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Norwich City: Where Does John Ruddy Rank in Top 10 EPL Goalkeepers List

James KentContributor IIIDecember 10, 2012

Norwich City: Where Does John Ruddy Rank in Top 10 EPL Goalkeepers List

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    Norwich City’s John Ruddy has been in excellent form this season, but he has picked up an injury that has ruled him out for three months. Nevertheless, it seems a good time to review where he ranks in a top-10 list of Premier League goalkeepers.

    The best way to do this is to rank the best goalkeepers and decide which place the Canaries stopper should be. The fact that he is now the No. 2 England goalkeeper goes some way to hint he should be high up on this list.

    So, sit back and enjoy this slideshow.

10. Ali Al Habsi (Wigan)

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    The 30-year-old shot stopper may not be seen as the most glamorous goalkeeper in the Premier League. But I have been a keen admirer of his abilities for a while now; he is certainly as good at pulling off saves as any other.

    The main negative is the fact that he is capable of making very costly mistakes, which is a real shame because otherwise he would be right up there.

    He also represents one of the rare times that Wigan have spent a bit of money when he was signed for a fee in the region of £4million. I think that overall that has proved to be money well spent.

9. Brad Guzun (Aston Villa)

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    One of the big talking points at Aston Villa this season has been Paul Lambert’s decision to play Brad Guzan ahead of Shay Given. It seems like one of those reasons to happily criticise the boss, but it is one call that has worked out reasonably well.

    To be fair to Shay, his time to be a first-choice goalkeeper is probably over.

    Therefore, the decision to play Guzun ahead of him is a justified one. And from what I have seen, the American stopper looks likely to continue the proud tradition of United States goalkeepers excelling in the Premier League.

8. Tim Krul (Newcastle)

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    The Dutchman is another one of the better goalkeepers in the Premier League with a good command of his area and sharp reflexes. But Newcastle haven’t enjoyed anywhere near as good of a start as they did last season.

    In fact, they look more of a mid-table side than the European chasing outfit of last season. I feel that Krul has suffered a bit as a result of that, and he has also had injury problems.

    But he is still a top young goalkeeper with a massive future.

7. Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)

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    The Australian might be 40 years old now, but like a good wine, he seems to get better with age. There are a few keepers kicking around the place that seem to be able to perform to a very high level late in their careers.

    It’s always rather good to have one available because that level of experience can be invaluable to a Premier League team. Clearly, Fulham will have to think about replacing him at some point, but that time hasn’t yet come.

6. Pepe Reina (Liverpool)

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    It’s obvious how good of a goalkeeper Reina is based on how long he has been at Liverpool and how many games he has played for the club. It seems while other clubs have struggled to find a first choice stopper, Liverpool have had that problem dealt with for some time now.

    Liverpool have spent a fair bit of money over the years. But when they signed Reina they certainly found real value for money. The number of games that he has played in the Premier League now also serves him very well in terms of having significant experience to help Liverpool’s revival.

5. Tim Howard (Everton)

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    When Tim Howard first arrived in English football, he looked a decent goalkeeper, but perhaps didn’t quite have the mentality to play at a big club like Manchester United.

    However, he was fortunate to find a second opportunity to play top-flight elite football with Everton, a club that are certainly big enough to meet his expectations, but not so big that league titles are expected.

    Nevertheless, Howard’s current club have made an impressive start to the season and seem to have something extra than they have previously had.

    So much so, that they are offering a more realistic challenge than West Brom to a place in the top four.

    Everton have always been decent at the back, and it’s Howard’s crucial saves that have put the club in such a good place. They are reaping the benefits of this now that they have a very reliable goalkeeper in Howard.

4. Asmir Begovic (Stoke)

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    The 25-year-old Bosnian goalkeeper has served Stoke City extremely well since arriving at the club from Portsmouth. Begovic is a big unit and has the ability to make great saves and is generally very solid.

    In simple terms, he suits Stoke extremely well.

    The side hadn’t made the best of starts to the Premier League, and Begovic has had to be at his best to stop his club being dragged into the relegation fight to the death. Stoke have always been built on a solid defence, and that is something they are beginning to re-establish with only one goal conceded in their last four league games.

3. Petr Cech (Chelsea)

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    I’m not sure the Chelsea goalkeeper has been the same since suffering the injury that has led him to wear the protective headgear. Before that, most people would have rated him as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League.

    Nevertheless, he is still a top goalkeeper and deserves to be named as such.

    It is telling that he has kept that spot in the Chelsea team for a long time. This shows how much faith Chelsea has in him, despite the need to wear protection in every game. This is perhaps more telling at Chelsea because they can easily go out and spend millions on a new stopper if they chose to.

2. John Ruddy (Norwich)

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    So, some people might think this is a bit high for our man John, but he has been a legend this season, and a big reason why Norwich have been able to turn the season around.

    To be honest, it’s hard to make any argument for a better goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.

    The Canaries will hope that he can recover from that injury in super quick time to continue to prove why he is such a strong contender for the Premier League’s top goalkeeper.

    This Norwich City team looks capable of keeping clean sheets on a regular basis. So it stands to reason that Ruddy can, arguably, catch the headlines more than he did last season.

1. Joe Hart (Manchester City)

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    Watch out Joe, you are not Mr. Invincible and our man John can yet catch you. 

    But for now, you are just about clinging on to your position as the Premier League’s best goalkeeper. The Manchester City defence doesn’t look to be as tight as it was last season, so Hart will hope that improves to make him look a little better.

    Follow James Kent on Twitter and Facebook.  

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