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Friday, 19 April 2013

Premier League: Has Aston Villa's Brad Guzan been the best keeper this season?

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Reading's Alex McCarthy was in the form of his life against Liverpool at the weekend. The Royals' shot-stopper denied the Reds at every opportunity with a string of world class saves. This got me thinking, who has been the best goalkeeper this season in the Premier League?

Manchester City's Joe Hart was the man to beat last season but he has been found wanting in some huge games for the champions this season, although he has looked back to his best in recent weeks. Manchester United David De Gea looks to have adapted to the physical nature of life in England this season and helped the Red Devils to move closer to an historic 20th league title.

Then you have your Petr Cechs of Chelsea and Brad Friedels, but what about Aston Villa's Brad Guzan who has replaced Shay Given as the club's number one and pulled off some vital saves as the Villans battle to save their top flight status? 

Here is who our panel of Squarefootball writers and readers rate as being the Premier League's best this season.

Brad guzanFor Squarefootball's Aston Villa reporter James Fisher there can only be one man, Mr Guzan.

"It has to be Brad Guzan because I'm a biased Villa fan, but also because he's gone from being the reserve keeper for about four years to pushing Shay Given to the fringes and winning at least two man-of-the-month awards at Villa. A fantastic find for us."

And fellow Squarefootball reporter Hugh Larkin agrees. 

"Guzan at Villa has had a baptism of fire and stood up to it well. He could go on to keep that shirt for years."

However, Squarefootball's Liverpool reporter Dave Disciascio believes there has been another keeper who just pips Guzan to his vote.

"For me it comes down to Jussi Jaaskelainen and Brad Guzan. Both keepers have had a massive influence on the chances of their clubs beating the drop; regularly defending shot after shot to save vital points. Magnificent seasons for both.

"I’d opt for Jaaskelainen, but that is through no fault of Guzan."

Bolton Wanderes fan Dave Blackburn just can't make up his mind.

"That's a very good question. De Gea must be in with a shout, he has improved alot from last season, and Cech, as ever, has been in superb form. I didn't see the Reading keeper's display on Saturday but I believe it was fantastic. Only problem is it needs to be over a season and you need a good defence in front of you, not just once every few weeks. Julio Cesar started very well at QPR, but his performances have slipped recently."

But West Brom fan Andy Wakeman knows exactly who he thinks deserve the accolade.

"There have been a few, De Gea, Hart, Tim Howard, but my choice would be Ben Foster. I may be biased as he plays for my team, but he has got himself in the England set-up again and is better than Hart in my opinion. I think Hart has started to believe his own Press and maybe got a little arrogant and lazy. Foster has won Albion games this season and his performance at Liverpool was truly outstanding."

And staying with the theme of backing your own boys, Sunderland fan Tony Ratton has gone for his number one.

"Sunderland's Simon Mignolet has been the Premiership's top keeper this season. The young goalkeeper has really come of age at the Stadium of Light."

So Guzan, Foster, Jaaskelainen and Mignolet have all been mentioned, but who comes out on top in your eyes? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.

Follow me on Twitter at @sqf_illingworth


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