Flying saves, point blank stops, keeping a team in a game against much better opposition. Goalkeepers are crucial to a team, a wee bit under-appreciated in my opinion. They make save after save after save and yet get next to no credit.
We thought we’d take a look at what the Premier League would like if the savers didn’t exist. As our table below shows – it would look dramatically different.
We took the number of shots on target every game, and made this the score – as if goalkeepers just didn’t exist (shock! horror!) For example, if Manchester United had five shots on target, while Liverpool also had five shots on target in the game, the score would be 5-5 (which sounds like a rather exciting game). So those who have been out-shot but are still picking up points can be very grateful for their goalkeeper.
Without further ado, here is the alternative league table, and boy are there a few changes.
|Team||W||D||L||Shots on target +||Shots on target –||Shots
+ / –
+ / –
Teams like Everton and Stoke would really struggle without their goalkeepers, two of Bob Friendly’s favourites Tim Howard and Jack Butland. Meanwhile, Tottenham should be kicking themselves (would be ecstatic?) as they would be top of the league if the concept of goalkeeping didn’t exist, but instead are just fifth. This is a bit of an out there thought but maybe with the January transfer window opening in January they should move on from Hugo Lloris…
Some teams seem to remain just as bad with or without a goalkeeper, in particular Sunderland and Aston Villa – they may want to invest some money in an attacker before thinking about how to stop the shots pouring in on their goal.
Anyway, that is some food for thought, so next time your goalkeeper makes a routine save, just be thankful he was there in the first place. A world without them doesn’t bear thinking about!