid, and injury sustained to Thibaut Courtois, Joe Hart’s form could see him as the Premier League best goalkeeper of late.

The former Shrewsbury goalkeeper has surpassed a half-century of caps for the England national team, and has made over 300 appearances for Manchester City. Becoming the side’s No.1 shot-stopper since 2007/08, Hart has gone on to win the Golden Glove award (most Premier League clean sheet) four times – 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15. Such brilliant form has seen England manager Roy Hodgson shower him with praise.

“I’m in that situation a little bit with Joe, comparing him to all those other fine keepers. Of course I think he’s terrific. I’m really pleased for him. If you ask me, of course I’ll say that (he’s the best) but I think it’s a little bit meaningless while we are working with the player because we’re bound to have that view. If you really wanted a serious debate as to who is the best one then you’d have to involve some serious neutrals. Comparisons are difficult, but I’d like to think (he is there with the best in the world).”

Hart’s rise to prominence has coincided with Manchester City’s best period of success, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one Capital One Cup, and one Community Shield. Physically intimidating at six foot five, while a strong imposing figure to muscle off, Joe Hart is built like the perfect modern day goalkeeper. His distribution has improved considerably, and he has an incredibly shot-to-save ratio in recent years.

So where does Joe Hart rank among the best goalkeepers in the world?