Soccer is a sport in which putting the ball in the back of the net is the moneymaker. Forwards and strikers may get the money but it is the goalkeepers that need to be praised.
The goalie needs to command the defense and orchestrate the alignment of his teammates so that they are not vulnerable.
The last line of defense is the goalkeeper. If a team does not have a trustworthy keeper, they will be struggling and stuck at the bottom of the league table.
A lot of pressure is placed upon their shoulders. It takes a unique type of person to be able to handle the mental anguish of letting in a goal that may have lost the game.
The player needs to realize that the team needs him to bounce back.
The Premier League has some of the best keepers in the world.
They have international keepers as starters and on the bench. This is because of the value of having a keeper that can command the field.
Here is a list of the 20 best saves of the 2010/ 2011 English Premier League season.
David Stockdale is the backup goalkeeper for Fulham.
Stockdale was called upon to start in the absence of first-choice keeper Mark Schwarzer when he was injured for the start of the season.
Stockdale had a great first game against Bolton and then followed up that performance with another great one against Manchester United.
This penalty save was one of the toughest saves he was called upon to make in all of his appearances for Fulham during the season.
Carlo Cudicini had a down season for Tottenham. He was on the bench for most of the season as the backup to Huerelho Gomes.
This appearance against Newcastle was important because it showed he is still a capable shot-stopper.
With Huerelho Gomes reportedly heading out of England, Cudicini will have a chance to fight to be the starting keeper in the upcoming season.
This save is a small sampling of why Heurelho Gomes was favored by Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.
He first punches the ball out and starts to drift back to his line. Then he has the concentration to make the save on the rocket shot that was sent in to follow up.
Gomes may have been error-prone towards the end of the season but this save shows that he is a veteran shot-stopper.
Tim Howard, the American and Everton No. 1 has a knack for great saves in opportune moments.
Since moving from Manchester United to Everton in 2006-2007 season on loan and then a permanent move during the summer following that season, Tim Howard has become one of the Premier League’s best keepers.
Sir Alex Ferguson rarely makes a mistake but Tim Howard could have been between the pipes for the Red Devils for a long time.
David Moyes knew he had a special player when he had him on loan and he knew he had to make the deal permanent. This save will show why.
Edwin van der Sar finished his final season of playing professionally as a Premier League champion with Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson now is in a bind because he has to find another man to wear the No. 1 shirt for United. The man that comes in next will have big shoes to fill.
Edwin van der Sar has been a constant trustworthy keeper for Manchester United since 2005.
Joe Hart is a very athletic and talented young goalkeeper. He shows that with his full stretch covering the near post on the long-range shot.
He proved himself last season on loan at Birmingham. He showed that he was a whole different class of shot-stopper. Since his loan spell, he has returned to Manchester City and displaced Shay Given from the starting goalkeeper position.
He has also established himself as the England No. 1 and has gotten Fabio Capello's respect and trust.
Tim Howard appears again for a great stop that he makes during one of the Merseyside Derbys this year.
Howard covers the near post and judges his angle perfectly. He then recovers and makes a kick save that sends the ball into open play where the Everton players could clear the ball out of danger.
Petr Cech is Chelsea’s starting goalkeeper and he is undoubtedly one of the best not only in the Premier League but also the world.
He has especially good recovery time and his positioning and angles are usually spot on.
Cech has been Chelsea’s No. 1 since Cudicini got injured in preseason before the 2004/2005 season. Then-coach Jose Mourinho gave him the starting place and he retains it to this day.
Craig Gordon is one of the most interesting goalkeepers in the Premier League. He is a player that can make errors but also makes the big save when he is called upon.
He has been the starting keeper for Sunderland since the 2007 season. He also started establishing himself at the international level since 2004.
He is a keeper that many teams would want. Although he is not at the elite level yet, he is still improving at age 28.
This save is a bit of cheating because it occurred during the FA Cup but it was a save that is very impressive and is coming from the 40-year-old American goalkeeper, Brad Friedel.
Friedel seems like he should be at the twilight of his career but instead, he is still a solid No. 1 for just about any team.
Many fans seem to think that it is time for Friedel to come home and play in the American domestic league, Major League Soccer.
It just is not his time. He still has the capability to play at the highest level so why shouldn’t he?
According to reports, Friedel has just signed a two-year deal with Tottenham and will be battling with Carlo Cudicini to be the starter for Harry Redknapp's side.
Over the past two seasons, Joe Hart has provided fans with highlight-reel saves. This is why he is getting his second save in this group.
Hart will have a long career if he can continue to make saves like this and get rid of the small errors that are in his game.
Ali Al Habsi was a very large reason why Roberto Martinez’s Wigan side were able to avoid relegation.
Al Habsi was on loan from Bolton all season and has proven himself as a talented Premier League goalkeeper.
He is returning to Owen Coyle’s side after a successful loan stint. He will certainly be given the chance to battle for the starting keeper’s spot.
Wayne Hennessey is the Welsh international and returned to strong form again this season for Wolverhampton Wanderers. He earned back his starting position from Marcus Hahnemann.
Hennessey also helped his team avoid relegation like Al Habsi.
Hennessey’s strong performances kept Wolves in most games and gave Mick McCarthy’s side a chance at another season in the Premier League, which they were able to capitalize on.
Tim Howard is an ever-present force in between the pipes for Everton.
He proves it again with this save against West Bromwich Albion.
His reaction time on the close header is mind-boggling. A lot of keepers would not be able to gather themselves and make a save like this.
When there was not stability at Liverpool, there was speculation that Pepe Reina would want to get out of there.
Now that Kenny Dalglish has taken over as manager and John W. Henry has taken over ownership at Liverpool, things are looking up for the club.
This is also a good sign for them because this is going to make the Spanish goalkeeper want to stay and see what the club will achieve in the upcoming season.
He has great reaction time and shows it in this stop. He parries the ball into the air and has the sense of mind to go and catch it before any damage could be done.
Robert Green has a lot of speculation surrounding his future. He is one of the better keepers in the Premier League and since his club West Ham was relegated this season, many teams are trying to gain his services.
To many Americans, he will be remembered as the man who made the error that allowed Clint Dempsey’s shot in and the USA to earn a draw against England.
Green is more then that. He is a strong and trustworthy keeper.
He shows it as he saves Gareth Bale's deadly free kick.
Boaz Myhill is not a keeper that many think of when they want to see highlight-worthy saves. He is a quality keeper for a solid West Bromwich Albion club.
When Roy Hodgson took over at West Brom, they steadily crept up the table.
The issue with a new manager is that positions have to be reassessed and Myhill had to start battling with his backup, Scott Carson. Both started games at the end of the season and it will be interesting to see who will be in the goal starting next season.
For now, saves like this will keep Myhill in the discussions for the job.
Edwin van der Sar makes an incredible full stretch to make the save against Manchester City.
Saves like this make fans question why van der Sar is retiring. It is disappointing that he looks like he found the fountain of youth, won the Premier League title and is retiring.
But no one can argue that going out on top is a good thing.
Huerelho Gomes certainly had a rough end of the season but was a solid No. 1 goalkeeper for Tottenham when he was not injured and was in form.
Tottenham needs to capitalize on the last couple of years' momentum and stay at a top level, and it will need a quality keeper to do so. Losing Gomes will be a huge hit to Tottenham but Cudicini and Friedel should firm up the position again.
The legend that fans will no longer be able to watch will round out the list with one of the most incredible triple saves any fan will ever see.