This is my first article on this website.
I am a regular on espnstar.com for all my soccer info. A few days back there was an article saying Pepe Reina won the "Barclays Premier League's Golden Gloves" award for the third season in succession!!!
The article can be found at: http://www.espnstar.com/epl/newsdetails.cmd?id=7041712
I was angry that as a self-considered football fanatic, I didn't know what criterion are applied for the EPL Golden Gloves Award. And I guess you will be as surprised as I was.
It is decided by the number of clean sheets kept in the season. Now Pepe Reina has kept 18 clean sheets out of 38 this season, which is no mean feat, by any stretch of imagination.
But then isn't this a contribution of the defence as well. I mean clean sheets are kept as much by the defence as by the keeper. Also Pepe Reina has been a shadow of his self from the previous season. Uncharacteristic flapping ate corners, rashly coming out from his line when not needed are things that come to my mind at once.
On the contrary, David "Calamity" James has been superb all season in spite of injuries and a defence not even comparable to Reina's solid "Liverpool" defence. You must be thinking by now that I am a Pompey fan (actually I am a Chelsea fan).
Cech and Van der Sar didn't do badly last season. Anyone who saw the Champions League semi final between Liverpool and Chelsea would have no doubt about who the better keeper was. Also other keepers like Joe Hart and Chris Kirkland are enjoying the form of their life and have been making fantastic saves even when their defence exposes them.
Pepe Reina hasn't actually had much to save really.
Then a few days later I read about the Zamora trophy. Its awarded for the keeper in the La Liga who concedes minimum number of goals all season. Of course, you must play a few minimum matches to be eligible for the award. In my opinion this makes a far better and fair criterion for the best keeper award.
Again you may argue that still the defence plays an important part but still number of goals conceded seems a much better yardstick than number of clean sheets. And Casillas has deservedly won that trophy this year.
Let me know what you people think. Do you feel that number of clean sheets is a better yardstick than number of goals conceded?
And should the quality of a defence be taken into consideration when judging a keeper?